the future is a scary place

Posted: November 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

The future is a scary place. I’m not talking about the questions of what types of pressures and challenges my children will face. I’m not contemplating the state of our economy and what changes will or will not come for our society. I’m not predicting the end of the world, wars, or any other number of things some people expect and fear in our future. Those things can certainly make the future a scary place, but I have no problem trusting in such scenarios as these.

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For me, my future is a scary place. I want control of it and I want it bad. I seek ways to feel in control of where my life goes. Letting go of that control presents my biggest challenge. We had a moment to lay things at the foot of the cross over the course of the weekend. I lay my need for control over my life and felt so relieved. Then, just a few short days later, I proceeded to pick the heavy load back up and place it across my shoulders again.

I do believe we have the power to work towards goals and pursue a better life. As Katie mentioned in her post this morning, we take action and plant seeds of opportunity that can later take fruition. Yet we, aka I, have to realize that just because I do ABC does not mean I will end up at point D. Heck, I could end up at point Z. Or not even on the letter spectrum at all.

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I need to trust. I certainly have hopes and dreams, but I can’t allow them to prevent me from living my life with the right priorities for me right now. I can’t get so caught up in what I picture my life as in the future to not see and experience my life in the present. Thank goodness God has provisions to help me realize this so I can once again place my future back in his stronger, more knowledgeable, and more capable arms.

Last night I went through a special prayer walk at our church meant to focus on setting our minds in a place of thanksgiving before the holidays. Quite a few parts of that walk stuck out to me…including a particular slip of paper with verses to pick up.

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Fitting, no? Then today in the car, after attending a nature walk with the mom’s group and finding myself surrounded by God’s beauty, I heard the song Whatever You’re Doing by Sanctus Real.

“Whatever you’re doing, inside of me, it feels like chaos, but somehow there’s peace. Though it’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see, I’m giving in to something heavenly…You’re up to something bigger than me, larger than life, something heavenly.”

I have to focus on each day. Count on God each day to be able to do that. And let life happen. I’m sure it will bring me to a beautiful place – whether point D, Z, or 3.

  • With what things do you have difficulty giving up control?
  • What things do you worry about? My biggest worry for the future is whether or not I will be able to work in a way that fits my passions and my family. I fear not working in a way that fulfills me as a person, mother, & wife.

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39 Comments to “the future is a scary place”
  1. This really spoke to me because I am a huge control freak. I often worry about the future, even when it comes to small things. A few years ago my dad just said “you can’t control everything, you just need to trust in God,” He had probably said it a million times, but that one time it stuck. I always think about that when I’m worrying or stressing over the future.

  2. the biggest thing that’s hard for me to give up control on is always, and has always been, food. even though i know that i have a good relationship with it now it’s a constant battle to keep it that way!

  3. Yes, yes and yes.

    I struggle with this so much, to this day. Being in the moment is really difficult for me, but yoga has helped with this a lot.

    Also, I like what you said “just because I do ABC does not mean I will end up at point D.”

    I need to learn to trust that if I end up at Z, it’s ONLY because Z is actually a much better and happier place for me than D, I just didn’t see it right away.

    • Tina says:

      That’s what I’m working on adjusting to as well. Things may not go the way I picture, but that means they are going an even better way because I trust I will end up just where I need.

  4. Astrid says:

    The future is scary. My biggest fear is to stay in a situation where I am unmotivated and uninspired by my own life. I want to allow myself to pursue one of my passions and see where it takes me without letting millions of excuses hold me back. I sometimes wish that there was a manual out there on how my life will turn out…but that would probably take the fun (stress) out of it all!

  5. Man oh man, I struggle so much with letting go of control over nearly everything. If I can’t control it, I feel like I may just come undone. But I have found that the more I learn to roll with the punches, the happier I am. Because when I am controlling and something isn’t perfect, then I’m far more unhappy than just figuring out a way to go with it. Sometimes those moments of lost control over situations end up being blessings.

  6. I try not to think too much about the future. Mainly because when I do it freaks me out. I like to have a plan for everything, and its one thing where I just dont know.

  7. Angela says:

    Totally agree with you! I am a major control freak (beginning to see a trend here amongst bloggers!) and I think fear of change is one thing that scares me about the future. I’m a creature of habit and I tend to like to choose the changes that happen to me – rather than have them forced on me.

  8. I like to plan, but by now I’ve accepted that the future is uncertain. Just gotta roll with the punches, I suppose!

    Whenever I get wrapped up in the future, I just think to myself that I can’t do anything to get there any faster. I can prepare for it, and that’s all I can do for now. Plus, there should not be a “my future must be like this” mentality. That ideal could and will change.

    Someone once told me that in life, you make decisions (doing nothing is a decision, too!). If you don’t like where one leads you, you make another decision, and if you don’t like where that one leads you…… you get the point.

    And then I remember that I’ve got the NOW, and that I’m grateful for getting another NOW, which won’t always be the case.

  9. My biggest fear is that even though I always wanted children, I will resent him or her because I will then feel my choices are restricted. Particularly career-wise.

  10. I so guilty of spending all of my time focusing on the future and not enjoying the present. It’s very difficult. I often say things like “well, in four years, hopefully I will have moved away from here”. Just this morning, during a conversation with my mom I said of how much I cannot wait to move back East. As much as I want to enjoy the present (and I do for the most part), I cannot stop thinking about how my life will be different (read: better) when we finally buy a house or move. But you are right: “We make plans and God laughs”. I think he has a great sense of humor, so let’s trust it 🙂

  11. Becca says:

    Ohdear. I feel your pain! Until last year, I wasn’t sure what I was going to major in or where I was going to go to school. I’m still not sure how it’s all going to work, and I have to admit I’m having trouble trusting God with it, but I’m working on it! People keep insisting that I’ll grow from the experience and such, and it’s kind of hard to keep that attitude, but I’m getting there!
    I’m one of those people who has to be early for things. I cannot be late. I have to know what’s happening when and where and be there AT LEAST five minutes before the start (depending on the event). If I’m running late, I freak out and worry that I’ll be late and stared at and… yeah, not pleasant. =\

  12. I like to have control over everything…most notably things over which I can NOT have control: my boyfriend’s feelings, my body, death, God. Oh man, it is hard. I’m much happier giving up control, and I realize that, but it is very difficult to accept and practice.

    Obviously, I also worry about many things. Things that worry does not and will not solve.

  13. Dorry says:

    As someone who struggled with disordered eating, I’m very familiar with control issues. I strive for find balance everyday in my food choices, workouts, personal time, time with Billy, productivity, etc. When I’m balanced, I don’t notice my control issues. When life has stirred up my balance, I try to relax, focus on the day, pray, take a walk and I always openly and honestly talk to Billy about it. About once a week, I have a big moment of worry about the future, but each time, I give the worry less of my time and energy. Living and learning. 🙂

  14. I can’t stop worrying about where I am supposed to be. I feel so lost in trying to get myself back into the workforce. I just can’t find a way in. I just know that me only helping Tony at this point won’t help with the kids when they are getting bigger. I want to be able to do what I love to do (cook for allergies) and still be able to have a flexible schedule. UGH, life is hard!

  15. Molly says:

    wow. I have never needed something more than I need this right now. I am floored. God works in the most amazing ways. I could never say thank you enough!

    xo-Molly

  16. I feel like I constantly worry. Right now, I am worried about my falf marathon, money, where am I headed, etc. See..constant worry. haha.
    I need to try to live in the moment more. Plan ahead but still try not to miss the important stuff.
    Great post!

  17. I definitely worry about what I did do in the future for work. Teaching doesn’t really fulfill me in a way it once did and I hope I find something that does.

  18. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: the future is a scary place: The future is a scary place. I’m not talking about the questions of what types of p… http://bit.ly/bx8KeQ […]

  19. Sarah says:

    Ah I think I’m strange that the future doesn’t scare me but the present moment scares. In the present moment I can be bad (or good) but the future always provides the hope of being “good”. I’m not so sure if it’s optimism or stupid hope but I’m constantly telling myself that the next moment could be better than this moment. And since I’m a control freak, I’ve convinced myself that I can control making the future moments better which unfortunately can lead to disappointment. Plus the present is scary because then I’m forced to look at my emotions and feelings and situation in the present moment.

    • Tina says:

      Oh, that’s a very interesting point of view! It’s funny because I am so hopeful for the future and believe in such good things to come, but at the same time that may be what worries me. That I have such hopes…and then what if they don’t happen? It’s a crazy mental game that just needs to stop! LOL

  20. chelsey says:

    I love that song – I struggled for a couple of months this fall with a medical issue that is going to make it difficult for me to get pregnant some day. I’ve totally given it to God and know when it is supposed to happen, it will. It was a struggle, but I know it’s in God’s hands.

  21. Oh, boy! I am a control freak, and I have issues giving up control on many things. MANY things. It’s rough, and I get very anxious and unhappy when something is out of my control….it’s tough sometimes, but I have to let go and realize that it all works out and I don’t have to micro manage everything!

  22. I always want to know what’s coming and it is constantly a battle for me to practice patience and not have what I want right NOW.

    There are a lot of fears, but I think a big one right now is that the restless feelings/no job/worthlessness/boredom I feel right now will last forever.

  23. I worry that I dont do enough as a mother. I have yet to meet a mother who doesnt wonder if she’s “doing enough”, though. I think it’s our nature as moms to just always feel the need to do more. I try to realize I give 110% every day and hope my best efforts are ok 🙂

  24. This is EXACTLY the post I needed today. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about my future and honestly, I’m scared.

    I am majoring in such an unstable field (Musical Theatre) and I’ve always known that I needed a backup plan. However, with graduation coming closer and closer, I need something, and fast. I still want to perform on Broadway, but I have realized that I have other passions.

    I have realized that I am really passionate about health and nutrition and I want to help others and get the message about health into society. I believe that not enough is done to encourage health in schools. So, I have decided that I want to graduate undergrad early(next December) and go to grad school to get my master’s in Health Promotions.

    However, I worry that I may not get into my dream school, or that I won’t be happy once I get there. I also worry that once I do go out into the workplace, I won’t be happy or passionate anymore.

    I worry a lot about my future, but I am trying to put more faith in myself and with God and know that everything will work out the way He intends it to. 🙂

  25. sophia says:

    I love this post, Tina, because it rings so much truth to me.

    ” I can’t get so caught up in what I picture my life as in the future to not see and experience my life in the present.” –> this exactly describes my situation right now. I worry about the future, I worry about internships and jobs and studies….but while working toward that goal, I’m failing to enjoy is as much as I can. I need to trust everything in the Lord, and just enjoy His guidance in every step of the way.

    thanks, Tina! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      It’s hard, huh? I have no doubt you will end up doing great things that fulfill you. I guess I should have the same faith for myself. 🙂

  26. Great post Doll! I believe there are some bumps that may come up in my future, but I do believe I do have control on where I go and what happens in most parts of my life {some parts I cant touch 😉 }

    I also dont get caught up in the economy downer and just focus on making more money! Just my 2 cents 😉

    I think a lot of people need this post!

    xxoo

  27. Kristy says:

    Beautiful post! <3

  28. Lee says:

    I tend to worry about not having enough money in the future should Jason and I ever want to have a kid. Some of my friends with kids are struggling financially and I know that they have larger combined incomes than we do.

  29. Tina I worry about a lot of things: that I’m not doing good enough at my job, that I’m not doing good enough at home, or being a wife or not being a good parent if we ever have kids. Or being smart with our money so that in the future it is “easier” for us.

    All I can control is what I’m doing right now. If I’m giving 100% at work, that is all I can give and that has to be enough. I need to stop worrying about what others think of me — and just focus on being who I am.

  30. I can really relate to this post. I’ve had a rough couple of months and sometimes I get too caught up with thoughts about the future (or past) that I forget to live in and enjoy the present. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  31. This is such a challenge for me too; I need to remember that planting the seeds is really all I can do, the rest I have to leave to God. I desperately want things to be within my control, but even when I feel like they are, it’s an illusion.

    Thanks for linking to my post! 🙂

  32. paula says:

    I to worryabout the future. Mostly my mind get stuck on financial planning and income. Thanks for the scripture and song!

  33. Your post was very meaningful. I too struggle relinquishing control. And it all really comes down to trust. Do we really trust God to handle that situation, more than we trust ourselves. When I think about it, the answer is obvious. Of course God can handle it. What am I doing thinking I can do it better than He. But in day-to-day life it is very difficult to release control. I know my future is a beautiful place because I have God and I have a wonderful husband, but I can’t help but dwell on it every day. When should we do this? When should we do that? I really do struggle just living in the day and trusting God to lead. Thanks for this post!

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