OVERCOMING THE UNKNOWNMar 31, 2023
Have you ever morphed into a false sense of security where life seemed pretty predictable and then BAM... everything's altered in a heartbeat? How do you overcome the unknown in a healthy way, when the future bears so much uncertainty? Are we supposed to live in a continual state of 'mental health is on the rise' and is now our new normal?
We are going on a little adventure together in this blog, and it's my prayer that as you listen, read and watch, you will be stirred up with a fresh sense of excitement and anticipation for the future, rather than fear and dread! You will learn how I have overcome the unknown in my own personal life and will discover a common thread that has carried me through some very uncertain and trying times that I share for the sole purpose of equipping you with a few pocket-tools for when the unknown strikes.
Let the adventure begin...
I feel like a cat with nine lives. I've had to navigate the shifting landscape of my life many a time and I could never have predicted what I've seen and endured. I remember someone saying to me once, 'Your life Nalini, is everything BUT normal.' I have to say, I agree.
From being born on a table in the mountains of India, to hearing the bellow of the lions roar just feet away, whilst camping in game reserves in Africa. To the hustle and bustle of the London Underground, followed by the stark contrast of Western Australia's distant shores. Strolling through the wealth and opulence of Beverley Hills on one side, and extreme poverty on the other, there is very little that shocks me now.
Starting again... again.
Part of the challenge of living in so many different countries around the world, is you have to learn to adapt very quickly and embrace a myriad of cultures. (A perfect example of this is covered in this Episode under the topic of 'The Chicken.' ) It's not like going on holiday where you enjoy the novelty of cultural adjustment for a short time, before you get that sense of relief when you arrive home, back on your turf. When you're moving, you're permanently adapting.
If we were to look at the advantages and disadvantages of moving so much, I guess I would have to say that one of the main advantages is that one becomes accustomed to the unknown. Moving into a neighborhood where I know no-one. Going grocery shopping for the first time where my usual food items don't even exist. Discovering that the teller in UK doesn't load the grocery bags like they do in Australia. Signing up to the local gym where everyone knows everyone and I'm the weirdo in the corner wondering where I fit exactly.
A disadvantage of moving so much is the missing aspect of familiarity and the safety and security that comes with staying in one place over a long period of time. This concept is completely alien to me. I therefore find it fascinating when I spend time with people who are still living in the same neighborhood as they did when they grew up. They still associate with the same friends from primary school, they've all witnessed each other fall in love, get married, have children, face the teenage tantrums together, they navigate the highs and lows as a community. There's a natural sense of belonging and I believe that it certainly can feed into confidence.
There's obviously disadvantages of familiarity and the safety and security of staying in the same place. The most obvious to me is this:
1. Familiarity does not empower you to navigate the uncertain times.
You might be thinking 'But it's best to navigate the uncertain times when you are surrounded by people that you know and love.' Yes, this is true to an extent. However, when the uncertain times hit, you're not only contending with the impact of the unexpected, you're also dealing with everyone's opinions on the matter. This can leave you in limbo when opinions are polar opposites, and limbo is a dangerous place to be when your sense of safety and security has been rocked to the core.
Because my family and I haven't lived in and amongst the same people over the years, we've had to learn to stand on our own two feet and figure things out for ourselves. I'm not saying that we should all abandon our communities. What I am saying is while it's important to lean on people around you, it's also important to come to terms with what's happening and make decisions for yourself without the input of outside noise. I'm sure you've heard the saying 'Too many cooks spoil the broth.' I've come across so many people who get stuck in indecision because Henry from number 8 says one thing, while Sally from 2 blocks away says another. I've seen this not only impact decisions but also relationships. Marriages end up on the brink of divorce because his parents are insisting on one thing, while hers are insisting on another.
So what happens when you're sideswiped by the unexpected, where your community cannot help, but you're desperate for support and solution?
2. Faith brings wisdom, strategy and solution into the equation of uncertain times.
Growing up in Africa, I witnessed first hand what living in poverty really looks like. I've always said that if a Head Teacher in the first-world wants to deal with his entitled, snotty-nosed students in an effective way, he should have the school fly them out to a third world country to serve the people there for a month. Those students will never be the same again. (Oh and send the parents too).
In today's episode I paint a scene from my childhood where my parents sat us kids down at the dinner table one night to announce that the money wouldn't see us through to the end of the month. So what does one do with that? There are families all over the world navigating this very same reality right now.
It was in and through situations like this, when I learned as a little girl, what faith really is and why it's so important. And I'm not talking about faith in the context of religious institutions who abuse their positions of authority and misrepresent God. I'm also not talking about Christians who judge and ridicule like the pharisees in the Bible.
The fact of the matter is, I can't always deal with the uncertain times on my own. While I can at times rely on the people around me, some of the advice given isn't necessarily in alignment with what is actually best for me or my family. (After-all, some people respond to extreme situations out of panic rather than from a posture of wisdom.)
It's important to be careful who you listen to when the uncertain times strike. What I've learned is that my God in Heaven, is love poured out and He wants to see you through your tough times just as He does mine. I've seen Him come through time and time again in my own life.
After our parents had told us the harsh reality of our financial situation, they'd have us hold hands and we would pray. My mom would say 'Father in Heaven, we NEED You to intervene.'
We'd hardly have finished our time of prayer together when there would be a knock on the front door. One of us kids would go running, only to discover a brown paper bag sitting on our doorstep. With eager excitement, we would open the brown paper bag and there would be the exact amount of money required to see us through to the end of the month. I mean, how does THAT happen?!
3. Faith releases the supernatural into our natural and makes the impossible possible.
When I bring whatever horrible situations before my God in Heaven, He supernaturally drops wisdom, strategy and solution into my lap. I'm then able to face whatever it is that's crossed my path, with a quiet confidence that I am going to get through it.
God alone is my constant and continuous source of strength and remains to be so to this very day. ❤️
Please do watch or listen to today's episode and stay to the end because the last story of 'The Visa' is a prime example of the supernatural power of God that I have been describing. This story quite literally blows my mind.
'How do you overcome the unknown and navigate the present when the future bears so much uncertainty?'
I can honestly tell you, the uncertainty of the future doesn't bother me in the least. I do not put any effort in building real estate in my mind that is going to induce fear concerning my future.
'Interest rates are on the rise, how are you going to survive?'
God is my provider. He is going to give me the wisdom, strategy and solution to figure it out.
'World War 3 is looming, how are you going to survive?'
God is my protector. He sends His angels to watch over me and He gives me courage when I need it.
'What if you or a loved one's falls severely ill?'
God is my healer. Regardless of the outcome, God will be with us every step of the way.
'What if your mental health plummets and you end up battling with anxiety, depression or PTSD again?'
God is my refuge. He is my peace. I only have to snuggle up close to Him, feel the warmth of His embrace and my heart and mind becomes still. I know that He is God, He is on the throne and I needn't fear.
So what about you? How do you overcome the unknown and navigate the present when the future bears so much uncertainty?
Someone said to me once, 'God is your crutch.'
Well I would rather walk through life with a crutch, than not be able to walk at all.
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