Taming Anxiety over the Unknown

Taming Anxiety Over the Unknown

Knocking twenty-two years’ worth of dust off a resume stretches the definition of “creative writing” to its limit. After giving my time away for two decades, could I convince even myself that my skills are marketable? Was I still capable of holding my own in the workforce? The questions hung in the air like a challenge.

At about this time two years ago, I was embarking on a job search that did not happen at all the way I had planned it. I’m sharing that experience this month on The Redbud Post where we’re examining the topic of anxiety for the month of May.

The truth is that whenever the unexpected happens, I’m thrown against the framework of my theology. Will it hold? Does what I believe about the sovereignty of God accommodate a veering turn that was not anywhere on my road map? With anxiety over the unknown comes a greater need for and reliance upon a sinewy faith in God’s good intentions toward me in this following life.

Redbud Writers GuildIf this is also your story, I encourage you to click on over to The Redbud Post where you can read a collection of articles on the topic of dealing with anxiety.

Thanks for reading, and I trust that you will also share your own thoughts on dealing with anxiety in the comments below or over at the Redbud site. I have found these words from Paul Miller in The Praying Life to be especially helpful and wise:

“Instead of trying to suppress anxiety – to manage it or smother it with pleasure – we can turn our anxiety toward God. When we do that, we find that we have slipped into continuous praying.”

Blessings to you!

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48 thoughts on “Taming Anxiety Over the Unknown”

    1. Yes, and it’s good to look at our feelings and give them a name. Then we know what to offer up to God, and we don’t waste our time on trying to “fix it” in less productive ways.


    1. You would enjoy the Redbuds, a group of writers, teachers, preachers, and thinkers. And I think the more people we have in our lives, the more people we love, the more we struggle with anxiety.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. In the early part of my walk with the Lord, I learned a lot about trusting Him. It was the little things that He did. Oh, I could tell stories. Those things showed me that I could trust Him in the little things. So when the big anxieties came along, I was able to trust Him with them, as well. Often my plea has been to gain understanding. “I trust you, Lord, but help me understand your ways.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gonna head over and check this out…. I’ve been considering a real resume-requiring job lately as my hubby heads into retirement. Gonna head over and check out your tips! Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, goodness! I’m still in that process myself, and I think you’ll find more over at the Redbud Post about taming your anxiety in the midst of the job search than you will about the transition from mum to employee. I’d be interested to hear more about your process, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Been there, done that! After staying home to homeschool my kids and being out of the workforce for 20 years, I totally get what you’re saying about creative writing when it comes to updating your resume. But God’s timing and ways are perfect and after 6 months and lots of frustration I landed an Admin job 3 and a half years ago! I loved it – I was learning and growing and being useful and productive until the Lord decided to shake it up a bit and I was unexpectedly laid off due to budget cuts at the beginning of the year. The past 3 months have been full of stress and anxiety, and I have been needing to constantly remind myself of His sovereignty and that He has a plan and purpose for what He’s doing. That every “No” to a job applied for is God saying, “That is not the job I have for you.” That He knows and cares about my needs and desires, and that once again, His timing will be perfect. After diligently searching, applying, testing, and interviewing for jobs (how much in my own strength, the Lord knows), He basically dropped a job opportunity into my lap out of nowhere – one which I declined the first time for a few reasons, but which was reoffered a month later, causing me to give it more serious consideration and prayer. Starting that job this Monday. It was as if after all my striving and stressing, the Lord subtly stepped in, saying “Child, step aside and let me show you how it’s done. I got this!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So good to hear your story of multiple ways in which God stepped in to orchestrate. You’ve felt all the feelings, and then realized that the anxiety doesn’t add a single minute to our span of life or make us more effective.
      Thanks for adding your thoughts here!


  4. Michele – the topic of anxiety is such a good one as it seems to be more prevalent today than in years past, or maybe it’s just that people are fessing up to it more… I am clicking over to read the rest of your post and check out the others. Thanks for being my neighbor at #SpiritualSundays

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Michele, this was just for me today! It seems we are cut from the same cloth in more ways than one! When I look to an uncertain future, I struggle to release control and overcome anxiety! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your wisdom with this common issue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right that control plays a huge role in our struggle. After all, how can we plan ahead if we don’t know where “ahead” is going to land? So thankful for an omniscient God, and for frequent (and sometimes painful) reminders that when I try to cobble together a pseudo-omniscience of my own, I’m headed for trouble!


  6. Starting a new job is scary at any time Michele – but even scarier with 20 years out of the workforce and trying to translate all your skills from that time into something an employer can relate to. I felt a similar sense of questioning my skills etc when I changed jobs at 52 – launching out into the great unknown in my 50’s was scary indeed (fortunately I had a happy ending too!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Right now in life anxiety is a daily companion and as Paul Miller says I have turned to continuous praying. There are times during the day I get so anxious about the future I am choking. I will go to the redbud page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I connected with you over at the Redbuds’ page, Victoria, but will reiterate my thanks for sharing your concerns here, and also say that I also struggle with that need to plan. It becomes clear at some point that our greatest strength can also become our greatest weakness.


  8. Hi. Stopped over from MLSTL and my mind is blown open by the number of link-ups you engage in. MLSTL is my first foray into this world… and just Wow. I realize many are linked to your blogs “brand” (I was in consumer products, that is a compliment), but it is still a mind-opener to me about what the possibilities are for blogging. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for posting. I struggle with anxiety. I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism so some of it stems from the physical, but it is also spiritual and the way I was raised. The Lord has really been speaking to me in this area. He is using so many resources to speak to me and to show me His presence so I will rely on Him through it all. Thanks for allowing Him to use you to speak to me today. Visiting you from the Raising Homemakers linkup. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the gift of your story here and for letting me know that you have been helped by my own struggle with taming anxiety and trusting God for the unknown. Blessings to you as you continue to take advantage of resources He brings your way and to rely on Him.


  10. “whenever the unexpected happens, I’m thrown against the framework of my theology. ” <– THIS! so well said, but in every surprise in life, this is the real test. Will we trust God or not? Thankfully, we know that ultimately, we don't have to hold onto Him, but that HE holds us!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this! Anxiety is such a hard place to be in, and the unknown is just scary! It is so important that we face these things with God and remember to trust in Him. I loved the quote, we should definitely take all of our anxiety to God!

    Visiting from Happy Now link party



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Amy, for reading. When we struggle with anxiety we find ourselves among a huge majority, but somehow still manage to feel very alone in it. It’s good that we can gather around this truth together.


  12. I like what you wrote on the header about past deliverances – how very true and reassuring it is to remember and be encouraged by past deliverances. Thank you so much for this reminder.
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    Liked by 1 person

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