Overcoming Worry & Fear ~ 2 of 4

Resting in God’s Sovereignty ~ Overcoming Worry & Fear by Mary Silverberg

It is a frightful thing to witness your child having a seizure.  There is no doubt; it is a very real and perilous threat to his life. It’s not imaginary. It’s not an unjustified emotion, and that fear is meant for our good to help us deal with the situation quickly and effectively.

There have been times when Jeff and I have awoken from a sound sleep with a jolt, not realizing how, but knowing for certain that one of the boys was in serious trouble. It didn’t take long before we naturally formulated our game plan. Jeff would dash for the child, I would sprint to the kitchen for juice, and we’d meet somewhere in the middle. Often not until the crisis was over would we realize that Jeff was hurt and bleeding. Usually, it was a knuckle that hadn’t quite cleared a corner, or a foot that had grazed a piece of furniture as Jeff leapt through the air. It wouldn’t surprise me if, through the years, he’s suffered more than one broken toe or finger that went untended in his effort to reach his boy as fast as he could.

Needless to say, nighttime lows are a legitimate concern. Even someone in good control can experience a sudden, unexplained drop in blood sugar, resulting in a very real threat to his life.  Friends and relatives may not grasp the reality of the situation.  To them you might just be another mom, overreacting, but I think I can understand your worry, your anxiety over your sleeping child. I get it, and I wish we could cry together.

The danger is real and needs to be dealt with, but how do we keep it from overtaking and ruling our lives? To spend our days or nights stressed out does not help us or our children. They pick up on our emotions. I certainly don’t want to transfer any unwarranted fear to my children, and I’m sure you don’t either.

This is how I cope with it. I do what I can do, and I leave the rest with God. I educate myself concerning this disease. We follow proper procedure with the boys. We test adequately and probably then some. When all is said and done, I must leave my children in the hands of a good and sovereign God. I can’t possibly be responsible for, nor do I wish to control, all the factors in the universe acting upon us. I must—I will—give my children to the Lord’s care and providence.

It is spiritual, but it’s also an active mental exercise. When I come to realize that I’m worried or anxious over the boys at bedtime, I ask myself, Is this rational fear? Is there any reasonable effort that I can put forth on their behalf? Sometimes the answer is yes. When I analyze their present condition (recent diet, exercise level, excitement factor, blood sugar, etc.), I come to realize that I do need to set my alarm and get up in two hours and test their blood sugar. Countless times I have been right, and one of the boys has needed intervention during the night, but sometimes the answer is no. The boys have been doing perfectly well, our routine is normal, and there is no logical reason for me to worry. I can only conclude that my fear is irrational and based solely on emotions.

So, what do I do now?  I can’t just turn off my emotion with the flip of a switch! Hello…I’m a woman! But I can look to the Scriptures for help.

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God…Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).

I come to the Lord in prayer, and ask Him to take this burden from me. Sometimes that alone is enough, but often I’m still bombarded by fear. Don’t give into it! 

“…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure…lovely…of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8, emphasis added).

When I find myself needlessly worrying over the boys, I think on Christ, for He is altogether lovely. I recite scripture verses from memory. I sing hymns. If any anxiety tries to creep in, I just keep on. I start listing my blessings and thanking God for them. Then comes peace, sweet peace. Usually, before I know it, I’m fast asleep, or I’ve forgotten all my worry and have moved on to the next task.

I try to make this a habit. I say try because there is work involved. For me there is a temptation to give in to the worry and the fear, but I will not—I must not—allow myself to indulge in it. Unnecessary anxiety is not productive. It can’t prevent any harm and is self-destructive. Thankfully, over time the temptation has weakened, and I have come to trust Christ more and worry less.

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