5 Effective Steps to Power Through Your Uncertainty
Living in uncertainty is one of the most uncomfortable circumstances you can find yourself in. It is frustrating and stressful. I have gone through many such seasons. I did not always deal with it very well but during my last major upheaval, I found a system that worked very well. Although it took patience, I found peace in it and was thrilled with how it turned out.
Years ago, when I was getting ready to retire from the Navy, we faced a major question of where we were to go, what we were to do and when we were to do it. I was pastoring a small church that could not pay a full time salary, and we needed that full time salary. We did all we could to help the church grow, reach more people and become totally self-sufficient.
Soon, it became evident that the church would not be able to support me. I began to contact church districts across the nation, starting in the places we thought we would enjoy living. And we employed these five steps to keep our sanity!
There are five things you must do when uncertainty is upon you. Relax, it will be okay. That is the ultimate assurance we have as we follow Jesus.
5 Steps to Power Through
- Pray. This is the easiest and most natural step you take in this process. We easily pray for help and direction and answers to our questions. You must also pray for patience and calm. Pray for God’s will and express to him your confidence in his leadership. It is important to exercise faith as you pray. Prayer will continue throughout this entire time – daily and, sometimes, moment by moment prayer!
- Maintain the status quo. When we are a season of uncertainty, we often want to engineer things and make changes to help us cope but when we do this emotion is often the trigger and our decisions are frequently flawed. It is better to simply keep doing the things we do. For example, during the months of uncertainty – actually it was closer to a year – I continued to go to work for the Navy and pastor the church. I did my best to do both with the mindset that I was going to continue in these responsibilities as if they would never end, even though I knew it was likely that both might.
- Explore options. When I was within six months of retirement, I began to send resumes, lots of them. I expanded my search when my first contacts were fruitless. I wanted every available option on the table. It is important that you gather facts, look at options and contemplate possibilities. But make no decisions, yet.
- Don’t panic. Unless you abandon your faith in God, there is no need to panic. Remember that Jesus is leading you. You may not know everything that is about to happen but he does. All you have to do is get through the hour, get through the day. Keep trusting him and he will see you through.
- Wait expectantly. This is certainly the hardest part. I don’t know many people who enjoy waiting. It takes discipline but stumbling at this point will lead to failure! The answer comes at the right time – in God’s timing. Simply waiting and listening for God while you pray will bring the right answer!
The End of the Story
Our uncertainty continued as we approached retirement. We waited to hear from prospective churches and kept thinking about moving, selling our house, finding a new house – oh, and we needed to buy a new car! I was retiring the end of January. Christmas came, new years – and we waited.
Finally, a few days into the new year, we received a call to come for an interview in Texas. This is someplace we had never lived! We interviewed and felt immediately that this is what God wanted for us. Our prayer continued and we watched him orchestrate everything – right down to our house selling the same day it was listed! We counted more than 30 specific answers to prayer that confirmed the decision to take that church. Today, we are still at the same church – nearly 14 years later!
I am so glad we used this process during that year of uncertainty. It will work for you, too. Keep your faith strong and trust in God. He will never fail you.
When you are in a season of uncertainty in your life, start working these five steps. If you know someone who is facing similar uncertainty, pass this on to them. If you find yourself in difficult circumstances get some help by clicking here. Please leave your comments, as well. I love to hear from you.