I look back at a recent day and wonder about my fear. Why was I so afraid? What about the day created so much anxiety? What can I learn about my fear that will help me when it returns?
As I watch fear show up in the lives of those around me, I realize that he is a frequent friend to many of the people I meet. Fear haunts us when we least expect it. Fear steals our energy. Fear tugs and tears at our souls. While it is possible to use fear, for many, myself included, using fear is an exception not the norm.
Life reminds me that there are alternative ways of looking at fear. For myself, key changes in the way I see fear include the following.
The fact that I have fear in my life is not unusual or abnormal. Life reminds me that everyone with awareness of what is around them is wrestling with fear. In truth, it is helpful “to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less.” (1 Corinthians 12.14) Fear reminds me that I am aware, not blind. It tells me that I am pushing the limits not resting in my chair. Fear lets me know that I am alive.
Life uses fear to help me see my limitations. Without it, I have a tendency to think I am self sufficient, self contained, and able to heal myself from the inside out. Fear alerts me to the reality of my humanness, inviting me to do something about the gaps and weaknesses in my life.
Fear is an invitation for me to connect with others. I know I have friends and family. Fear reminds me that I can let them be part of the challenges in my life. In doing so, bridges are built, friendships deepen, and trust grows.
I see friends stepping in when I needed them. I see others reaching out, offering a prayer on my behalf in their unique ways. I see myself resting in God’s arms – some tangible, unexpected, and altogether human.