Sorting out clothes and belongings, getting rid of those that I don’t need, keeping a few to remind myself of a country, and seeing cardboard waiting to be taped and formed into boxes. It is an all too familiar process I go through many times. Often. And it might be the same for you. Any person, man or woman, has fought to overcome fear during a trying time.
Apart from this physical process of moving, I experience two sub-processes I go through spiritually and mentally: fear and grief. You may be familiar with the TCK grief, but I’ll leave that for another article. For now, I’ll elucidate my fear process – which, of course, can occur at any moment even without my moving.
What will happen after I move? Will I be able to find a job? Will I have enough time to write? What if I forget about my friends and brethren in the former country? How will God fulfill His promises in the next country? How long will I take to adapt? What if I experience reverse culture shock*? I seem to have worries and doubts similar to these whenever I start to move.
What’s their source?
Specifically, fear of the unknown. The unknown itself is not bad; however, fearing it means my eyes are turned away from God and instead, are upon how vast and uncertain the path is before me. Then I forget who He is.
Throughout my multiple moves, God has been teaching me not to fear. The number of times He taught me this lesson was so many that I got frustrated at myself for being utterly weak in this area. At the same time, I saw His patience and merciful kindness towards me. I hope I’m improving, but I can’t do it myself.
How do I beat fear?
With continuous trust in Jesus Christ.
The word continuous means that the action does not have interruptions. Once I stop, I fear. It’s challenging and impossible for me, but not for Him (Luke 18:27). And I need to remind myself that I can trust in Him because Christ freed me from the bondage of sin, including fear.
After I moved to the Czech Republic, He led me to this verse:
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9, KJV
And during these last few months, He repeatedly brought this verse to me:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10, KJV
Instead of fearing the unknown, continuously trust the Known, Him, and this process will turn from fear into a process filled with trust. Are you experiencing fear these days? I pray that you’ll trust in Him, and He’ll give you the strength to carry you through.
*Reverse culture shock happens when a TCK returns to his birth/passport country.