I’m a fear addict.
Well, that’s kind of a weird thing to say. But as much as I hate to admit it, it’s not an inaccurate statement.
Addiction is defined as the fact or condition of being addicted to a substance, activity, or thing. It’s a weakness, a struggle. It’s not something we want or choose, but something we fall into and try to find the strength to pull ourselves out of.
Sadly, I often find myself in this place. More often than people around me realize.
Fear is a struggle. It makes us feel alone, isolated, even ashamed. After all, aren’t Christians supposed to live without fear?
Yet fear feels so natural. It wasn’t supposed to be, it wasn’t ever God’s intention. But everyone has some kind of fear, whether it’s worry, anxiety, or phobia. If I’m being completely honest, I struggle with all three. It often feels so suffocating, like I’m trapped or like I’ll always be fighting it. And countless others feel the same way.
Which raises the question: if fear is something so sadly common and seems like it’ll never go away, how are we supposed to deal with it?
Well, don’t ignore it.
I’ve tried keeping my fears to myself. I don’t really know why. Maybe to appear strong, like I have it all together. But when I do ignore my fears, often it makes things worse. The fear festers and I can’t get it out of my head.
The first step to not ignoring our fears is simple, yet often overlooked.
Bring your fear to God.
Sometimes I bring the same fear to God multiple times a day and ask Him to take it, to help me. And you know what? He’s totally okay with that. He doesn’t care that I’m at my weakest. He’s not annoyed that I’m having to relinquish a fear I’m holding onto over and over.
He cares about us. He cares about our struggle (1 Peter 5:7). He doesn’t want to be on the sidelines, He wants to walk alongside us and support us. When we’re weak, He’s strong (2 Cor. 12:9). And He’ll always be strong. So, invite Him into the struggle.
Then, share your fear with people you trust, who listen to and support you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve feared sharing my struggles only to feel relieved and supported once I’ve reached out.
Lastly, take time for yourself. When I refuse to rest, my fears begin to surface. Take a moment. Take a breather. It doesn’t have to be long. Listen to worship music, read a book, do something that refreshes you and allows you to breathe.
Because you can get through this.
You’re not alone, and you never have to be. You’re not the only one struggling and it’s not a burden that you have to carry on your own.
It may be a struggle. It may get tiring at times, but with God, we can make it through anything.