I have been reading this really amazing book by Max Lucado called Fearless. Fear is something I deal with a lot. It’s been something that I have struggled with since I was a small child. The hardest time of day for me is at night. I can be having a great day but when nighttime hits and its time for my head to hit the pillow my thoughts begin to take off at a crazy pace. I think about the day. I think about the future. I think about-well I think about everything.
I go through seasons of this so please don’t worry about me and think I’m like this all the time. I recently have been going through a season of intense fear and panic. I’ve dealt with fear and panic before but this was different. It would hit me all of a sudden in the middle of the day. I wouldn’t be thinking about anything at all and totally at peace and then wham I’m having a full on panic attack. I began to really seek God for answers on this. Why was this happening? What was causing this? It felt more like a chemical reaction to something and not just in my mind.
A few days later God gave me some answers and he has been continuing to give me revelation in this area of my life that I have dealt with for so long. He revealed to me that some medication that I had been on had been giving me this side effect. Which was a great comfort for me to know that it wasn’t something just in my head but that it was a chemical reaction to something. I have since stopped taking this medication and am feeling much better.
In this time I had started reading this book “Fearless” by Max Lucado. The book stuck out to me on the bookshelf around Christmas time. I just knew this would be a book that God would lead me too and minister to me through so I asked for it as a Christmas present and my loving husband David got it for me.
Lucado talks about how legitimate concern can lead to toxic panic. This is very true for me especially when it comes to my health. I will have a new symptom and start dwelling on it. My mind will start to reason why I’m dealing with it until the early hours of the morning it turns into a toxic panic. Will I be ok, is this something worse than it really is. A tailspin of fear and worry.
I love this quote from the book:
“Jesus doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities but rather the continuous mind-set that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, faces uncertainties with no faith, tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation.”
Wow its so true isn’t it. When we worry we really are taking God out of the equation. I’m constantly reminded of this. I have to stand on faith, stand on God and not my own thoughts and interpretations of things.
Lucado gives a great list of ways to stop worry.
1) Pray first!
How many times have I faced something head on thinking I can make it better and it only gets worse and worse. Its then when I’m finally at that breaking point that I actually take it to God in prayer. I have this so backwards. I should pray FIRST!
2) Slow down!
We are told to rest in the Lord. Take it to Him in prayer and then rest in Him.
3) Act on it.
The moment a concern or worry comes up deal with it. (after you’ve prayed about it of course) If its something you can do something about well then do it. My issue are the things that it seems there is nothing I can do anything about. God keeps reminding me that control is an illusion. I keep thinking I’m in control of my life when in fact He is the one ultimately in control. Focus on the things you do have control over and leave the rest to God.
4) Compile a worry list
He recommends here that over the course of a few days we write down all our anxious thoughts. Maybe after doing this myself for a few days I will be able to share with you how this works out for me.
5) Evaluate your worry categories
Highlight the areas of worry or anxious thoughts into categories. This should really show me what I’m putting the most thought into and where I am most anxious about.
6) Focus on today
Sometimes my mind just races to the future and all the things I need to do now to get ready for it. When doing this you just become so overwhelmed you can’t deal with the things you need to deal with today.
7) Unleash a worry army
Contact some of your closest friends and ask them to pray with you about whatever it is that your worried about.
8) Let God be enough!
That is a big one isn’t it! The scripture refrence he gives here is Matt 6:32-33
“Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
I love the next quote from the book:
“Seek first the kindgom of wealth, and you’ll worry over every dollar. Seek first the kingdom of health, and you’ll sweat every blemish and bump. Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you’ll relive every conflict. Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you’ll jump at every crack of a twig. But seek first His Kingdom, and you will find it. On that we depend and never worry.
Eight steps. Pray, first. Easy, now. Act on it. Compile a worry list. Evaluatue your worry categories. Focus on today. Unleash a worry army. Let God be enough.
I hope this helps someone as much as it has helped me and this blog will be a great reminder for me to go back to as a refrence when I start to worry or fear about something.