Gripped by Fear of the Unknown... with Cochren & Co.

Gripped by Fear of the Unknown... with Cochren & Co.

“… it was like the Lord had removed the veil over my eyes of the illusion of control I had over my life. That was the moment I realized ‘I can’t control anything.’”

Michael Cochren of Cochren & Co. vulnerably shares how he wrestles with worry and constant fear of what the future might bring. Do you resonate with that feeling? You’re not alone.

View this video with Cochren & Co, and other Healing Out Loud videos with JOY FM artists videos on the JOY FM YouTube Channel.


Yeah. Worry has always been a part of my life. My grandmother would say that if I wasn’t worried about something, give me a couple of minutes, I’d find something to be worried about.

But I just remember that after my aunt had passed when I was a child, the idea of death was really real to me. I was like eight or nine years old, and my mom would go on evening walks and I would feel like I had to watch her out the window to see if she was going to come back. And just that anxiety of the fear of the unknown and the fear of things outside of our control.

Looking back, I recognize it more now, but then I didn’t know what it was. I just remember that I always just felt uneasy with life. As I’ve gotten older and you see that play out more, and then when some kind of a large scale event happens, it stops being cute, little worry wart, and it becomes this deeper sense of dread and anxiety that, wow, I don’t have control over many things in my life.

What am I going to do with that?

I went to India for a mission trip in 2012 or ’13, less than a weekend. I was just really dealing with… It was more than jet lag. It was paralyzing insomnia and just fear and worry. And it was like the Lord had removed the veil over my eyes of the illusion of control I had over my life. And that was the moment over there when I realized I can’t control anything and I don’t know how to process that.

And so then fast-forward into the pandemic and into just a lot of changes in my life from 2015 to 2020, new marriage, new house purchase, new job, moving away from family, all those things. And that feeling that I’d had on my mission trip of the fight or flight, and ultimately at that moment, the flight won. I’ve had that come up several times in my life since then.

That feeling of I got to get out of here, I can’t handle this. And God and his grace has shown me time and time again how to work through those moments and how to not have a repeat of my fear wins. And I, at that moment, literally go home. But in other moments, I remember when I first got offered a record deal and where most people would be so excited and just up and down, I went upstairs at my manager’s house and I just cried. And I called my wife and I was like, “I can’t do this. I can’t do this.” And it was that same feeling.

And God and His grace let me recognize it in that moment and call it out for what it was. That this is fear.

This is fear that’s taking hold and wanting me to go home and quit and leave something God’s called me to do and God’s called me to because I’m afraid.

And what really finally broke through in that moment, I was reading in Romans, and it’s a verse that… I don’t want to say it’s cliche, it’s the Bible, but a lot of us know it’s Romans 8:28.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

And that became the anchor for my soul in those months. And it became the basis point for which I would process those moments when I feel like I have no control, which is in reality, all the time. There’s no control I have.

And so my encouragement for myself and for anyone else that feels like they’re in those moments of there’s nothing I can do in this, two things have really helped anchor my soul. And that’s just clinging to the beliefs that…

  1. God is in control. He has a plan.
  2. He is good and he’s working for our good.

If those two things are true, I can get through it. I can keep my head about me and I can call fear out for what it is. And I have something I can go to because if God’s in control, I don’t have to be. I don’t have to keep fighting and clamoring trying to find a way to make all this work out perfectly in my mind. And if he’s good, then I can trust his control and I can trust his plan.

But it’s all rooted in the trustworthiness of God.

And I think that’s the lie that we’re all fed from the beginning. Even in Genesis, did God really say this? It’s the questioning of his character, of his goodness and getting to the place of… Especially for a believer brought up up in it and knowing the Bible and knowing the right answers, the control of God wasn’t something I really ever questioned. But I think the human nature I think is to grapple with the goodness of God sometimes. In the fact that if his plan is different from mine, is it good? And that’s a hard thing when an illness comes about with a loved one. When you’re spending months in the hospital with someone, that’s not the plan that any of us would choose.

But if this is God’s plan and he’s good, somehow, some way this works for good.

And the thing that we have to remember is that God is outside of time and we are so inside of time and we’re so finite and our view of goodness is limited from birth to death. And God’s view of goodness is infinite and it’s outside of time. And so if his goodness brings about something that happens outside of time and eternity for us, that’s hard for us to process. We want the bow on it. We want to know, okay, well this tragic thing that happened immediately in three months birthed this wonderful, beautiful thing. And that’s rarely how the Lord lets us see those things and the ripple effects of his plan. And it’s hard to call things that hurt good and it’s hard to call things that we would never want to go through again good. But I think it is always a thread of is his plan something that we really can trust?

The Lord knows what we need.

I would wear it on a big shirt every day if I could, because that’s helped me relax. I’ve noticed the change over the past few years of my life of anchoring myself in the Lord knows what we need. And it’s not always what we want. Sometimes it’s rarely what we want, but it’s what we need. And if he’s in control and he’s good, then we can trust that he’s got that under control.

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18 days ago

Wow! This was a message especially for me right now! Thank you for sharing your testimony. It truly was Word from God to my prayers this morning.