Overcoming Fear: Nothing Simple Here.

resistance_woman-pushing-against-door-300x167Overcoming Fears

The fight against full-blown hysteria in the middle of fear is like pushing against a door to keep it closed, while someone is on the other side, pushing the door open.

I fear that my post about overcoming my fear of the night may have sounded simplistic, as if prayer were enchanted words that vanquished fear and God were a genie bound to obey commands:

“And I knew I needed to apply truths about God to my fear of the night. Lights off, I closed my eyes, prayed non-stop reminding God of His promises to keep me safe. And finally . . . the dark turned its eyes away for good.”— Fear No More, Mar. 1.

So let me assure you, there was nothing simplistic about the process. Prayer is not magic and God is no genie.

To overcome fear, you have to go to where it grips you and stay.

For me, staying in the dark that night was like:

  • Not being able to escape wave after wave of contractions squeezing and raking my insides until I gave birth to my children.
  • Not being able to close my mouth or push away the sharp and noisy instruments that cut, scraped, sprayed, poked and stitched my gums for periodontal surgery.
  • Not being able to stop when I’m driving in fast moving traffic across a bridge, or through a tunnel, or in a single lane bound on both sides by jersey barriers, and I’m having a panic attack.

The fight against full-blown hysteria in the middle of fear is like pushing against a door to keep it closed, while someone is on the other side, pushing the door open. 

I was in therapy dealing with childhood abuse when I tackled my fear of the night. The approach to healing emotions was cognitive and rational. My therapist trained me to apply the truths about God, written the Bible, to my life. I found that He is trustworthy and He has my best interests in mind. These two discoveries enabled me to pray using Bible verses that affirmed His care for me in the night.

But there was also something unexplainable and miraculous in the process that occurred in the dimension of spirit. First, I was infused with courage to endure through the fear. And, second, the thoughts, images and impressions that revved my fears dissipated. This, I believe to be God’s intervention. I believe it because when Jesus encountered people, he could have ignored or dismissed their fears, (As God, He knew their thoughts) but instead, He considered it important to bring them to the attention of the person.

Frank Herbert’s character, Bene Gasserit, in Dune described fear as a “mind killer” and “the little-death that brings total obliteration.” That must be why Jesus addressed fear because he knows its destructive potential. His answer to fear is to have courage and trust Him.

Simple to write.

Difficult, but doable in practice.

Far from simplistic.

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