“I’m afraid to settle.”
I’ve said these words out loud. In coffee shops over almond milk lattes with foam swirled like miniature art on top. In conversations with my husband on an ordinary Tuesday morning with a piece of toast in my hand. In the quiet corners of my mind where insecurities hide like awkward monsters in the closet.
What I’m really saying is, “I don’t want to miss out.” Isn’t this the way in our world? We talk about “FOMO” — the fear of missing out. To fight that fear we snap the selfie, get on the plane, show up at the party when we would rather be home in our pajamas. I lived this way for years until my soul felt bruised, until exhaustion made me want to quit it all and run away to be a Starbucks barista in Australia.
In that space our tender Jesus came for me.
He took me by the hand and led me away from the lights and the noise and the social media updates. He told me I was loved, that I didn’t have anything to prove, that by never wanting to miss out on anything I was, unintentionally, missing out on the very best things.
I learned a new rhythm of life, another way of being. One more about contentment, rest, peace. Not the Sunday School version of these words but the kind my heart gobbled up like a hungry child at a casserole-laden potluck until I felt unexpectedly full.
Then it seemed Jesus began whispering something to me that I never expected, “Settle.”
At first I thought I must be mishearing. I’d read the story about God’s people leaving Egypt and crossing the Promised Land. Wasn’t I to bravely go? But I’d missed the ending point of the story: God’s plan had always been to bring His people to a place where they could settle. In other words, a place where they could dwell and thrive.
I think we get confused about the difference between “settling” and “being settled.” Settling is when we know what God wants us to do or where he wants us to go — and we flat-out refuse. We intentionally and persistently make-do with less than He has for us.
But being settled, which is a gift from God, is embracing the place where He has us right now. It’s choosing to look at our lives, homes, families, friends, influence and say, “This is good. This is enough.”
It’s not that we don’t grow, but that we don’t strive. We don’t make choices from a place of fear.
The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. (Isaiah 14:1)
Settling is about us. Being settled is about something God does in and around us — whatever our circumstances might be.
I have let fear be the boss of me long enough. It’s a long-nosed liar and a playground bully. Instead I want to be a fiercehearted woman who knows these words are more powerful and true: I’m not settling. I’m being settled.
Let’s make this the new FOMO — the faith of missing out.
p.s. I’m creating a Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely launch team soon and I’d love for you to apply. To do so, click here to subscribe to HolleyGerth.com and then watch for an email on Friday, August 11th with all the details.