Afraid?

Coping with fear

Even though I am more than half way through my life I am so afraid of the dark. It’s not so bad when there are other people in the house or there are streetlights right outside the bedroom window. I have even had to use those little night-lights that are mainly manufactured for children.

It is irrational – I know.

Coping with fear
What are you afraid of?

Just before the last of our children flew the nest we moved house. We moved into a lovely 16th century farmhouse with thick walls, crooked stairs and gorgeous scenery. Moving into that house also meant that our nearest neighbour was half a mile away. The road by which you approached the house had no streetlights and we were one and a half miles from the main road.

The night sky was incredible and we could sees stars, planets and constellations that we had never seen before.

Everything was fine and I was coping reasonably well with my fear of the dark- that is until one by one the children left home and then my husband got a job that meant periods away from home.

Now I had to cope with nights home alone – in the very, very, very dark.

I tried everything – sleeping tablets; doors and windows well and truly locked so I knew no intruders could get in. I stopped watching anything remotely scary on TV that might set my vivid imagination running riot. 

I closed curtains, left radios blaring out, but the panic attacks got worse.

What could I do?

I loved our house, everything about it was perfect. I did not want to move away but if I could not sleep and each night became a battle with fear then that is what we would have to consider.

There was one thing that I hadn’t tried and that was to really talk this problem over with God.

So one evening that is what I did.

Coping with fear
You are not alone

I picked out a whole load of praise songs that I had on CD. I started with the first one on the CD and sang them one after the other. In between singing I talked to God about the content of the songs. I looked for God’s opinion on the song by looking up relevant sections of the Bible.

I read that other people had been in situations where they were terrified. I noticed that they had been helped by focusing not on their problem but on God.

He said incredible things to them to help in their fearful situation like:

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. "Be strong and courageous.”

“They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.”

King David - The Psalms 107:26,27 Tweet

I reckoned that if God could help them then couldn’t he also help me?

Coping with fear
The answer

My strategy

I carried on singing, praying and reading my Bible for several hours. I told God I loved what he had done for others and that I would like Him to do it for me too. Then I turned off the lights, went upstairs to bed. And had the best night’s sleep that I could ever remember. The bonus is that I am no longer afraid of the dark – God didn’t just give me a yes answer and help with the fear for that one night.

In His generosity, His love and care for me, He removed the fear completely.

Coping with Fear

I started by saying that “I am afraid of the dark.” That was wrong. I should have said, “I used to be afraid of the dark. 

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

King David - The Psalms 105:2-4 Tweet

You can do it

I am telling you this because God says that the comfort that He gives us he would very much like us to pass onto others. What makes you fearful? Is there something that you are afraid of that is controlling you?

Why not plan a whole evening with God. Not just telling Him about your fears but focusing on discovering more about God. The more I discovered that night, the greater my confidence grew in a God who was bigger than any of my problems and fears.

I don’t know how God will choose to help you cope with your fears. I do know that he wants you to be happier than you are at present.  I do know that His plan one day in the future is a time when there is no more fear, pain or problems.

So go on, I dare you – don’t say you have a big problem; believe that you have a BIG GOD. 

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him”

Coping with fear

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