There are some fears I’m afraid to even name out loud because it feels like I’d crumble underneath their reality. What if exposing them results in a modern-day scene from Job where Satan discovers my weak spot and says to God,
“But now suppose you take away_____, she will curse you to your face!”
For the last few years, I’ve been researching fear in the Bible and recognizing all the places in my life where I live entrenched in the perils of fear.
The fear of pain that could happen.
The Bible never promises us a life free of troubles.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
And it’s easy for an anxious person to turn life upside down in our minds and obsess over the troubles that will, that might, that could happen, instead of focusing on the one who overcame the world.
Perhaps you are living out the worried scenes you once rehearsed in your thoughts. Those fears you were afraid to voice, happened.
In Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart, Maria Furlough’s greatest fear did happen.
At 18 weeks she found out that her baby boy Gideon had no kidneys, no bladder, and no lungs. He would live only a few hours after birth. During the months before his birth, Maria had to learn to find God’s peace to calm her anxious thoughts.
I no longer had a choice; I had to fight fear head-on. I had to go right to the heart of my fear, sword in my hand, and kill fear dead once and for all. If I didn’t kill the fear, the fear was going to kill me.
She wrote this book to help those who are tormented by the thoughts of possible pain-filled scenarios.
In her book, she shares the real struggle of trying not to worry about the day Gideon would be born.
I took all the things people told me could happen when Gideon came, and my fear warped them into a litany of worst-case-scenarios. My brain would swirl and my heart rate would rise, and I would find myself consumed with the many terrible things my mind decided were about to unfold.
But what she feared would be a day of suffering filled with death, torment and crying turned out to be a day she cherishes because she experienced the tangible power of God’s peace.
The peace that was present that day left me with this bold and penetrating thought: Is this what God’s peace is? Is this what his promise of peace means? Then truly, we have nothing to fear.
This book is not about becoming numb to pain and ignoring our feelings of grief. It’s about arming ourselves to face the actual trial and the true pain when it occurs instead of creating pain in our minds before it happens.
There is a profound difference between fearful thinking and grieving.
Do not spend precious moments of joy focusing on the fear of pain.#breakingthefear #mariafurlough Click To Tweet
Throughout her difficult journey, she came up with several battle plans to help break the patterns of fearful thinking.
She learned to turn her plea-filled prayers into faith-filled prayers. She made a list of peace-filled promises that included protection from despair, hopelessness, permanent weeping and wasted pain.
I loved the following list of questions she used to calm anxiety about the unknown future:
- Am I fearing something I know to be true?
- Am I fearing something that could come true?
- If it does come true, can I trust God to comfort me?
- Do I believe that God can use pain and meet me in it?
- Then, can I trust God with this fear and let it go?
I had the honor of being on the launch team for this book and watching Maria live out her fear-fighting faith in our Facebook group. When my own thoughts were on the verge of spiraling into the fear cycle, I was able to use her strategies to stop them. And it worked!
This book offers real-life wisdom for the painful realities of living in a broken world.
This post is linked-up at Quick Lit.
I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher for participating in the launch team.