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I know something about you.
Something that the others around you probably don’t realize.
I can see, through this computer screen a little vertical wrinkle in between your eyes. Yes… *peering closely* That looks very suspiciously like a FURROW. You could plant corn in that crease, it’s so deep.
You know, there’s only one thing that can cause a furrow that big.
- Worry about someone’s health.
- Worry about your own health.
- Worry about money.
- Worry about a relationship.
- Worry about a misunderstanding.
- Worry about work.
- Worry about the kids. (ALWAYS.)
We all carry worries, friends. (Even people with blogs.)
The challenge is how to carry those worries. As much as I’d love to just stare at the wall some days, food has to get made, noses have to be wiped, and laundry must get done. *grumble grumble*
As a Christian, I’m faced with two options: crumble under their weight or use knowledge and faith to help me stand tall against it.
Since I have a strong aversion against being an Eeyore, I’m choose the later. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to stand tall than to lay down. I need some practical suggestions on how to fight the Worry Wort sitting on my shoulders all the time, hissing into my ears.
Just trying to shoo my Worry Wort away isn’t going to work. I need a Battle Plan. Fortunately, that’s exactly what Alli Worthington delivers in her new book Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry, and Overcoming Anxiety.
Let me walk you through the highlights so you can start creating your own Battle Plan and watch that Worry Wort crawl back under the ground where he belongs.
Knowing vs Believing:
Growing the Seed of a Fierce Faith
When you’re in the midst of a crisis, it’s really hard to turn what you know into how you feel. It’s not a simple switch, going from knowledge to feeling. It’s gradual. Slow. (Sometimes agonizingly slow.)
Over time, Knowledge and Feelings begin to blend slowly together, creeping over the horizon like a sunrise. The dark shadows over your heart start to recede and life begins to chirp again. That’s the purpose of Fierce Faith—it shows you how to get that “blending” process started. This book is a call-to-arms to stand bravely against the crippling fear that is stealing your joy and cracking your relationship with God.
If you’re the type of person who like to read philosophical books that are centered around about talk…but hardly any walk, this book isn’t for you. This book is ACTION-based. You have to use it, not just read it. Starting with the bad…and leading you towards the good.
Identifying the Fear
that Entraps You
Once you’ve identified your false coping methods and embraced the mental actions you’re going to take up as a bullet-proof vest, the next step is to take a LONG HARD LOOK at the worries that have you curled up in the corner. I mean really look at them.
Eight of the twelve chapters in Fierce Faith are dedicated to ripping open the curtain and peering at the puny wizard seated inside. Check out these chapter titles:
- What If They Don’t Like Me? Fear of Rejection
- What If the Kids Aren’t Okay? Fear for Our Children
- What If I Can’t Do This? Fear of Failure
- What If I Get Hurt Again? Fear of Betrayal
- What if Everyone Has Fun Without Me? Fear of Missing Out
- What If Things Fall Apart? Fear of the Future
- What If I Never Measure Up? Fear of Not Being Enough
- What If I Can’t Trust God? Fear That We Are on Our Own
Each of those chapters hit against my soul like a wrecking ball. So many of those echoed the whispers I’ve been hearing from the Worry Wort Monster perched on my shoulder. Can you relate to any of these chapters?
Case Study: Heather’s Fear (Getting Real Here, People)
There were several chapters that really
spoke shouted at me, but the What If Things Fall Apart chapter sounded like a foghorn in my brain, so I jumped there first. Lately, that’s been a constant poke in between my shoulder blades. Worrying that the other shoe is going to fall…shoes that aren’t Belle’s soft slippers, but Herman Munster’s steel-toed boots.
Alli guided me to the story of Joshua and Caleb, who didn’t let the fear of the unknown keep them from waltzing into the Promised Land! She gently admonished me to remember God’s faithfulness, not only to them, but in my own life and those of my close friends and family.
Here are a few of the action steps she prodded me with:
- Develop gratitude in what God is doing right now.
- Think about your future self, then make decisions today that will make your future self happy. (i.e. I’m worried we won’t be able to move as planned…so I think to myself, “Future Heather would like to move out of this shoebox house, so ‘Today Heather’ will cook dinner instead of eating out.”)
- Stack up your own Stones of Remembrance, writing out a list of all the things God has done in the past to give you strength for today’s battles and remind you of his everlasting faithfulness.
- Ask the right questions, being careful not to let your concerns get blown up into catastrophes. Get all the right answers before letting your emotions take over. (Wow. I should have that tattooed somewhere.)
- Trust the master plan. We can look forward to the future because God is already there.
“Stay strong. Stay close to Jesus. Find courageous battle buddies and lock arms and heart and join the fight. Stand tall, great woman of God, you are clothed with strength and dignity, and you can laugh bravely at the days to come. That’s the secret; that’s how we live brave and unafraid.” – Alli Worthington, Fierce Faith
Creating Your Battle Plan for Peaceful Joy
As encouraging as they can be, the truth is you need more than just a few encouraging quotes to pull you through the next 15 minutes.
You need strategies. Exercises. Methods.
A Battle Plan.
No one floats their way into peace and joy, my friend. We have to deliberately choose to row the boat towards the spiritual fruits that have been given to us.
One of my favorite things about this book lies between pages 205 and 220. It’s a workbook.
- A place for me to write out the unhealthy whispers flowing into my head, and then a place to replace those lies with the truth.
- A section to personalize the Biblical truths that carry us through the rough seas of life, so I can repeat them to myself when the clouds close in.
- An area called “Right Thinking Practice” where I confront my fears head on.
- A creative exercise to help me consider the methods the Enemy is using to steal my peace and joy, and how to kick him in the gonads and steal it back, through Christ who strengthens me. *wink*
- And plenty of other helpful and practical exercises to stand tall against the worries threatening to pull me under.
How sweet it is, to finally take action against the defeatist Worry Wort who is settled so comfortably on our shoulders! How relieving it is to learn how to clip his wings and watch Christ send him packing!
Who Will Stand and Fight?
I refuse the believe I’m the only one who struggles with WORRY. After all, we have matching forehead furrows!
I’m tired of feeling stooped over like an old crone in the face of things I can’t control.
I want to soar on wings like eagles. I want to reclaim the years that the languishing locusts have stolen. Through Christ’s help, and Alli’s suggestions, we can get there.
Did you see that?
I swear…a growing speck of light on the dark horizon.
Have You Read These Yet?
- Dear Homemaker: Use These 70 Life-Hacks to Steal More Time
- An Open Letter to Exhausted Moms Everywhere
- You are a Mighty Mom (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It)
- 3 Lies About Motherhood and the Truths That Will Set You Free
- 5 Genius Tips from a De-Stressed Mother
This article was sponsored by Zondervan who provided a free early copy for me to read through and gather my thoughts. Thoughts that are, always 100% my own. Friends don’t let friends make fake endorsements. 🙂