Handling Paralyzing Fear

Straight Talk

The Question

How do you get rid of a paralyzing fear that something terrible is going to happen to your family when they are away from you?

Margaret from the United States

The Answer
Part 1: How fear works
Part 2: Truth trumps lies

How fear works (Part 1)

The best method I know of to combat either big or small fears is TRUTH. Depending on how long fear has already “won” in a person’s life (and how intent they are to be rid of it) determines how long it will take to secure a meaningful victory. But fear is such a hard taskmaster it is worth the most Herculean effort to be free. I think you already sense that.

You worry that something terrible is going to happen to your family when they are away from you. Therefore, if they are present with you they are safe? Time after time they come home without anything bad happening so maybe your fear is keeping them safe? We may hang onto fear as if it is a rabbits’ foot. Fear can hold us like superstition.

Ultimately, fear is rooted in lack of trust. We feel we have to take care of something because if we don’t, no one will. We “control” it by worrying about it or by managing it in ways we think are “safe” based on our experience. In our head we believe in trusting God but often when the rubber meets the road we don’t actually trust him.

Okay, that’s the philosophy for how fear works but now what do you do about it in your own life? It must be tortuous for you every time your family leaves the house and you must breathe a big sigh of relief every time they return home. This is no way to live the abundant life Jesus came to give you.

Truth trumps lies (Part 2)

There are two things needed: an understanding of the root of your fear and then some practical steps to permanently reject it. Hopefully you will examine the things I said above to discern exactly how and why fear hooks you the way it does. If you don’t feel clear on that, ask the Holy Spirit for revelation—that’s the first step in using truth to combat fear. To whatever extent necessary, renounce fear and repent of your lack of trust or of whatever sin sits at the base of it.

Now you are ready to use truth pro-actively. You must begin to declare TRUTH based on the Word of God, not the emotions coming from your soul. There are literally hundreds of wonderful scriptures that will successfully combat fear. Search them out. Every time you find one, add it to a list that you will use for declarations whenever fear attempts to control you.

For instance there is Psalm 118:6-7, “The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me.” When a family member leaves the house you can speak the scripture as they go and then turn it into a prayer. “I thank you Lord that you are for me so I have no reason to fear. You placed _____ in my family for blessing and I ask you to bring him/her home safely. No man can come against my family members or me. You are my helper.”

Do that with all the scriptures you accumulate and do it as often as fear tries to pop up. It may be quite a battle for a good long while. It may take time for truth to triumph over fear if fear is a firmly established pattern in your life. Don’t become complacent. Fight hard and gradually fear will diminish and truth will prevail.

Note: For some additional help on handling fear see ALL My Fears and God’s Antidote for Anxiety.