How to Laugh Without Fear When Facing a Setback

It's easy to be confident and happy-go-lucky when everything is going well. You’ve got a glass half full, all is going just as you planned, and it's easy to have positive hopes and "laugh without fear" of your future.

But what about when the chips are down? What about when things aren't going the way you'd hoped? What if you've got questions without answers and you're unsure of what the future looks like? Can we still laugh without fear of the future then?

I say yes.

 

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In any free time I have, I write and speak words to encourage others. I am praying for this spare-time endeavor to morph into a career, but I'm also a reading teacher by trade, and am looking for a new teaching job. My last position was funded by a grant, which didn't get renewed, therefore leaving me to find something else. I had an interview last week for a position that seemed perfect. Great job description, great location, this was all-around a just-right fit. The interview went really well, and they said I would hear back in a week one way or another. I assumed they would email me if I didn't get it and call me if I did. I don't know what made me think that, it's just the vision I had of how the scenario would play out. So when I got a phone call the other day, I did a mental happy dance and was prepared to accept the position. Well, you know what happens when you assume...as I heard to administrator give the polite script that let me down easy, I realized I did not get the job. I hung up the phone, moped for a few minutes, gloomily told my husband I didn't get it, and went about putting the rest of the laundry away. I was disappointed for a few minutes, but I also had a overwhelming sense of peace. Things happen in life that we may not understand, but that doesn't mean life (or God) is working against you. One setback isn't the end all bee all of your life. So instead of moping all day and binge watching old episode of Friends, which I totally thought about doing for a few minutes, I decided not to. Here's why:

 God knows what's going to happen.

I don't have a teaching job right now and school starts in less than three weeks. I actually don't even know if I'm supposed to keep teaching. This may be a sign to pursue my other passions. There are a whole lot of unknowns. Except they are not really unknowns. God knows how it all pans out, even if I don't, and He is on my side. That is a huge comfort.

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

-Psalm 139:16 

Worrying doesn't do any good.

Worrying used to be a huge part of my life, even now it's something that I occasionally struggle with. But I found that it doesn't make my situation any better, and instead makes me feel much worse. Worrying about the unknowns should be sidelined in favor of positive thinking and proactive efforts. If we let down our burdens, God will pick them up.

 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

-Matthew 6:25-27

 God has a greater plan for our lives that we could ever dream of.

I believe that 1. There is a God and 2. I am not Him. Sure, I know a lot, but I don't know all. I'm also a chronic procrastinator and can't seem to get places on time. So why in the world should I trust my plans and my timing when His are perfect? He has great plans for your life and mine and we can trust in that. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and we end up in situations that we never imagined would happen, for better or for worse. God can use it all and strengthen you with it, using it to shape your future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

-Jeremiah 29:11

I hope that these truths will help you laugh without fear of the future no matter what setbacks you may face!