I want to introduce a dear friend and colleague, Danielle Bernock, she is a guest on the blog today sharing her insight on fear and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Terrifying things are happening in our world right now which has caused a heck of a lot of fearful worry. The Covid-19 global pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented amount of traumatizing fear and panic. It’s easy to get caught up in it all, but in the end, it will hurt you if you don’t find a way to calm it down.
Unaddressed fear turns into worry that steals your time, your peace and also causes a host of health problems you may not be aware of.
Fearful worry silently hurts you and I’ll show you how you can calm your fears.
WHAT FEARFUL WORRY DOES
When you ruminate over something that hasn’t happened, you are fearfully worrying. The dictionary defines worry as:
- to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts;
- to torment with cares, anxieties; trouble; plague.
- to seize, especially by the throat, with the teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does
Read that last one again and then close your eyes and envision that picture. Do you feel that tension in your gut?
Fearful worry hurts you by being physically destructive.
HOW FEAR IS HURTING YOU
Fear activates the fight or flight system inside us that releases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. In emergency situations, these are helpful. But not with worry, or rehearsing unaddressed fears.
Some of the things rehearsing fear will cause:
- High blood pressure
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and digestive problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Breathing issues
- Racing heartbeat
- Trembling and twitching
- Suppression of the immune system
- Problems swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Short-term memory loss
- Premature coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
Rehearsing your fears creates a chronic undertow. The constant negative internal energy will steal your health unless you find a way to calm it down.
Many of those things listed above are what put people on the higher risk list for Covid-19.
Calming your fears is good for your immune system —especially during a pandemic.
THERE IS WAY TO CALM
If fear has you by the throat what are you to do?
I have lived in fearful worry and been clueless how to calm it—until a certain day.
Here’s my story.
It happened when we lived in Arizona for a few years, far away from family. That alone was a big stressor for me and I didn’t deal with it well. I was suffering panic attacks and taking Xanax before we even moved. Add to that two deaths in the family, the housing crash of 2008, and unemployment to name a few, and I was a bit of a mess. What about this and what about that ruminated inside me – I was fearfully worrying.
One day while moaning to the pastor’s wife she told me to cast my care. The words were familiar but instead of helping me, I felt attacked. Self-condemnation said I should know better.
The Spirit of Grace opened my eyes through words that escaped my own lips.
I snapped—I don’t know how!
Those 4 words were the pivot point in my life—I don’t know how. They implied there was a way—and if there was a way—then I could find it.
We can find a way to calm fearful worrying.
FINDING THE WAY
After I got that epiphany, I prayed and asked God to show me the way, to teach me how. He did. Grace teaches.
It wasn’t instant. It was a process he carried me through. That’s how grace works.
He showed me that fearful worry pushes and demands action.
But because the action that it demands isn’t possible it leads to the pseudo-action of rumination. Fearful worry always seeks to play the worst-case scenarios in the mind and emotions.
Imagine all that fear like a surge of water in a tsunami. That is a lot of pressure that is going to go somewhere. To calm your fear that pseudo-action is like the water in a tsunami and must have a place to go.
The fear needs to be put somewhere outside of you.
I learned it’s all about trust.
To calm your fear you need to give it to someone trusted. The key is in the place you trust.
To be able to cast my cares on God required my soul to trust Him.
Trust is not something we can demand of ourselves. Trust is something that grows.
I learned trust is based on love.
Fear blocks trust.
Love, real love is more powerful than fear and when given the opportunity it purges fear out of our hearts and builds trust.
Love doesn’t fear or worry. Love believes. Love removes the root of fear when trust is strong.
I learned it’s about His love, not me following orders.
What a relief. When the Bible tells us to cast all our cares on God, it’s because of His love for us, not a demand for compliance. He cares about us. Our cares matter to Him. He invites us to give them to Him because He can handle them and we can’t.
Learning to trust Love is how we put a stop to fear.
How much fear you live in is evidence of how much you trust Love, or don’t. There is no judgment where you find yourself—it’s just where you start. Love is patient, kind and full of grace. My story is evidence.
My trust in Love was small but God took what I had and made it bigger. Now every morning I remind myself of what Love says.
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. —1 Peter 5:7 AMPC
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7 (TLB)
These words calm my fear and help me intentionally trust instead.
Calming your fears will produce increasing amounts of peace.
How much do you struggle with fear?
- Get hands on help in the LIVE Workshop 4 Steps to Calming Your Fearful S.E.L.F Thursday April 30, 2020 12:30-2 (EST) Space is limited MORE INFORMATION HERE