In this episode, Carrie delves into the challenges of facing uncertainty amidst significant life transitions. Drawing from her own experiences, she offers helpful tips for coping with uncertainty and finding peace amid the unknown.

  • The importance of trusting in God’s plan and finding peace amidst unknown circumstances.
  • Insights into dealing with uncertainty from a faith-based perspective.
  • Ways to find comfort and strength in your personal journey through uncertain times.
  • Tips for maintaining confidence and hopefulness despite facing unknowns in life.

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Transcript:

Welcome to Hope for Anxiety and OCD, episode 122. I am your host, Carrie Bock, a licensed professional counselor in Tennessee. I specialize in working with people dealing with trauma, anxiety, or OCD, often a combination of those things. 

Today on the show, we’re talking about “How do I Deal with Uncertainty?”

My husband and I are going through a period of intense uncertainty in our lives right now. As I share this story, it may not be a big deal to you, but it is a big deal to us in our lives right now. We are in the process of transitioning houses from one house to another house. For those of you who’ve followed my story, my husband has a neurological condition called spinal cerebellar ataxia or SCA for short. This is a degenerative condition. He has issues with balance, walks with a cane or a walker right now, and there’s a lot of uncertainty with that diagnosis. We don’t know what the future holds for him, but we have been told that There’s a great chance that at some day or another, he will end up in a wheelchair due to this condition, which is hard to sit with that reality.

In preparation for that right now, we have been living in a house that’s a split level. It has a lot of stairs.  There are stairs to get into the house from the front porch. Once you enter the house, there are  more stairs that either go up or down. It’s not great for somebody with balance challenges. Not wheelchair friendly at all. 

We’ve been praying and processing about timing, when should we move, what do we do, the housing market, the interest rates, it’s all crazy. We’re in a high-demand area. Lots of people are moving into our area in middle Tennessee. So what do we do, God? How do we time this correctly?

We’ve been working with a realtor that we trust. He said, “Hey, you’re going to have to sell your house before you can buy another one because nobody wants to go for a home contingency right now. If your offer has a home contingency and it’s up against another offer that’s cash or doesn’t have one, then you are going to be bid out.”

We put our house on the market and it sold in record time. We got everything ready and looking nice. That was super stressful. I didn’t know I had a lot of uncertainty about showing the house. I’ve never done this before. I’ve never sold a house before. I had so many questions for all my friends. “Tell me about selling your house. Tell me about what it was like getting it ready to show in the morning. How much notice did you have?” 

I went through all these things and ended up selling your house very quickly. The only problem has been that there just has not really been a whole lot on the market in our price range that also would fit with what we are needing for my husband’s unique challenges. 

There are lots of two stories in our area. Lots of houses where the bedrooms are all upstairs and that just isn’t going to work for us. Lots of new builds that are coming that are unfortunately outside of our price range or the lots are not flat. Maybe the home is one storey, but the lot has a steep drop-off in the back because we live in Tennessee.

There are hills, there are mountains, not mountains in our areas, but lots of hills and elevation changes for sure. We’ve been going through this process, knowing we have a month and a half to two months to really find a place and get everything set up so that we can get out of our house and hopefully into what we hope to be our forever home.

It’s been a huge waiting game with a lot of questions. “How long do we wait to be in a particular area? What if nothing comes open in the market in this city that we want to live in? Maybe God wants us to live a little bit further out. We’re also a part of a church plant. What does that look like? There’s a lot of uncertainty there.

We don’t know where the church is going to end up being located, feeling the call of God to be a part of this church plant and not wanting to be too far from wherever they’re going to land and end up at the same time trying to find a place that’s not too far from our daughter’s Mother’s Day Out programs that she goes to.

A lot of questions. What if we put a bid on a house and we don’t get it? What if someone overbids? What if we don’t find a place to live by the time we have to be out of here and we end up in an apartment? I haven’t lived in an apartment in a long, long time. I don’t even know much about apartment living today, other than it seems expensive, and I have two pets, so I know that would be even more expensive to have cats in the apartment.

There’s so much uncertainty right now. I teach people, especially who are dealing with rapid thought processes, a lot of what-if questions, and overthinking. I work with a lot of people who are struggling with OCD, and one of the things that we do is we help them sit with uncertainty, so I thought I would talk with you as I’m going through this period of uncertainty in my life, and it doesn’t have a happy bow or a happy ending yet.

I’m in the middle of it, speaking to you about it, and unsure and have some lack of clarity, even spiritually, from the Lord. “Okay, God, what are you doing here?” I thought that as I’m going through this process of life uncertainty, that we’re all going to face uncertainties at some point or another, I would walk you through how I am dealing with this uncertainty.

One thing is that I have to rest and trust in the character of God and who I have experienced Him to be in my life. Number one, I know that I can rest in God’s character. Lamentations 3, 22-23 tells us that God’s mercy is new every morning. Great is his faithfulness to us. God has just shown me that time and time again, God is good, God has good plans for us, God is kind (Ephesians) and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus So God expressed his kindness to us in Christ. That’s awesome That’s something that we can really rest in. 

I think it’s hard for us because we know that sometimes God calls us to hard things. Sometimes God calls us to things that might be uncomfortable for us. After living in a home for over 10 years, it would be uncomfortable for me to go live in an apartment. But if that’s where the Lord has me, if there’s some ministry that I’m supposed to be doing in that apartment, if there’s a person I’m supposed to meet needs to know the Lord, if there is some reason that God wants to plant me there until he plants me in a forever home, then I am all for it.

My life is surrender to Christ and to what he wants for me. It’s not about me anymore. I am called to take up my cross daily to follow him, and as we connect with Christ, a lot of people are afraid that God is going to ask them to do something that they completely don’t want to do. 

Here’s what happens when we abide in the Lord and our desires become God’s desires. As we pray, and as we say, this is what I would like, I know for me, I know where I would like to live, I know that I would like to have a shorter commute, I know that I would like to be close enough to get my daughter, and for that to not be a burden after she’s done with school. I would like to not feel like I’m too far from my church family right now.

These are things that I desire, but I desire the will of God more. And wherever God wants us to be, we’ve been praying for ministry opportunities. In our new community that God would plant us where he wants us to be. I just believe that the Lord is going to do that in faith and trusting him. The uncertainty is the timing.

I don’t know what timeline that’s going to be. God could have a house for us in two weeks. God could have a house for us in two months. God could have a house for us in six months. I have no idea. That’s the uncertainty, but I rest in God’s goodness. I know that I can trust him. 

Point number two of the way that I’m dealing with this uncertainty.  I can point to times in my life, I can go back and say, “I didn’t think this situation was going to work out, but it did” because of God and His intervention.

There’s a story behind a lot of places where I’ve lived. There’s a story to getting this house that I’m in that the only reason I knew about this house was because we got lost trying to get out of the neighborhood. This house that I’m living in now was not on the radar until I got lost, and God put it there and said, “Huh, maybe this house. What about this?” It ended up being my home for over 10 years and that is incredible. 

I have stories behind offices that I’ve rented my very first office. I remember calling the guy on the phone and this was just after being beaten down, just feeling like, “Lord, I’m never going to get a space because I call and either they want too much money or they’ve already rented it out, or they want me to pay for the build-out that I didn’t have money for. They are all these different roadblocks, and the Lord graciously provided this cute little office. It was not very big at all, but it was exactly where I needed to be for the two years that I rented it.

The guy we’re walking through the office, looking at it and I’m saying, “Okay, I think this is going to fit the needs that I have at this time. He kept telling me I wasn’t supposed to work today. He managed the place. He didn’t live in that area and he happened to be in the area for a completely different reason.

God brought all these things together to make that happen. When we were praying for my husband’s disability process to come through, God just wholly provided. God granted us favor. He ended up getting disability faster than some other people. We don’t tend to talk about that too much because we’re not prideful about it. We didn’t do anything. That was all God because God knew our needs. God saw that we were in a difficult place. I had a very young child at the time that we were trying to provide for and my husband had been out of work for many months at that point and he was partially taking care of her. I was trying to work and make sure that everyone had what they needed.

It was a tough time in our life and I sent in a bunch of paperwork, literally just prayed over it and said, “God, please give us favor with these people. Please let them know that my husband is truly disabled and that we do need this disability to come through to pay for our bills at this time.” 

God was so faithful. We were just incredibly blessed by that experience. There’s just been time after time after time where God’s provided something that I’ve needed. God’s not going to let me be homeless in this situation. I know that there’s going to be some kind of roof over my head. I don’t know if I’m going to be in a temporary situation for a little while or if we’re going to have a smooth transition.

We have no idea right now, but I just know that God’s in it. Whatever uncertainty you’re facing today, just know that God is right there with you. God will never leave you and never forsake you, and that it’s okay if you don’t know something right now. God’s word is a lamp to our feet. And a light to our path is what we’re told. God doesn’t give us the whole picture. Oftentimes, he only gives us the next step. And sometimes we have to wrestle with him in that process of decision making to know where do we go from here? God, what do we do? I’m trusting and resting in the character of God. I’m believing in what he’s done in the past for my family.

This is why, oftentimes, we forget, as human beings, what God has done in the past. You will see in the Old Testament, they had festivals to remember, things like Passover. Passover was to help them remember that God led them out of Egypt. God led them out of slavery and when angel of death came through and the firstborn sons died, yours didn’t because you had the blood of the lamb on your door.

It was a complete picture of Jesus. We are covered by the lamb of God. If you are a believer, the Israelites had festivals and times of celebration to remember those things that God did. I feel like in common American society, we don’t celebrate or sit and think and remember what God has really done for us.

Maybe you haven’t been a Christian in a long time, or you don’t have as many stories that maybe you can point to in your own personal life, but you can always point to God showing his kindness in Christ Jesus that we were saved while we were still sinners. We were hopeless, we were far from God, we were lost, and God came and sent Jesus to us to be the substitutionary sacrifice.

That in itself is enough If God never did anything else for us, God gave us Jesus, God gave us his presence, God has gifted us heaven when we die, and man, that ought to just be celebrated, make you excited and just full of joy. Whatever is weighing you down today, whatever you’re uncertain about, just know that you can sit with that in the Lord, that you don’t have to run from the uncertainty.

It’s a part of all of our lives at different points. There’s going to be times where you may question who God is. I know I’ve had those times in my own life and that we have to cling to faith and believe what we know to be true when we’re in a good place. I hope this information has been helpful to you.

You can follow along on my journey. I send out little emails every week about things that are happening with our podcast, things that are happening with me, what God’s teaching me. You can get on our email list by going to hopeforanxietyandocd.com/free. We’ve got some amazing resources on there: 100 tips for managing anxiety, Things that Christians with OCD Should Know. If any of those appeal to you, you can get those downloads in your email box, and then you will be on our email list. Subscribe and follow us. 

Thanks so much. Hope for Anxiety and OCD is a production of By The Well Counseling. Our show is hosted by me, Carrie Bock, a licensed professional counselor in Tennessee.

Opinions given by our guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of myself or By The Well Counseling. Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum. Until next time, may you be comforted by God’s great love for you.