How to Stop Fear Before it Stops You
Your heart is beating fast, and your blood feels like it’s on fire as it races through your veins. The oxygen feels like it has suddenly and irreversibly been removed from the air.
One thought after another tumbles through your mind, down a path of terror. What ifs and the scariest things you can imagine leave you feeling helpless and defeated.
It’s in this moment you have a choice.
1. Stumble down that path to a point where you are scurrying for something to comfort you.
Try to control the situation.
Grab those calories you’ve been trying to cut.
Do whatever it takes to make the feelings stop.
2. Put all those terrifying thoughts — those anxieties and fears — into a box.
Imagine the fear lumped together and shoved inside that box. It’s small enough you can hold it in your hands without straining.
Look at the box. Is it brown? Brightly colored? Does it have a bow?
Now walk with confidence to the foot of the cross.
Picture yourself walking right up and saying, “Jesus, I’m handing this all over to you.”
Then set that box down, friend. Set it down and walk away.
When you turn to go, if it doesn’t feel like you have the strength to walk away from all that fear, ask for help. “Jesus, please give me the grace to walk away from this.”
Then walk. Lift one mental foot up after another until you are far away from all those unhealthy, scary thoughts.
You did it — you’ve held your thoughts captive and turned them over to the Lord!
Breathe deep of the fresh air and feel your muscles start to relax. You’ve taken your thoughts captive. You’ve corralled them from the ugly place they were headed and set them down before the King.
Sure you might have to do the same thing again in five minutes — setting it back at Jesus feet again and again. But that’s okay. He’ll be there as many times as you need Him to be.
He’s got you. He always did, but now you can feel His arms around you– holding you close through all the scary.
We don’t have to be slaves to the fear. We are His daughters, and so we have other options. All we have to do is choose them — choose Him.
Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two young sons. She loves to help people in their daily prayer time at Genuflected.com.
This is beautiful, Jenni. I love the mental image of setting our fears before the Lord. He is worthy and able to carry those burdens. He is faithful. :)
I loved the description and could vividly remember the panic attacks of “yesterdays”. No matter how long we’ve known what we’re supposed to do when the enemy sends in his minions to bring on anxiety, aka: panic attacks, we will need reminders along the way. Thanks for your well written reminder and heart for your readers.
Jenni, your beautiful words feel like the Lord had you write them especially for me. He definitely spoke to me through them. Thank you for writing that my fears can fit in a tiny box at the foot of the cross. I have made them into stone gates that trap me indoors at times. Thank you!
Thank you Jenni! What powerful words! Thank you for this reminder that we do not have to be slaves of fear!!!