To say I was a fearful child would putting it lightly. I lived in constant fear that every bruise would turn into leukemia, a bug bit meant Lyme Disease, a late pick up meant my parents had a car accident, the list goes on and on.
Every night, fear seemed to be waiting for me in my bed. Beckoning me to imagine the worst. Tormenting me with awful images.
I would use a variety of coping skills to help keep my fears at bay. Every night I would listen to Psalms being read aloud by a soothing voice on my tape player.
To deal with the stomach pains that came with the fear and worry, I would take Rolaids. Their famous tagline: “How do you spell relief?”…”R-O-L-A-I-D-S”
In search of relief, I would sleep with these tummy helpers. Two-sided, one side had a lemon coating the other was non-flavored. I would try and suck on the lemon side and fall asleep by the time I got to the non-flavored side. Looking back on this, it doesn’t make sense.
Generally, I would keep this friendship to myself. Trying to make the thoughts go away, to push the fear aside and get a little sleep.
I remember calculating the time…if I fall asleep at 11:00 pm then I’ll get 8 hours asleep… tick tock… if I fall asleep at 12:00 am then I get 7 hours of sleep.
This was my elementary school years. Elementary school.
Yes, fear and I seemed to be constant companions.
Like kids in a tornado drill, fear makes you want to duck and cover. Holding your days and nights hostage imagining the worst.
Can you relate to this? The what-if’s, the constant dread, the sleepless nights?
As the years progressed, so did the fear. I lived with this type of fear for decades. Occasionally, it will rear its ugly head again. But now I have new tools that bust the fear.
My new author friend, Kelly Balarie, also knows a thing or two about this subject matter. In fact, she wrote a book about it titled Fear Fighting: awakening courage to overcome your fears.
I love Kelly’s approachable writing style. Some schools of thought will simply say – stop thinking about whatever it is you are fearful about or just stop being afraid. HELLO…this does not help. All this does is create a new inner battle, leaving me guilty for feeling fearful. And, still thinking about the fear.
When you train your brain to fear, you have to retrain to faith. Like a training with weights – your fear muscle may be able to lift a 1,000 lbs but your faith muscle may struggle with a puny 5 lbs. Building up a resistance to fear takes a lot of time, patience, and intentionality.
For some reason, it’s easier to be fearful than it is to be faithful. Little to know effort goes into being fearful, right? Courage, tenacity, faith all require focus and training.
I love how Kelly she ends each chapter with a “something to chew on” section…i.e. something to do. From new ways to connect to God, to ways to actually bring down your blood pressure, she provides valuable strategies to keep combatting fear.
Battling fear is an ongoing pursuit…at least for me.
I recommend you check out Fear Fighting if you need to add to your fear-busting arsenal.
What are ways that you combat fear?
Blessings to you,
*Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions herein are my own.