When the doctor called, I was expecting her to tell me I had walking pneumonia or maybe a severe case of bronchitis. Instead, she decided to drop the bomb: I had cancer.
At that moment in 2009, fear came into my life and set up shop; actually, more like setting up a multi-national corporation! It took a long time but I eventually learned how to get over the fear when it comes, even after six rounds of chemotherapy and going in and out of remission.
Is there a secret to conquering fear?
Yes, there is. It’s funny but recently, I felt a wave of fear come over me related to something that I had no justifiable reason to be afraid of and unrelated to my health. But I was truly fearful.
In a matter of minutes, I put a stop to the fear. That’s what cancer taught me. I don’t know if you can ever eliminate fear – there are good reasons to fear things. But irrational fear or too much fear can be immobilizing.
Here are 7 ways I’ve learned to conquer fear when it comes.
One day at work, I got this weird, uncomfortable feeling in my lower back. It ramped up so fast I went into the bathroom so no one would see me grimace. Something was not right.
I immediately left, got in my car, and started heading home. But only a few minutes later, I didn’t think I was going to make it home. The pain was so bad I nearly stopped on the side of the road.
Somehow, I made it to my brother’s house only about two miles away. The pain was in full force now, and I paced back and forth in his room. What was going on? In the snap of your fingers, the pain was gone.
I had no idea what was happening, but I had finished chemotherapy only eight months ago and had started taking another drug to keep the cancer at bay so I wasn’t exactly surprised at any health issues big or small.
Later that night, out of the blue, the pain ramped up so bad it brought me to my knees. It was so bad I threw up. I had to go to the ER. Just before they were going to give me pain killer through an IV, the pain suddenly stopped.
While there, they gave me a CT scan. The first thing they said when they reviewed the results was that I had kidney stones. And an enlarged lymph node. That was not good.
Sure enough, a surgical biopsy revealed that the cancer was back. Even after six rounds of chemotherapy that put me in complete remission, the cancer was back. I was certain that I was going to die.
Don’t give up. It’s that simple. If you are a Christian going through a tough time, don’t give up.
Yes, the phrase is almost a cliche. A television commercial. A marketing slogan. But it’s true.
God will never leave you. The Bible says God guides your steps.
So leave your emotions in the back seat. Take your doubts and stuff them under the couch. Just follow what God says and believe.
That doesn’t mean all your dreams come true. That doesn’t mean you will not have to face tough times.
But it does mean God will help you. It means you have God’s power working in your life.
So, don’t give up. Despite the medical reports. Despite how you feel. Despite what others will say or do.
Don’t give up.
What’s going to happen to me? How will I make it? What will I do about this?
Why do we worry? It seems to come so natural. We worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow or even next month. We worry about what others think. It seems that there is always something to worry about.
Yet worry accomplishes nothing.
But we still do it! Even Christians do it, and we clearly should not.
How do you stop worrying? Here’s the key: When you start to worry, you need to take steps to stop. Here are 10 ways to help you kill worry before it gets a life:
1. Jesus said not to worry. If we are truly Christians, then we obey Jesus. Consider it like your father giving you direction to do something. You simply obey.
2. Focus on solutions. Instead of worrying about something, take action. Of course some things that you might worry about are completely out of your control, but if you can take positive steps to alleviate your worry, do so. For example, are you worried about a job interview? Then prepare more. Research the company and do practice interviews.
3. Pray. This might seem too simple but don’t underestimate the power of prayer. The Bible says to pray instead of worry so pray and then consider the matter closed and in God’s hands.
4. Do something constructive. Instead of sitting around and thinking about the topic, go do something. Ride a bike. Read a book. Do that chore you’ve been putting off.
5. Listen to music. Get your mind off your worry and onto music instead – with music that doesn’t make you worry and is not depressing.
God is easy to forget. People do it all the time. Even some Christians. And why not? You’ve got your life to think about. Your job. Making money. Paying the bills.
Maybe at one time, possibly when you were a kid, you went to Sunday school. You heard a lot about God then. But as the years went by, you heard less and less and of course, there are so many other things to think about.
School. Boyfriends or girlfriends. Sports. Fishing. Clothes. Golf. Lots of things to buy. IPods. The Wii. PSP. Then it’s cars. Clothes. College. A house. A bigger car.
Always something to occupy your mind. People have been forgetting God for a long time. But, you might hear about him from time to time. Maybe on your wedding day … maybe. Or perhaps by chance, some zany Christian will talk about God to you and you might hear something about him.
But let a serious life problem hit you, and you’ll start thinking about God then. When the doctor says it’s cancer, you’ll pray to God fervently.