FOMO

DSC_0108.jpgWe live in a world filled with FOMO – fear of missing out. I am in the majority easily consumed by this.

I’ve always been worried about missing out because, for some reason or another, I feel like I often have. As I’ve struggled with maintaining healthy friendships since I was young, it’s a constant battle for me, and I am continually reassuring myself that I am valued by those closest to me. But then, if I’m left out, whether by choice or otherwise, this painstaking feeling of anxiousness and uncertainty grips my gut and penetrates to my soul’s most insecure places, inciting a feeling of unworthiness. All because I don’t get participate in one thing.

And this feeling, it doesn’t just go away. It lasts, sometimes for days or even weeks, as I’m wallowing in self-pity from “missing out”.

Yes, I am, in fact, THAT afraid of missing out and that disappointed when I do.

It’s a perpetual cycle of disappointment because I’m constantly wishing I was with these people or with those people or doing this or doing that and not enjoying anything because I’m so afraid that the thing I’m not doing is causing me to miss out on some killer inside joke or defining friendship moment or even just a valuable conversation. It doesn’t just ruin the moments I’m doing something really valuable, it ruins my quality of life because instead of being in the moment, fully enjoying time doing what I love with people that I love, I am distracted by a constant, underlying fear, that I am not doing the MOST fun thing, the MOST constructive thing, the thing that will be talked about the longest. No, I’m doing this, which probably won’t amount to much – and even when it does, I’m too distracted by my own overwhelming fear of not being “in the loop” that I don’t catch the most beautiful moments until it’s too late to appreciate them in their fullness.

I’m gearing up to start a lot of traveling this summer – whether in country or out of country – and I am already anxious about “what if I miss a moment?”

What if I miss a moment.

I don’t remember who said this, but this quote has stuck with me for a very, very long time – “Inconvenience is almost always provision.”DSC_0120

Okay, that usually helps me breath and be more thankful when I’m stuck in traffic, but what does that mean for mission trips and family vacays? Because I am so scared of not going somewhere or doing something or not praying for someone or not, not, not… It’s such a confining feeling to think I am behind or missing out on something monumental or life-shaping.

But you know what, inconvenience is often provision. Maybe I missed out on a church conference, but maybe I wasn’t ready to hear what they were going to say because of where I am in my spiritual journey – the Lord will bring these things before me at a later time when I’ve matured. Maybe I missed the Superbowl because I made a commitment to show up to church that night – okay, so I missed the Superbowl, but God spoke in powerful, shaping ways that propelled my journey forward to a place I wouldn’t be now had I not gone to church that night and skipped out on some (let’s be real) commercials and a half time show with some football.

FOMO has caused me to develop a (nearly) shopping addiction – I’m so afraid of not having the right outfit or looking a certain way that I keep buying and trying new clothes because if I am not with the trends, I’m not valuable – right?

But the truth is this:

I am not identified by what I miss out on.

Woah – actually that’s really important. Read that again:
I am not identified by what I miss out on.

DSC_0125That brings so much freedom to me. My value is not contingent on going out of the country a certain amount of times or getting the right picture or missing an outing with friends – not at all.

FOMO has caused me to develop a (nearly) shopping addiction – I’m so afraid of not having the right outfit or looking a certain way that I keep buying and trying new clothes because if I am not with the trends, I’m not valuable – right?

It seems pretty obvious and straightforward when you hear it, but when you are in the depths of anxiousness because you feel like you can’t do everything you want to (which, you probably can’t), you can breathe a sigh of relief because not being able to do everything does not change the fact that you are intrinsically valuable just because you are you. There is no one else like you, and no one else can have all the same experiences as you and neither can you have all the same experiences as everyone else.

You are you, your experiences are important, and they don’t have to be everyone else’s. Sometimes you “miss out” because you’re out of town, stuck in traffic, or sick – so, in those moments when you are tempted to operate out of anxiety because you might or you have missed a moment, be reminded that Holy Spirit has a very different way He would like you to live – it is in wholeness, gratitude, grace, and contentment that we operate in when Holy Spirit sits on the throne of our hearts instead of fear. Hate isn’t the opposite of love; fear is. So, know you are wholly loved and wholly known – experiences will come and go, some shaping us, others not – and at the end of the day, you are loved, and the is no room for fear because perfect love casts out all fear. And God is love – let Him silence your fear. You will not miss out with Him.

“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.”

•••

With Love,

Hannah

 

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