It only took one roller coaster flight to convince me that staying on the ground was better than being in the air. So much better that it took several years for me to get back on a tin bird.
Flying was just one of many on my list of fears.
As a child, I was afraid of the dark, bugs, heights, and rejection. Then I grew up and realized bugs and the dark weren’t so bad, but I replaced those fears with things like . . . something happening to those I loved or not being able to raise my children.
My doctor diagnosed me as agitated and anxious. Sometimes I just thought I was neurotic.
Strong and courageous . . . not even close.
Bad things happen.
I did not need to read a copy of Worst Case Scenario or watch the news. I was able to come up with a long list all by myself.
People I deeply love rejected me. Rev came very close to dying. My mom died. And our first grandson was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 lb. 9 oz.
I had to turn to God or hide.
Hiding wasn’t an option. So, I prayed and prayed. Again and again. And each time God gave me enough strength for that moment. Not a magical infusion of strength and courage that made me fearless, but just what I needed to make it through that moment.
Just enough. That’s really all we need isn’t it? Just enough strength and courage for the moment?
If you’re afraid, I have a list of things I believe will help.
14 Ways to Replace Fear with Courage and Strength – Part 1
1. Admit You’re Afraid – There is always something to be afraid of. Unless you’re sitting on a beach somewhere without your phone or access to the news. So, if you’re agitated and anxious . . . admit it. It’s okay.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.” ~C.S.Lewis
2. Decide You Want to be Brave – Repeat this quote by author, Veronica Roth.
“I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.” ~Veronica Roth
3. Assess Your Fear – What are you really afraid of? Is it a legitimate or irrational fear?
Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. So, ask yourself if your fear is true or just something you believe. Is it something you can change or control? Is it affecting your life and keeping you from doing things.
4. Pray and Ask – Never stop praying. I Thessalonians 5:17 In good time or bad. Praise Him. Ask Him. He wants us to turn to Him in all circumstances.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
5. Find a Brave Mentor – Talk to a counselor. Or ask a friend to tell you how they were able to get through a fearful time.
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” ~Bob Proctor
6. Share Your Story – If God has helped you through a time of fear, tell others. Become a mentor to someone who needs a listening ear.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” ~Billy Graham
7. Keep Inspiration Close – Carry note cards with quotes and verses that remind you to have courage.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:13–14
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Matthew 14:27
It took me too long to believe that my fear was lack of faith.
I knew it, but I didn’t believe it.
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Matthew 8:26
The One who calmed the wind and the waves, who healed the sick, raised the dead loves us. Jesus wants to calm our fears and fill us with faith.
“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.” ~James E. Faust