I write this with a heavy heart as the news of my sweet sister in law loosing her baby hits hard. She was full term, just a week away from delivery. I don’t know if it’s coincidental that I had this blog post already written. And while this is not a post on how to overcome tragedy, just how to overcome the fear of it, it doesn’t take away the sting of when tragedy actually does come. And it doesn’t make it less painful. And it certainly doesn’t help us with our fear of future tragedy.
So what does it mean to conquer it then? To conquer it means that it doesn’t have control over you anymore, it doesn’t steal your joy and your life any longer.
I wrote the following points because they helped me when my anxiety of the unkown, of tragic events of loosing a child or my child loosing me, wanted to overcome my mind with fear.
This year I will be talking a lot about fear. Fear has plagued me in many areas of my life, and I no longer want to be it’s victim. I believe the glory of God is a man or woman who is fully alive and free, and I believe that fear (and it’s lies) are the thieves who come to steal our freedom and our ability to truly live.
But first, we must understand, there are different levels or categories of fears. I will be unpacking those different categories the more we talk about it this year.
But this first fear – The fear of tragedy (death, loss, storm, crisis) falls under Legitimate Fears.
And you will find this fear as pretty universal – most everyone has these same fears. Even though, they are common to us, some will struggle with this fear more than others. For some of us they can leave us crippled, they affect our level of joy and our level of living.
HOW TO CONQUER THE FEAR of tragedy
We can never perfectly conquer fear, it will continue to come. But I believe we can overcome fear’s grip on our lives, or we can use our fear as a tool.
If the fear of tragedy is causing anxiety and worry in your life, causing you to avoid certain things or you find it produces a certain kind of behavior in your life, then you may be missing out on the abundant life that Jesus came to give you.
I call it PTA (Pray, Trust and Act)
When I’m having those anxious thoughts (that take my breathe away or keep me up at night), the bible tells us instead of worrying to pray.
This is where you pour out all of your insecurities and fears.
This is where you vent and wrestle, even in anger, and slowly let go of “the way things should be” in your eyes.
This is where your tears cause your heart to open and for more of Him to enter.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. –Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. –1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Easier said than done. When we trust we believe that God is who He says He is. And we trust His intentions and His authorship. We trust that His story is our story, and that he owns the best version of it.
This is where you ask yourself “what is the worst thing that could happen?”
And you let your mind linger there for a moment, you have to in order to truly face your fear.
And then you ask yourself “Is God still on the throne?”
and “If that were to happen, how would I get through it with God?”
And you take a deep breath and acknowledge that God can still bring good out of the most horrible events.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. –JOSHUA 1:9
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; - Proverbs 3:5
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. –Deuteronomy 31:8
This is where the control freak and the planner can rejoice. This is where we can examine these feelings of fear and take note of the stones that are left unturned still. Tragedy will always be uncomfortable but I can do what I can to be prepared and I can do what I can to not have regrets.
I realize that this is where fear can be a positive thing in my life.
I can use fear to be more intentional in my life and with my people.
I can be diligent to feed my family well and take care of our health.
I can teach them certain cautions.
I can write them letters so they will never forget how much I loved them
or record the lessons I still want to teach them should I leave too soon.
I can take advantage of all this time I have now to hold the people I love and speak love to them.
I can take a hold of the adventure in my life and life with a purpose.
After PTA there is nothing more for me to do but to let go of the fear.
I’ve faced the fear head on and consulted with God and chosen to believe truth and I’ve done all that I can do and I truly must live this life I’m blessed with and stop missing out on it.
Because this is the woman I want to be:
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
-Proverbs 31: 25-27
Oh how I desire
to be a woman
who can laugh at the days to come
instead of tremble in fear.