Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: Forget Everything and Run (FEAR)
By Judy Sauer
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I have dealt with anxiety and depression for more decades than I care to say. I have had my fair and unfair shares of dark, scary, fearful times. And even as the veil of darkness continues to lower down over me, I realize that depression is actually a gift from God with no return receipt.
Depression is the engine driving me through life, to church, to my doctors, to family, friends, and work. But by far, the greatest amount of distance of where fear has driven me around is toward God and into Jesus’ arms.
If I didn’t have depression, there is no telling what my life would look like today. Would my faith relationship with Jesus have grown so much without it? I doubt it.
Depression is a deep, dark, ugly, and lonely abyss – yet in those places is where I hear God the loudest. “Take courage lady. Have not fear in your heart!” (Book of Judith 11:1 NAB) With depression, getting anything done feels like a burden, yet in the quiet stillness of depression, I find myself being more contemplative and reflective. My journal writing increases. God is there on those pages, in that pen, and sometimes in the hand holding the pen that writes across the paper.
There’s something I discovered in my recent writings about fear; it is the word echo. Echoes reverberate and resound just like fear and anxiety stirs up our peacefulness. In those awful feelings of dread and desperation, fear echoes in our heads and hearts. Echo is an acronym that symbolizes the ways that fear manifests within us.
E Expectations - of ourselves, others, God
C Catastrophes - being a victim, natural disasters, random violence
H Hidden Agendas - real or imagined; it’s all about perception
O Outcomes - based on past experiences, being overly cautious, suspicious
By being patient and lowering our stance (from the RUN position) we are able to drop our fears at the foot of the cross where we learn new ways to cope with the ECHO manifestations within. “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which he will accomplish for you” (Exodus 14:13 NKJV).
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