learning to not focus on fear

“There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.” -C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (from the perspective of a demon, thus God is the Enemy, if you haven’t read this book before)

Until the past several months, I never thought of myself as a fearful person. Lately, though, I have been plagued by irrational what-ifs. During the day time, I am embarrassed to admit the crazy scenarios played out in my head.

At night, though, they seem so plausible.

Which is why I laid very still last night, listening to Eric’s breathing but also listening for any unusual sounds in the house. Which is difficult, because our house already makes strange random sounds  – tree branches remind us that they need to be trimmed when they scratch our windows, the wood floor creaks as the heat switches on and off, and the wind seemed unusually loud and unpredictable.

Eric and I prayed against fear, but just as I would feel myself start to drift to sleep, I would startle awake and eye the light crack under the door for any sort of moving shadows in the hall.

Ridiculous. I know.

Not only did we pray, though, but I have been memorizing Scripture lately to help me fight fear.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” -Psalm 56:3-4

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea… the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” -Psalm 45:1-2, 7

Yet I chose to dwell on the fear. It was a conscious decision to keep imagining what could happen if an intruder was in our house. Why he would be, I don’t know, but at the time, it felt so real.

And I don’t know why I don’t choose faith. Why I don’t choose to trust. Do I not believe that God is in control? Do I not believe that He is watching out for His children? Yes, bad things happen, and yes, there is sin in the world, but do I trust that He is holding me (and Eric) no matter what? And – the big question – what do I have to fear of death? Death is the “worst-case scenario” when I find myself trapped in this battle, but as a Christian, I have no need to fear death. My God is victorious over death.

And, as Eric always reminds me, I have a strong man to protect me ;)

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