Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and
underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Regardless of what you might be
facing now or recovering from, fear is probably part of the “package
deal.” Dictionary.com defines fear as: “a distressing emotion
aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is
real or imagined.” (Emphasis mine). Sometimes our fear IS
based on the “what ifs” that never happen. However, some of those
fears are justified, and we’d be silly to deny that. So, what can we
do? Using REST as an acronym, take a look at the following
R: Reach out for help. If you don’t have a supportive
circle of friends, develop one. Many people, myself included, have
found comfort in Alanon and other support groups and the
relationships they developed there. Reach out to help others. There
is great comfort and even joy in service…regardless of our
circumstances. Remember you are not alone. Others have walked your
path and survived and even thrived. You can too.
E: Employ the tools you have. Support groups, sharing,
exercise, music, prayer, and reading uplifting books including, but
not limited to the Bible. Some or all of these tools will improve
your outlook even if your circumstances remain the same, They will
also help you to respond rather than react to fear.
S: Set a specific time for worrying. Make a 30-minute
appointment with yourself and designate that time to worry. Rail
against your circumstances, cry, pray, rant or do whatever you want
during that 30 minutes. However, when you’re done with that 30
minutes, you’re done worrying for the rest of the day. That other
23½ hours of the day belong to you. When fear taps you on the
shoulder, remind yourself it belongs in the 30 minutes assigned to
it and focus on something else. It may sound silly, but it works.
T: Take care of yourself. That means you eat when it’s
time to eat, you go to bed at bedtime, you discipline yourself to
get some exercise. It means you get your hair done, you get a shower
and get dressed every day, you call a friend. You find a way to
reach out to others and you work on your spirituality, whether
through meditations each day, church attendance, listening to tapes
or going to a support group. You find something to smile or laugh
about each day. In other words, you do what you would be doing if
you were not afraid and live your life one day at a time.
There are some days when I’m great at utilizing those suggestions,
and there are some days that are more of a challenge. Those are the
days when Harry tells me I must think my worry is very powerful
since I do so much of it. And he’s right.
So, the last suggestion is for those days. I remind myself that my
worry is not powerful to help anyone, but destructive to my hope. I
also remind myself that, whatever it is I’m facing, “The eternal God
is my refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Then I try to
give my fear to the One who can do something about it.
Challenge for Today: What if, just for today, we chose to
take control of our fear instead of letting it control us?