I struggle with fear all the time. I wake up with my stomach in knots. I can’t shake the feeling that something horrible is going to happen. Can you help me?
I’m so glad you reached out. My daughter, Brie, fights fear every day and WINS. I asked her to share her heart and some of her tools with you today:
Sometimes I think I’m always afraid. Afraid of pain. Afraid of my husband getting hurt. Afraid of something happening to my family. Afraid of losing my work. Afraid of incompetence. Afraid of social situations. Afraid of the world falling apart. Afraid of poverty. Afraid of God’s plans for me. Afraid of missing God’s plans for me.
My body and my mind betray me—I have a serious anxiety disorder. My heart races and my stomach twists in knots. My mind lies and my emotions believe it. Chronic illness and PTSD can do that…but so can simply living in this fallen, broken world.
I can’t wait for heaven! Oh, to be free from the chains of fear! To see my Savior’s face and know that all will always be well in his presence. To sing and dance with absolute joy in love and truth! What a day that will be!
But until then, I have to fight. I’m really grateful for modern medicine and a doctor who cares about balancing my body and mind. I work hard to take my thoughts captive and fill my mind with healthy, uplifting things. I spend time in God’s Word, believing His promises.
Try reading them out loud; feel the fear lose its power.
Perfect love DOES cast out fear. (1 John 4:18)
I can fear not, because HE IS WITH ME. (Isaiah 41:10)
I WILL NOT be anxious about everything, but with prayer WILL present my needs to God. (Philippians 4:6)
I will CAST MY ANXIETY ON HIM, because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)
I will BANISH ANXIETY FROM MY HEART and cast off the troubles of my body. (Ecclesiastes 11:10)
Did you know there are 366 Bible verses dealing with fear and anxiety? God knew we would all struggle with this daily. What precious evidence that He walks beside us!
Now, speak your fears or worries out loud, telling God exactly what you’re thinking and feeling. He already knows … but simply acknowledging your anxiety and pain verbally can help you remember the truth of who He is and who you are in Him.
Then, simply ask Him for help. Ask God to take away the anxiety, the fear, the pain, to help you know what’s true, and to fill your heart with His peace. He’ll answer. And you’ll know you’re not carrying all of the stress alone.
Deliberately take time to count your blessings. I do this every morning before my feet touch the floor. They may be simple, and it’s easy, like “Thank you God that I can listen to my husband snore.” “Thank you for my service dog, Wicket, because he’s just a ball of silly that makes me smile.”
Sometimes, I have a harder time. I have to MAKE myself count blessings. “Thank you, Lord for my teenage daughter’s sarcasm. She’s so smart.” And sometimes, I have to start with the ridiculous, “Thank you Lord, for my mom’s green Jell-O, because it’s the one thing she can make without burning down the kitchen.” It’s amazing how the blessings will come to mind if you just start!
Finally, it’s no accident that God calls us to sing hundreds of times in Scripture. It’s literally the only activity where we use both sides of our brain equally! Talk about a reset. I don’t care if you just make a joyful noise. Singing will slow your heart rate, force you to breathe deeply, and quiet your racing thoughts.
I use every tool, every time. I’m not claiming that my anxiety completely disappears. I don’t usually feel physically better. But my heart is lighter. And I know God is with me. I choose to be grateful. This is how I survive to fight another day.
So today, I will choose faith over fear the very best I can. Lisabeth, I’d love for you to join me.
Brie Barrier Wetherbee