Facing Fears-Focusing Forward
Since we are approaching the end of another year in less than two months, it’s a good time to reflect on fears confronted, lessons learned, and progress made – and then take all that to build a plan for success as we focus forward on the upcoming new year of 2013. Why wait until the last minute? 🙂
That is one lesson I have learned – I too often procrastinate, put things off, and don’t finish what I start – like blog challenges! So I plan to do a series of posts on Sundays, from now until December 30th, on these topics of taking lessons learned in the past year to create an action plan for success in the new year.
For this Sunday’s post, I’d like to borrow part of a note I published on Facebook awhile back, particularly addressing the issue of facing fears.
As so often happens, I derived inspiration this morning from reading some devotional thoughts that then prompted a lengthy reflection and revelation. I want to share this in hopes it will likewise touch others who may need to hear this.
Do you struggle with fear of the known or unknown?
Have you ever considered that Jesus knows what it’s like to be afraid? Think about the mobs of angry religious folks who followed Him around, threatening to injure and kill Him, and the demons and Satan himself who taunted and confronted Jesus.
Think about His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood, asking the Father for a reprieve on what Jesus knew must happen – and then He accepted God’s will and prayed for strength to face what was ahead of Him – knowing that suffering and death awaited Him.
I am thinking about many times I’ve been afraid…
I especially remember the terror of being trapped in a second floor apartment because of a raging fire.
I remember praying loudly and specifically, “Jesus, help me! Help me get us out of here alive!” The “us” was my 3 y.o. son, my 4 m.o. daughter, the 2 y.o. autistic child I was babysitting, and myself.
I remember the utter fear and anxiety about the idea of dropping those small children – and my infant daughter – one by one, out that second story window, into the waiting outstretched arms of the two police officers who had arrived before the fire department.
Yet… God was there, He knew my fear, He provided His protection and calmed my fears enough to save all the children and myself. I’m convinced His hand and His angels stood between us and the wall of flames which then chased me out the window as soon as I had cleared it in my plunge to the ground.
God was there as I faced the fear of death and He carried me through the valley of the shadow of death for about two to three days before bringing me out the other side to full consciousness, to tell this story and give Him praise and glory for the life the children and I still have.
Jesus understands fear and distress, as does Father God, Who had to watch Jesus suffer and die, and Who comforts us as we face hardships and fears, and endure suffering and death.
For the rest of this post – I thought I would mention fears I have faced this year:
*Concerns about family members and friends in a variety of life areas.
*Concerns over relationships with family, friends, and business associates and clients.
*Concerns over personal health issues.
*Concerns over finances.
*Concerns over not having enough freelance work – as well as having too much, and not being able to keep up with it.
*Concerns over not meeting expectations, on personal and professional levels.
Yet through all these things – God has been faithful and I have learned I just need to take my concerns to God, and gain confidence from Him to overcome the concerns, face the fears head on, and focus forward instead.
How about you? What kinds of fears have you encountered and confronted this year? How have you overcome them and how will you use what you have learned to build a better action plan for 2013?
REMINDER: In next Sunday’s post (11/11), I’ll address the thought-provoking devotional thought from Max Lucado that prompted the preceding reflection.
[Posted as part of NaBloPoMo–November theme: Blogging for Blogging’s Sake].