The F.O.M.O effect

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭MSG‬‬

There are so many acronyms out that we use while writing, texting or basic conversation. We spell out things to keep our younger children from knowing what we are talking about, especially when it pertains to them. We say L.O.L instead of actually "laughing out loud". Most of the time we are pretty familiar with what shortcode or acronym is being used and then there are times when someone will use something that leaves you googling and asking " what in the world does that mean"? This happened to me a few weeks ago as I was reading an article and the writer said that they had F.O.M.O and how they were in constant anxiety and how could they rid themselves of it. I frantically tried to use my context clues to figure out just what they were saying but soon realized everyone's friend and worst enemy was needed to help solve this conundrum... Google. I quickly gained the understanding of F.O.M.O and now know it as the "fear of missing out". 

I went back and reread that same article and stuck the whole phrase in instead of the acronym and it made so much more sense to me and helped me understand why the writer had some level of anxiety with decision making. Ultimately, they struggled like so many people, wondering if they were making the right decision, what was the possible regret if it wasn't the right one, and what would they be missing out on if they chose this decision? After reading the article I realize that I had that same feeling at times, most people will lie and say that they've never felt that way at one time or another or that they currently feeling it now. Sometimes this "F.O.M.O" will show up when a person will say things like " I don't care if I'm not invited I don't want to go anyway". Yet, they're offended when they are always in the house with nothing to do or anyone to hang out with. Or it shows up when it comes to making a simple decision like what to have for dinner, what to wear, how to wear your hair, or what job to take; a person can get analysis paralysis and fail to make a decision at all. Better yet they'd rather someone else make the decision for them.

 These things on the surface seem like it isn't a fear of missing out but at the root it is because the fear and worry is that we won't be noticed, accepted loved, or even like the food. If we can be honest, the fear of missing out is because our confidence is shaky.  Shaky confidence gets exposed when it's wrapped into things like an outfit or a hairstyle and when nobody compliments it or perhaps says something that we didn't think they would say like" what made you cut your hair"? we get bent out of shape and let it ruin our day. We then think and sulk " I knew I should have done, bought, gave, wore XYZ and not this". You see when we take a look at ourselves and the things we do we will notice how we tend to overcommit to so much stuff because we don't want to be viewed as aloof, flaky or not a good friend when we should really be checking our motives. Our true response to the false fear should involve some questioning that forces us to answer why we are attending the function in the first place, or if we should truly be resting and sit this one out; without the fear of being talked about for not coming or fear that friendships will fall apart because you said no this time. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have run from pillar to post trying to accomplish my day to day things all while pondering if I should go to the conference, take the client, or attend the small group at church. Then I am left thinking silly things like "Oh Lord, I don't want to miss you. If you really want me to go please make a way." "Well, I should try to press my way to do something for myself, I never get to do anything anyway."

When I find myself in "F.O.M.O" mode God reminds me that my anxious heart is not from Him, that He can speak and move at my home just like He can at a conference on the West coast because He is everywhere at ALL times. He reminds me that one of the words He gave me for the year was rest. Not just physical rest but resting in the assurance that I cannot miss anything from Him when I am in tune with what He is asking. He will send the mate when I rest, He will have the right people invite me to things that I'll gladly attend when I rest, He will allow me to make sound and healthy decisions regarding my food because my desire will be to please Him with my temple as well as my gifts. There is no need my friend for us to work ourselves into a lather about all the decisions we have to make and the millions of possibilities and what if's. We only need to rely on the words penned in the book of Isiah 30:21 NLT (New Living Translation) "Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you, a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left". When we trust that EVERYTHING that concerns us God is concerned about we won't think something is too small or insignificant to ask Him about. 

Oh Lord, thank You for being concerned about me and the matters of my heart. Forgive me for causing unnecessary worry upon myself thinking that I am somehow going to miss You and Your promises. I can confidently say and rest in knowing that when I am CONSTANTLY fellowshipping and growing my relationship withYou I will know Your voice and will not mistake it for another. I desire to walk in the truth that You have given me a sound mind and that my thoughts are aligned in Your truths. Please make me sensitive to when I am falling into old patterns that are contrary to my new mindset shift. I am a sound and solid decion maker who makes decisions without fear of retribution, and a person who filters all of their decisions through Christ Jesus who gives me strength. Amen


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