Hi I'm Abbie, and I have major FOMO
Want to hear something ironic?
I wrote about how FOMO (fear of missing out) is one of the most unloving reactions we can have almost an entire year ago. I never published the post because I either decided to write about something else bigger and better, and therefore got distracted (hellllllo Enneagram 7) OR because I didn't deem those thoughts worth sharing. I have since deleted it, and I am now kicking myself for that.
Confession: I have about 20 unpublished blog posts just waiting for me to hit "publish" in my que. I probably never will... which leads me to why I am writing this on a Sunday night when meal prep is waitin' to be prepped and my bed is callin' my name.
Let me start from the beginning. I've always loved writing. I have stacks upon stacks of books that I wrote (and self illustrated!) as a child. I have journals and diaries and word documents and notes on my phone. My head is bursting with words, and only when I write it down, does the chaos calm. So naturally, I decided to start a blog a year and a half ago (!).
I was oh so excited. Finally, my own space to write! A chance to encourage others! An opportunity to love well through my own lessons! Words of encouragement = my love language = the best thing ever created. It was perfect. So I slapped a quick template together with a help of a super techy blog friend, wrote an about me, and switched my blog to "live". I had so many ideas that ranged from writing weekly to expanding my topics to writing a book (!!) to meeting other blogger friends online.
The only problem was, there is an ocean of blogs fighting to be seen.
It started innocently enough. I had already met several bloggers online who I admired, and (tried) to read their words regularly. I expanded my social media network, and began following a variety of different types of bloggers (fashion, lifestyle, food, faith, you name it) in hopes of being inspired and encouraged. I signed up for newsletters, and yearned to immerse myself in the community.
But slowly the fear of missing out began sneaking in. I began to envy other websites. How pretty and clean and bright they all were. How organized and put together. The envy started to drift to social media. The themes and the pictures and the carefully curated content. The messages that were so inspiring and impactful. I started to wonder- am I missing something here? Should I be offering something different? It was a hidden temptation at first. I pushed it down and gave myself pep talks. You have something to offer! Your words are unique! Just reach one person- that's enough!
When that didn't help, I started to take social media fasts. I would fast for weeks periodically, hoping that when I returned, I would be so fresh and so clean. The fasts worked for awhile, but inwardly, my heart was racing. Should I be offering something more?
And slowly, my writing started to dwindle. My write-a-post-every-week became write-a-post-every-month. I stopped sharing my half written notes on Instagram, and I didn't click "publish" every time I wrote something new. I started believing the lie that because I didn't have ideas like hers, mine weren't worth mentioning. I was scared of missing out, so I just didn't show up.
The need to influence was stronger than the need to be more like Christ. The desire to be all encompassing led to words left frozen on my tongue. The fear of not having value left me with the inability to write. My gift of words was being squashed in my tightly clenched fists.
Then, one Sunday morning I decided to venture out into the crisp fall air to walk alone. I needed space for surrender.
You can have it.
Nothing magical happened in the moment I whispered those four little words. I wasn't immediately healed of lingering bitterness or envy or heartache or whatever else I had been wrestling through. But something did shift. The smallest of tremors that allowed me to sink into surrender for the first time in a long time.
Maybe you're like me, where you struggle most with controlling your feelings, or rather not letting them take over. For me, I tend to first listen to any feeling- from excitement to apathy- before I listen to His voice, including the fear of missing out.
As a result, I fall into the trap of believing that my feelings dictate surrender, instead of my heart. I forget that His voice directs my life, not what I feel in the moment.
Maybe you're wrestling with this, too. Maybe FOMO rules your life or perhaps another feeling does. Maybe your brain tells your heart that you aren't measuring up and you've started to listen to that. Maybe it's causing you to freeze and question that good gifts from a Good Father.
If so, I'll let you in on a little secret. It's possible to have already given it to the Lord, even if the feelings aren't following. Surrender doesn't mean all the bad feelings are stripped away immediately, but it does mean that the door to your heart opens to embrace His. You might have to whisper those four words every day for the years before your feelings change your heart.
And guess what? That's okay. Because your feelings don't dictate your heart. He does.
So I'm going to take the stopper out of my sealed up, FOMO riddled heart, and let the words flow again. I'm going to be proud of my little blog revamp that I did solo (!), and stop comparing. I'm going to whisper those four words every single stinkin' day until my heart starts to beat to that drum again.
Because it's not about me, and it's not about you. It never was.
Kissing FOMO goodbye,