Fear seemingly stalked me as a child. Afraid of the dark, my bed was strategically placed against the corner wall blocking me in, leaving two sides open. I would jump into bed to keep my feet from lingering in front of any evil little trolls that may be hiding underneath. I’d position myself to have a clear view of the door, and surrounded by pillows, pull the comforter over my head.
Quietly I prayed, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” It was a prayer of habit, but nonetheless, it brought me slight peace of mind.
Shadows loomed over me, but the companionship of my cat, whose warm little body laid stretched out beside me, provided comfort. The hum of a sound machine and whirling of a fan helped to drown out any frightful noises as I drifted off to sleep.
If only I could go back to being a child and understand what I now see are imaginary fears. My fears now are much more real and sobering. I fear having a painful death, leaving this life abruptly and prematurely, being forgotten by my children as they grow older, and having a saved soul but a wasted life.
I don’t like thinking about death, but rarely a day goes by that it isn’t on my mind. I have days where fear creeps in and paralyzes my soul, making me feel like that child so many years ago. It may be the middle of the day, but I’ll crawl into bed, curl up, and pull the covers up as I try to keep the negative thoughts away.
I silently cry and try to sleep if only to escape the distress that fear creates in me. The oppressiveness of the imaginary threats that stalked me as a child has changed into the harsh reality of metastatic breast cancer.
Fear has the capacity to create a dread so severe that it can render me helpless if succumbed to. When I allow fear to rule, it’s intense. Just as it caused me to hide beneath my covers, it can cripple me into inactivity, distorting my thoughts, stealing my joy and taking my focus away from God.
But God has shown me, fear is a liar, and as the Christian singer, Zach Williams sings
“He will take your breath, stop you in your steps. He will rob your rest, steal your happiness.”
Cancer has intensified my struggle with fear. Satan takes cheap shots because I’m vulnerable to fear. It’s his intention to make me miserable and keep me from walking by faith.
But no matter how many times Satan manages to knock me off my feet, he’ll never succeed in keeping me down because I have something greater on my side, Jesus Christ.
Fear, an unpleasant emotion, begins as a thought and stands at the threshold, knocking at the door. I’m learning to trust in God more and fear less through prayer and focusing on today.
Music, sermons, or friend’s encouragement are God’s reminders that He’s by my side. It’s not easy, but I choose not to let fear dominate or define my life.
Learning to walk by faith and trust more to keep fear at bay is a constant journey. On the days I succeed, I’m fulfilled, at peace, satisfied, and joyful.
Daily I cast my fears in the fire because fear is a liar.
“God wants us to walk by faith, and Satan wants us to walk by fear.” Joyce Meyer
I recently wrote the following poem during a time of struggle. I pray it encourages you.
Wounded heart, broken dreams,
Unexpected detours, gradually losing steam.
Expectations derailed, consumed by the abyss,
Opportunities forever missed.
Life unforgiving, unfair, unrelenting.
Disheartened, tired of continual struggling.
Tears ebb and flow for treasures lost.
Growing realization of the ultimate cost.
Trudging through muck getting nowhere fast.
Battling against being consumed by the mass.
There’s not enough respite from this tsunami of distress.
Daily, eagerly seeking tranquility and rest.
Exactly when it feels I can’t go on,
I look in front of me and thereupon,
Through the fog, a soft light shimmers.
Hope remains for this redeemed sinner.
Ahead I gaze, lo and behold the shadows start to recede.
Jesus stands firmly with arms outstretched in front of me.
Post written by Allison Lau; please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org