Recently, I shared a blog post titled, "Tragic." I completely resonated with the blogger's story of fear which would creep in, grab hold of her, and drag her down the frightening path of worst cast scenario, then continue to push her down the path of how would she handle every possible detail once the tragedy had occurred.
In her post, the author eventually jumps off this futile path, grabs her bible and journal, and runs to the Lord. That is where she hears these words, "...Amy, you can’t dress rehearse tragedy."
Oh my gosh! Yes! How many times I "dress rehearsed tragedy" when my children were younger! And, by the responses I received when I shared this post, I'm pretty sure most, if not all, of us can relate.
For me, one of my greatest battle fields for "dress rehearsing tragedy" came when my husband traveled. In the days, before smart phones and text messages, my sweetheart would call me, long distance, every night from his hotel to reassure his very fearful and pregnant wife, and check up on our two rambunctious toddler boys.
I desperately needed those phone calls. However, due to differing time zones, they often came late at night, instead of when I longed for them, like at the dreaded dinner hour or when I finally collapsed into bed around ten o'clock each night. No, my phone didn't ring until 2 a.m.; 10 p.m. his time.
And when my dear hubby called, the poor guy was greeted by a distraught, exhausted, hormonal wife who had just spent hours imagining every worst case scenario. My worried and weary, over-active imagination took my husband from enjoying an evening with co-workers, to meeting a tall, thin, non-pregnant beauty, to having an affair, to being involved in a car accident, to trying to figure out what I would do when I received the phone call that he was dead. (No, I am not kidding!)
Once when my husband checked out of a hotel, the reservation clerk exclaimed she had never seen such a large phone bill. My husband joked, "it's cheaper than a divorce."
He was kidding, of course. But, when he returned home from his trip, he very lovingly told me my fears were irrational, and perhaps I should see someone. I knew he was right. And as scary as it seemed, I decided to seek help from wise, well respected, Christian counselors.
These loving professionals listened to me, shared wise insights with me, and prayed for me. I wish I could tell you, after those counseling sessions, all my fears were instantly gone and I never dress rehearsed tragedy again. Yet, seeking wise and godly counsel was a turning point for me. It was the beginning of learning about myself, as well as gaining tools to change the way I looked at life and processed my fears.
And to my great surprise, after I read Amy's post, (click the link to read more), and I thought of all the recent tragic news of hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, mass shootings, and political and social turmoil, as well as with my own personal concerns, I realized I don't dress rehearse tragedy anymore.
As I have sought godly counsel, confessed my worries and fears to faithful others, grown in my knowledge of God's word and His faithful ways, learned to take my thoughts captive and renew my mind, as I cast down my fears and worries quickly and run toward the Lord instead, I discover, again and again, He is ever present and very powerful! His grace is sufficient and always on time! And, He fills my heart with peace and truth, as I meditate on His faithfulness in the past and hold on to His promises for the future!
Dear precious readers, do you dress rehearse tragedy? Do your worries, anxiety and fear lead you down the futile path of the worst case scenario? Fear is a terrible task master, and it is not God's good plan for us! He desires to lead us with His Spirit down a path of life and peace, even and especially in the midst of tumultuous times. My prayer for you is to seek, embrace and enjoy the fruit of the Spirit, and flee the fruitless path of fear. I'm praying for you!
Bible Verses to Help Overcome Fear: Romans 8:5-6, 15; Galatians 5:22-24; 2 TImothy 1:7; 1 John 4:16-19; Psalm 91; Psalm 56:3-11; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:4-9; John 14:27; Joshua 1:9; Psalm 118:5-9