Ellie Huff, Contributing Writer

Simply by attending classes and chapels at Oklahoma Baptist University, we constantly hear stories of religious heroes. Whether the stories are Biblical figures or strong missionaries, the stories spark a desire to fulfill a great call. We strive to uphold such a beautiful journey for a higher purpose to feel as though we are making a difference in this temporary life—to pick up the cross and follow Christ and obey the great commission.

 So, we take the next step and arrive at Oklahoma Baptist University. We deliberate the major which seems to check all of the boxes occupationally, spiritually, and so on. However, exhaustion, burnout, fear, anxiety and failure creep into our minds as we see ourselves not meeting the personal standards of success in our pursuit to fulfill the “call.” Questions ricocheted in our minds. Am I where I am supposed to be? Am I making the right choice? Did I miss my calling?

 So, we take the next step and arrive at Oklahoma Baptist University. We deliberate the major which seems to check all of the boxes occupationally, spiritually, and so on. However, exhaustion, burnout, fear, anxiety and failure creep into our minds as we see ourselves not meeting the personal standards of success in our pursuit to fulfill the “call.” Questions ricocheted in our minds. Am I where I am supposed to be? Am I making the right choice? Did I miss my calling?

We cannot escape comments on our youthfulness and potential. What seems to be the greatest time of our lives is plagued by the fear of missing our true “calling.” We have two options: apathy or action. Neither seem appealing. Both seem to have life-altering consequences. How do we relinquish the pressure of it all?

In psychology fields, when individuals are suffering from intense anxiety, therapists often offer grounding techniques to patients. Grounding techniques such as observing your location for five things you see, four things you hear, three things you feel, two things you smell, and one thing you taste help individuals to stop for a moment and focus on being present. These tangible practices promote a sense of understanding of the truth of this world and relief from the abstract challenges clouding the mind. Ideally, grounding techniques are based on truth. Therefore, we can develop a grounding in the Truth.

I Peter 5:6-10 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (NIV).

Being grounded in truth will be the strongest effort in countering feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome. The fear of failure can often be the sole reason for prohibiting a particular decision. We regret making choices and we regret not making choices. So, we need something to ground us in the Truth, that being Scripture and the Christian community for good counsel.

With great freedom comes great power and with great power comes great responsibility. It is no surprise the choices we make hold such weight. Our choices pave the way in which we walk; however, God provides gifts such as community, art, and His Word to relieve the anxieties.

We often forget the prophets shared the same feelings of fear and trembling when given such a significant responsibility. For instance, God had to continually encourage Jonah and others when they ran from his call to prophesy. Even Moses was scared, and God sent Aaron. God’s plan will be fulfilled. We need to be faithful and ready for doors to open in pursuing Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

So, continue to pray. Take the next step. Do not allow temptations to alter your path. Be present. Try to rest. Finally, give yourself grace. Just because we do not know the full-fledged ten-year plan, it does not mean God has left us or we are outside of his single call for our lives. God asks us to be faithful. He does not ask us to find earthly success in order to fulfill his plan. In fact, our call is to love God and love others. It does not look a certain way. The checklist is fake.

And remember Psalm 119:105-107 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to your word” (NIV). God will provide the next step even though it might not look like what we have heard in stories. Be faithful and prayerfully take the next step.