This past week has served to be a challenge when it comes to fear. People go to work and die in an explosion. Others attend a marathon and lose their limbs. Every day, we are faced with the unknown. If we aren’t careful, fear can take a hold in our lives and hold us hostage.
Fear is a warning system built into the our bodies as a natural reaction to danger. It is healthy to feel fear in the face of danger. It acts like an alarm and prompts us to action, But when fear takes hold of our lives, it turns into worry and anxiety. It takes real danger and changes it to a perceived possible one. Fear becomes a way to focus on the uncertainty of life and the future, rather than the present. For example, you could get hit by a car, struck by lightening, lose your money in the stock market, etc.
This is why God has told us that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. He doesn’t want us held hostage by the possibilities of danger. We can’t live like that and have joy or any peace.
So how do we live without allowing fear to enter our lives? Psalm 46 has answers:
1) Know who God is–a very PRESENT help in times of trouble.
2) Know where God is–in the middle of the trouble , the waters roar, the mountains shake but God is in the midst. He is not absent in times of trouble.
3) Get your eyes off the uncertain circumstances–Don’t be moved by the trouble around you. Instead keep your eyes fixed on Him.
4) Remember God is working in the situation–He breaks the bow, cuts the spear, burns the chariots of fire. He will work it all for our good if we love and trust Him.
5) Be still. Wait and listen.
6) Know that He is God. Watch how He moves and works things out. Be amazed by what He does.
7) Worship Him–even before you know the ending, because praise takes care of that heaviness.
It’s the weekend and you are even more anxious than ever. The opportunity to binge eat is greater in the next two days than during the week because you are home all day with food. And when you are around food all day, the temptation to over indulge hits you hard.
If fact, you find yourself doing the following:
- —Eating too fast
- —Eating until you are uncomfortably full
- —Eating a lot of food even though you are not physically hungry
- —Eating alone because you are embarrassed as to how much you are eating
- —Eating and then feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty.
This constant pattern every night and weekend has you distressed and upset. You don’t want to think about food all the time.
What you might not know is that you could be a binge eater. Binge eating is a type of eating disorder characterized by the above and usually results in weight gain. And when you think about it more, you know that you have trouble coping with stress, worry, sadness and boredom. Maybe this has something to do with bingeing on food. In most cases, it does.
So rather than stay distressed about your eating behavior, contact an eating disorder specialist to get help. In fact, NIMH estimates that 2.8% of the population struggles with binge eating disorder so you are not alone.
The important thing is to get help.
Contact an eating disorder specialist and learn how to stop bingeing and eat better. My book, PRESS PAUSE BEFORE YOU EAT, can help change your relationships with food from struggle to healthy.
Every day now, I hear so much on media that could make me worry all day long! We live in uncertain times, but are not supposed to worry.
Worry is a mental habit and is cued by automatic negative thoughts. When negative thoughts are not dealt with, they develop into a worry habit. For example, a negative thought runs through your head, “What if a bomb explodes in my city?’ If you decide to dwell on that thought, it becomes worry.
To break the worry habit, as soon as you identify the worried thought, answer it with a more reasonable thought.
For example, “Any city is a target for terrorism but there is no way to control this so I will live my life trusting God to watch out for me. My life is in His hand anyway.”
In other words, counter the worried thought with the confidence that you can handle the uncertainty or problem when or if it arises. And even if that is difficult, tell yourself, that the thought might be scary, but God will help you deal with whatever comes–that is His promise to you.
2 Corinthians 10:5 teaches us to take thoughts captive. This means not allowing our thoughts to wander in worried waters. We confine our thoughts to the truth or the reality of the situation. So when that worried thought comes to your mind, check that thought with the mind of Christ.
Is the thought in line with God’s Word?
Is it reasonable for the moment?
Is the thought based on anything real or only what I can imagine?
Am I assuming the worst?
Putting it all together, it looks like this:
The worried thought comes into my mind.
I grab it and take it captive.
I control where it goes and take it to Christ, His Word and make it true or more reasonable.
Then, I let it go!
For more help with letting go of worry, click on the book cover above.
In the game, you travel along a multicolored highway to the big candy castle at the top. Along the way, you can land on these black dots and get stuck in what seems like an eternity until you draw the right color. When you draw the right color, you can finally move on and resume your quest to reach the castle.
Anxiety is like being stuck on those black dots. It often paralyzes your movements in the journey of life. You are moving along life’s road and suddenly something happens. It is unexpected and you experience a loss. The loss is scary because you didn’t see it coming and it feels out of control. When you feel out of control, and do not properly grieve the loss, anxiety can begin to take hold. Then, you are stuck.
So one way to get off that black dot is to revisit the sudden loss, allow yourself to feel it and grieve it. The feelings may be intense, but you will survive them if you choose to face them. Face them because those feelings of grief are your “right color” to move forward. Once you move through the intensity of grief, the feelings eventually lessen. You learn that loss comes and brings tremendous feelings of sadness, but feeling that sadness frees you to grieve and continue the journey. And you don’t travel alone. God is there to comfort you along the way. His promise is to never leave you and provide a peace that passes your understanding. So choose the right color and get back on the road!