Do you like a scary movie or a giant rollercoaster? As the mother of two boys, I was always awaiting the next slimy thing, spider, or “boo” from behind the door. I don’t love surprises. It stirs up that fear “muscle” in me. When you think of fear, do you think of it as something positive or negative? How do you begin to remove fear when you get horrible news?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, fear of the unknown reared its ugly head and threatened to pull me way off course. I couldn’t just stop life for this diagnosis. I had a job and a family. But I was stalked by fear. For months it felt as though my thoughts were in a fearful fog and all I could do was barely navigate day-to-day.
Fear can be both. It can definitely be negative. But fear can also be positive too.
Ongoing tests and uncertain outcomes were a recipe for anxiety, stress, and confusion.
There were so many unknown and uncontrollable outcomes. I couldn’t control cancer. The diagnosis wasn’t going away. But I could control my mind and heart. I knew that was the only way to make it through the rough seas. Plus, those rough seas quickly pointed out to me what I cared about most. Fear has a way of prioritizing things. Now, that’s a plus!
Life may be overwhelming for you right now, so I won’t add a giant “to-do list” to your concerns. But I do wish to help turn your fear into faith during this challenge. More time spent in reliance on our loving God is another plus!
God’s Warning Sign
Fear in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s an emotion God created in you. A flashing red light from the One who made you. Fear serves the purpose of alerting us to possible danger. It’s actually a safety mechanism until it becomes anxiety – which is spiritually, physically, and emotionally unhealthy.
When that light starts to flash, or you feel that fearful fog roll in—what can you do? How can you scare off that fearful stress and overcome anxiety?
Those emotions may feel like a raging bull, heading straight for you with nowhere to hide. Or the fear can be low and heavy like lead shoes you can’t unlace. Either way. Stop. Feel what you’re feeling and recognize what you’re feeling.
Ground yourself. Feel the physical-ness of it and what it’s doing to your heart and mind. Recognize whether you are anxious, peaceful, or not present at all.
Search me, God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
#2 Grab it.
Before that thought is left to run loose in your mind like a kid in a candy store, grab it. Take every thought captive. Grab those uncertainties. Wrangle up those worries. Latch on to those fears, so they know they are not in control of you.
This one is not easy. Not at all. But it is powerful.
Coaching Challenge: Plan to take one day this week, or one morning, or even just one hour, and made every effort to walk this out. Take every thought captive.
You could do that. At first, you may be amazed at the sheer volume of thoughts you have in just an hour. But second, you may also find that once the first thought is made to behave, it’s easier to notice the next one misbehaving so you can deal with it in more peace.
Try it. I’d love to know how it goes. Email me at Jeannie@JeannieSchmidt.com or message me on Facebook or Instagram to tell me of your challenges and successes. I know you can do it.
#3 Say it out loud to remove fear.
Speak words of truth and love and grace over your life. Say it out loud. Let your ears, your heart, and your soul hear the truth of your favorite Bible verse, a hymn or worship song, or recite these 15 promises of God.
Be assured God knows your every need and will be at the helm as you navigate the rough seas of crisis.
#4 Believe it before you see it.
Believe in faith that God knows what’s going on. He is not surprised by this and He cares for you. More than you (or I) can comprehend on this earth.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2
If we knew all the in’s and out’s and someone gave us the play-by-play ahead of time, then our trust in God’s plan wouldn’t be faith. It would be more like ordering off of a menu. Picking a Cobb salad is boring! Our God is not boring. And He’s not haphazard. Believe that He knows what is going on.
#5 Rest in the reliability of God.
There is nothing in this life that has the track record of God. Nothing, no one has ever been faithful for thousands of years. Imagine a God who spun the world into existence, perfectly. And One who chose to create humans with a will to choose Him. He is listening and loving on his Creation, regardless of their choice.
His love is that reliable. God has never turned away from me. He is always there. And He listens whether I’m thanking him for Dave’s help and care or whether I’m questioning why I need yet another surgery for cancer. He is reliable. He is faithful.
So, as you navigate the scary moments of life or feel that anxiety weighing you down, actively work back through this list until you feel God’s peace.
When I start to feel anxious and want to remove fear, I love to say this verse aloud:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
This season of life is not about what you can do. It’s about what God will do. He is faithful. Your fear is real, but so is His love for you.
If you’re ready to go to the next level with God, I encourage you to download a free copy of my eBook, “Exploring Divine Drift.”
In the 22-page FREE eBook, you’ll discover a new way to stay connected to God. And if you need any help with it or have questions, reach out to me on my website’s contact page and you’ll hear from me, personally.
Be good to yourself and give yourself grace in these rough seas of life.