October just ended and the last day of that month is Halloween. I know people love this holiday but it has personally always creeped me out. Spiders….cobwebs….bats…skeletons….zombies….haunted houses…ghosts….witches…..uhm…no thank you! Those are all very scary things! I don’t like scary things. At all. A horror movie? Oh my goodness, I get nervous just typing that! I know there are some adorable little costumes, kids are always cute and who doesn’t like candy? But for the overall feel of the holiday – no thanks. I think it is scary.
Fear is a powerful thing. It can absolutely paralyze you. Stop you dead in your tracks. I just took a wheelchair self-defense class and they talked about how that when we are in a fearful situation, our body loses it’s fine motor skills. Now we know why the keys can never get a door open fast enough!
I have talked about fear before on this blog and when I speak. I have shared how terrified I was in the early days that I would not live to raise my children. I have shared how afraid I was at night. To this day, my health can still scare me to death if I dwell on it. I feel my body already after just 6 years of paralysis and I start to feel afraid of how it will be after 20 years. Will my shoulders last? Will my hands hurt worse? Will my pain levels get so high I will be on massive pain killers? Will Jimmy be able to help me when he is older? Will I be able to be a Grandma to my grandbabies? Will I…..? This is just health. What about parenting? My marriage? Finances? My kids? And on and on and on! The fears of our lives can overwhelm us.
I find that our season of Thanksgiving is what follows Halloween. How appropriate that our seasons of fear should be followed by a season of thanksgiving. Is this true? Does it actually work? Can thankfulness be the antidote to our fears? I think yes.
When fear strikes it’s fangs into our hearts, we go into survival mode. Our breathing changes, our fight and flight engages, and we are ready to spring into action to save ourselves! Many times, with fears of the heart, our lives our not in physical danger, but our joy and peace sure are. These fears can kill us just as surely as a bear could. We must be prepared to spring into action emotionally when fear hits us.
I believe the action we are called to is thanksgiving. It is not what you will feel like doing. No, you will feel like crawling into a hole and hiding from the world to protect yourself. But that is a sure way to die. Instead, do an intentional thank you list.
When fear is knocking on my door, I start talking to myself!
- I am thankful I have been given another today.
- I am thankful I have been so blessed with my family.
- I am thankful that Jesus is always with me. I especially feel Him when I am afraid.
- I am thankful for the health that I do have!
- I am thankful for how far medicine has advanced.
- I am thankful that I don’t have to live all of my tomorrow’s today. One day at a time.
- I am thankful for the opportunities to grow through this.
- I am thankful for the sun, the flowers, the hugs and kisses of my children. Little things that mean so much!
Do you see what happens? We take our eyes off of our fears and we focus on our blessings.
Fear loses its power when you stop staring at it!
I love this season of thankfulness. May God help me to stop dwelling on my fears and to be thankful for what I have been given!
“For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Isaiah 51:3