Handling Independence

by David Rehm  / September 2016

Independence is a word often associated to transitionary periods in life. A teenager may be entering high school and feeling their parents’ guiding hand loosen for the first time. Alternatively, a young adult may be entering college and expected to function largely on their own. Even more, a college graduate may be moving out and beginning a life and career of their own. Whatever the situation, newfound independence can be the source of exhilaration and excitement. On the other hand, this new self-reliance may produce feelings of doubt, anxiety, and/or worry. Where you had previously trusted in someone else to provide for you, now you must fill that role yourself.

As a new college graduate, I was recently in such a transitionary period. I was faced with starting a new job and moving out on my own. It was definitely an exciting few months getting to work through the different challenges that came with the territory. Along with the excitement came a healthy dose of anxiety and fear. Starting a new job can be difficult in the sense of getting settled, finding your niche, and fulfilling new expectations. Searching for a place to live and coordinating a move can easily become overwhelming. Not to mention, getting settled into a new area with unfamiliar surroundings presents a whole new set of challenges. Through all these changes, it became easy for me to get wrapped up in the anxiety of new financial responsibilities and the demands coming from many different directions.

It took one simple Scripture reading from a Sunday service to make me realize how far my worry and anxiety had really taken over my life.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

What a striking picture this passage paints. What a comforting and strengthening thought it is to know that when you are at your weakest, God is at His strongest. For it is when you are uncertain, scared, or fearful, that through His Word, you are led back to His open arms. Through hardships and struggles, God promises that you will not be “tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” (1 Corinthians 10:13). And when you feel vulnerable or are facing a challenging time, remember how God’s grace has already been sufficient for you; “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly,” (Romans 5:6).

As you gain more independence and face times of uncertainty or anxiety, look to the One whose strength is made perfect in your weakness. Look to the solid rock on which your faith is built, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).