The Detox Diaries: Fear

photo-1422433555807-2559a27433bd

Gentle Reader,

When the lights go out, the fear sets in.

I envy my husband, who most nights sleeps so soundly. I’ve always been a light sleeper. Every creak, bump or drip disturbs. These days, a lot of that gets blocked out with earplugs.

What I can’t block out in the noise in my mind.

Anxiety is always worse at night, when I don’t have anything with which to distract myself. All the dark, ugly and irrational worries rise to the front. Yes, irrational. You do know that most worry is irrational, right? Most of the things we stress about never happen or, if they do happen, they’re not nearly the big deal that we think they’re going to be.

The Lord knows that my greatest weakness is in the realm of fear, and He has been so faithful to give me strength and perspective. Unfortunately, the Devil also knows that my greatest weakness is in the realm of fear, and he has been faithful to do everything he can to push the panic button. Or, rather, to bite and pick at me when the panic button has already been pushed, as is the case with those of us who suffer from chemical imbalances.

So often in my past, I crumbled. I gave in to the fear. I listened to the lies.

Last night, I fought back, and I fought back using the only weapon at my disposal: Scripture. For every ker-whonk of the chemicals, for every lie, for every bad scenario I dreamed up, I spoke this (well, whispered. Chris was sleeping after all. Although I probably could have spoken aloud and he wouldn’t have heard a thing):

Psalm 23 (NKJV, italics mine)

The Lord is my shepherd.

God, the Infinite Lord, the Creator, the Holy and Righteous One, is my Daddy. I’m His kid.

I shall not want.

He’s going to give me everything I need, and even many things I want, when the time is right. He’ll not leave me twisting in the wind.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

He is there, watching over me. I can rest.

He leads me beside the still waters.

He takes me to places of peace, even in the midst of storms. He sustains me with pure, refreshing, life-giving, never-ending water.

He restores my soul.

Oh, all the broken places He has knit together!

He leads me in the paths of righteousness.

He keeps me between the ditches. He keeps me from falling.

For His name’s sake.

For His glory and my good.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. 

The darkness will come. Hard times will come. Pain is real. Yet I am never alone.

I will fear no evil.

You hear that, stupid Satan?

For You are with me.

GOD IS WITH ME! 

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Your rod draws me back when I stray. Your staff prods me to keep moving. You have a plan, and that gives me strength.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

I eat a big ‘ol feast, full of yumminess, and there’s NOTHING you can do, idiot Devil. God blesses me because He loves me. You just have to watch because you’re lame.

You anoint my head with oil. 

I am a princess and a priestess, serving at the altar of the Holy and True God.

My cup runs over.

I’m too full to hold it back.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me.

God leaves a trail of brightness wherever He goes.

All the days of my life.

Every day, no matter how difficult, contains a blessing, a smile from the Lord upon my life.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord.

Yes, Jesus!

Forever.

Now, and into eternity.

Then I rolled over onto my stomach and slept, content and cradled close to my Father’s heart.

I don’t know what you’re dealing with today. I don’t know what your weak points are. I do know that there is power in the Truth. Seek it out today. Ask God to bring to your memory pieces of Scripture for your situation. Even the “old standby,” John 3:16, is packed with power. Speak out that truth, dear friend, and think about how it applies to you, how it plays out in your life. Speak that out, too. Keep going until the sense of fear, rejection, failure, disappointment, whatever has passed. Dunk your mind into the richness of His word.

That’s the only way to win this battle today, because the Enemy can’t stand against the Truth of God. No amount of self-help or positive thinking will do it, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Our weapon is the Word, both the Eternal Son and what the unity of the Godhead has to say. Stand on the Truth and fight with it!

My journey to faith. (15)

To read all the posts in The Detox Diaries series, go here.

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “The Detox Diaries: Fear

  1. Orthodox Jews recite the Shema, or the most holy prayer in Judaism, twice daily. In addition, there’s a bedtime shema which is recited right before retiring. The full length of the blessing takes awhile, but there’s a portion that states:

    In the name of Adonai the God of Israel:
    May the angel Michael be at my right,
    and the angel Gabriel be at my left;
    and in front of me the angel Uriel,
    and behind me the angel Raphael…
    and above my head the Presence of God.

    This part of the prayer is constructed to form a sort of “protective fence” around the person in case the person should die in their sleep. In Jewish midrash (rabbinic commentary), sleep is considered one-sixtieth of death, so when one slumbers, it’s as if the hold of the spirit on the body is somewhat loosened. The bedtime shema is a declaration of the person’s trust in God to preserve their life and return it to them upon awakening.

    When the Jewish person first awakens, often before they even open their eyes, they’ll mentally recite the Modeh Ani:

    I gratefully thank you living and existing King for returning my soul to me with compassion.
    Abundant is your faithfulness.

    So the last thought of an observant Jew before sleep is of God and His protection, and the first thought of an observant Jew upon awakening is of God and His compassion.

    What you are trying to construct for yourself has been a normative part of Judaism for many centuries. I sometimes think we Christians miss out on some of the better traditions of Judaism. I keep a siddur (Jewish prayer book) on my night stand and recite part of the bedtime shema before retiring. The Modeh Ani is short enough that I memorized it (in English) years ago and recall it every morning when I wake up. If God is always with us, when we retire and when we arise, then I find it comforting to remember those facts when I go to sleep and when I awaken.

    Perhaps this tradition will help you too.

    Like

    1. This is beautiful! I will definitely be practicing this at night because that is when the anxiety creeps in. Thank you for sharing!

      Like

  2. I too wake up at night (if I even am really asleep) and worry. And so many times I’ve turned to worldly distractions to help me instead of what I know to be true and pure and good. Thank you for sharing this today.

    Like

  3. I know the experience you speak of when sleep evades you each night due to worry. It truly is irrational but the joy comes in the morning because God’s truth blankets us each night. We just need to say “yes” and wrap ourselves in this blanket of truth. Blessings, Marie!

    Like

  4. Thank you, brave friend, for sharing this. I began having random panic attacks about 5 years ago. They are crippling and debilitating and, I believe, straight from the enemy of my soul. Scripture meditation and/or speaking with my heavenly Father have proven the most effective way to calm my mind and spirit. Thanks again for sharing this with us!

    Like

    1. Amen and amen! The Father is always there for us. Remember, too, that the panic won’t kill you. Your brain is flooded with chemicals and it will subside. Praying for you!

      Like

  5. thank you so much for this reminder. Currently find myself in a season again of where sleep eludes and the mind races on and I so desperately need the comfort of the Father’s quiet Presence.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s