Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stop the Fear Cycle

Picture edited from CC.

    In the small group I lead (for moms of little ones), we have been reading The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill. If you have not read this book, and you're a mom, it's a must read! This latest chapter, Merrill brought up such a vital point that I was talking about with my sister. When we enter into the vicious cycle of fear, and let it continue, we end up practically drowning... barely able to breathe because we can't surface from the weight of our fears. So how do we stop this vicious cycle of fear in its tracks? With prayer. 
     First I'm going to talk about what the circle of fear looks like, I know many of you will be very familiar with each stage (as I am). 
1. Fear. Fear starts always with a simple thought. It's often cause by a primary emotion of some sort. What is a primary emotion? It is an emotion triggered by something that reminds us of a bad past experience. If that fear thought isn't addressed, you quickly move to the next section of the cycle, worry.
2. Worry. Worry causes us to focus on our problems. It is this constant nagging thought that causes us to torment ourselves and to fret. If not stopped here, then you progress to the next stage, anxiety.
3. Anxiety. Anxiety makes us useless. It freezes us in our tracks. It often causes us to have psychic tension and constant apprehension. If the cycle isn't stopped here then it continues to the final stage, panic.
4. Panic. Panic causes hysterical behavior. It causes you to be completely irrational, not just in thought but in your actions. 
    So how do you stop the cycle of fear in its tracks? By praying and turning the situation over to Christ.
Picture edited from CC.
  • When you have that first fearful thought, pray.  
  • Stand on scripture. Knowing the promises that are in the Bible for us and standing on those scriptures is important. In Nehemiah 1 & 2, it says that Nehemiah reminded God of His promises (Nehemiah 1:8). Obviously God does not need to be reminded of his promises, the reminder of His promises is really for us.
  • Know that life isn't always easy. But that with the Lord we can make it through with joy and peace (as Psalm 55:22 and Philippians 4:6,7 say). 
  • When we are weak, Christ is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). 
  • Surrender your fear, your worry, your problem to God.
    I had to put this into practice last night. Mr. Picturesque had food poisoning and was sick all night long. Fear kept trying to creep in as I tried finding medicine for him that he could keep down. I found I was close to the anxiety portion of the cycle, when I heard God's still small voice remind me to pray until the fear went away. The fear did go away, and Mr. Picturesque was able to keep food down after 6 hours. 
    I hope this post encourages you today. Don't let fear take control of your life. Turn your worries over to God!


  1. False Evidence Appearing Real - does NOT belong in a Christian's life, period!

  2. Thank you! I needed this encouragement today.

  3. Great encouragement. I'm reminded of the bible verse Philippians 4:8 and that it tells us what we should be thinking about. You are right...it all starts with one thought.


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