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Anxiety catching your breath faith Mental Health Self-help stress management

No, Faith is NOT the Opposite of Fear

Faith and Fear: Pandemic Edition

Toward the beginning of this global pandemic, I had fitful sleep, to put it gently. Stress dreams. Awake at all hours of the night. Waking up in a panic.

What about you?

​Unfortunately, over the past week, I’ve had it all over again. And Lindsey shared with me that she’s been sleeping poorly, too.

The fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. Debilitating. At the very least, inconvenient.

And while I would NEVER try and brush away your fears (because they’re very real in the moment), I have learned that handing my fears over to God actually helps.

​Just look at these ​fear-inducing ​situations in the Bible:

  • ​Jesus seems awfully scared in the Garden of Gethsemane
  • The disciples in a storm-tossed sea
  • Daniel in a den of hungry lions
  • ​Jonah inside the belly of a whale
  • Mary with the angel's news of a baby in her belly

​We see these folks as heroes, not failures. They didn't have to choose faith over fear. These Biblical characters held both faith and fear in tension, because they were HUMAN, not superheroes.

So, you can hold your faith and fear in tension, too. You aren't less-than a real Christian, just because you're feeling scared.

​Invite God In

​Let me be clear: handing my fears over to God doesn't take my fear away. But sharing my fears with God, allowing Divine Love to remind me that I’m not alone, asking God to hold me while I have this panic attack? It helps. (Confessing those thoughts to someone else can really help, too. ​Thank God for therapists.)

I give my best in everything I do. Each day, I seek to become a better person than I was the day before. I’m sure the same is true of you.

But there comes a point where our natural strength ends, and that’s the perfect spot for Divine Love to enter in and soothe our fears and bind our wounds. 

I don’t think faith is the opposite of fear, or vice-versa. I don’t think actuating our faith eradicates our fear. But I do think that fear is rooted in control, and faith requires us to give up control.

​No, Faith is NOT the Opposite of Fear - via @iamsteveaustin #breathewithme #catchingyourbreath #anxiety

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So, if you’re feeling anxious or fearful today, I invite you to ask God for help. 

Peace of mind comes from knowing that we do not have all the answers. The best advice I can give you? Choose to accept El Roi’s outstretched hand, knowing that even in the darkest of days, you will never be forgotten or abandoned.

Take a deep breath. You are not alone.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What heaviness do I need to release today?
  2. Does my current situation require more than just my natural strength?

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​This week's guided meditation - Breathing Through Anxiety:

By Steve Austin

Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.