In this digital day and age so many things are happening all at the same time. There are just so many events and there is just so many opportunities. John and I are like the “seize the moment” kind of people. We always try our very best to invest in learning, in relationships and in serving. But we also find ourselves very exhausted trying to be part of everything, everywhere.
Last year in particular, I would be invited to certain activities for let’s say homeschool that I would like to participate in. As I look through my calendar, I find myself declining because I have made commitments in serving every Wednesday in our Revelation Kids Service. Then I would see the post of people on social media of the fun activities I missed. It also does not help that I hear my other homeschool mommy friends rave about their experience. Slowly, I catch myself suffering a case of “FOMO” a.k.a. Fear Of Missing Out.
I don’t know where my FOMO began. But it surely is not a nice feeling. Gladwell puts it well FOMO is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.” You feel anxious and restless because you want to be part of something yet you know can’t. So there is this wrestling of saying yes to one thing and learning to say no to some things. Both answers still lead to a feeling of regret because you really still feel a sense that one of the activities you declined might be the better rewarding experience.
So this has been my Achilles heel. My heart beats for specific things:
- Serving God through the Church and Community
- Mounting / Directing Events that transform lives
- Advocacy for Strong Marriages, Families and Parenting
- Advocacy for Women Empowerment: Godly Beauty and Women, Women in Workplace, Motherhood, Breastfeeding, Homeschooling
This has been my passion and it has given me great joy to be a part of these kinds of movements. But God has been dealing with my heart on this matter. In one prayer time, the Lord was telling me that I am looking at the wrong things. Instead of enjoying the things the Lord has given me for that very moment – here I am always looking at what “I am possibly be missing out on.” The Lord reminded me that I am exactly where He wants me to be.
And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life…
1 Corinthians 7:17a MSG
I praise God for his lovingkindness towards me. I needed that rebuke from the Lord. I surrendered all of these emotions to Him that I may be delivered from it. Here is what I learned:
The cure for FOMO is to FOCUS
I must admit my eyes wanders a lot on social media updates. I see all the juicy opportunities and I also see all the things I am not part of. Social media can be a curse to you when you don’t guard your eyes and your mind. My husband sobers me down by telling me that he doesn’t have time to read through social media feeds. He has this freedom of not being distracted by what’s going on in the online world. Focus yourself by writing down your priorities and goals and make a checklist of things to do. Stick to it. If there are many things that makes you lose focus: TV, games, social media, wrong friends/ relationships, the goal is to limit it or better yet walk away from it.
The cure for FOMO is to keep Seeking Jesus
God wants me to stop looking for things or activities to satisfy me or fill me instead He wants me to keep seeking Him. The more you seek for Jesus, the more your thirst in life is quenched. The more you are complete and not missing out. The more you seek the Lord, the more He makes your path clear. He doesn’t want you to be lost. He wants you to experience the fullness of joy. It is not found in events or activities, career or money opportunities. True joy and peace are found in being with Jesus and under His will.
The cure for FOMO is REST and Contentment.
I often laugh because I know I am a “Martha kind of girl”. Martha has a servant’s heart. She is always serving. She shows her devotion by action. But Martha had her weak points too. She would do things Jesus never asked her to do and then she gets exhausted and starts comparing her “good works” over her sister Mary who did not do what she was doing. I imagine myself as Martha and saying “Lord – I am your most dependable servant. I do this and that for You Lord. But Lord, how come Mary gets more joy?”
As we know in the story, Mary knew her priorities well. She was resting at Jesus feet, listening and receiving from Him and that’s exactly what God wants us to do.
I attended this Soaking in the River prayer gathering. It’s a 4 hours basking in the Lord’s presence. In that prayer time I confessed to God my issue on FOMO that leads to worries and anxieties. That night, the Holy Spirit made a strong impression in my heart. He made me extremely still. I could hear a small but gentle voice saying
“I WANT YOU TO BE STILL. DO NOT MOVE. I WANT YOU TO EXPERIENCE TRUE PEACE. I AM THE PRINCE OF PEACE.”
I could not wrestle – instead I submitted to His leading. I could not explain it but as I was worshipping in the Spirit, I felt complete peace and real inner joy. The thing is I did not have to move or do anything to experience it. It was by His Grace that I could experience intimacy with the Lord. The Lord gently showed me that I should not be too excited over happenings or event. Yes, they are good but nothing compares to having your heart fully devoted on Him.
I am praising God because the Lord healed me. I am saying goodbye to this FOMO and I am replacing it today by praying and allowing God to show me His will as He puts me exactly where I should be.