My family jokes that my first boyfriend was Darth Vader. I’d run wild through the house in my Underoos,
blanket cape flying in the air, belting refrains of the Star Wars theme. I’d alternate between fighting Vader and acting imposing like him as I played. What girl can resist the powerful, strong, tall dark and handsome type, right??
Our relationship was doomed from the start though. As soon as I understood that “dark” meant evil-killer-and-suppressor-of-everything-good-including-cute-puppies, I’d dig my face in to the couch pillows whenever he showed up (which, fortunately, was always preceded by the breathing. Thank you, George Lucas.)
Not all our fears are as easily escaped or even buffered. The biggest couch pillows in the world aren’t enough when we’re facing a divorce, job loss, financial crisis, or debilitating illness.
Or when you’re pressing into that purpose you know is inside, but don’t have a clue how you’ll live it out.
How do we face and defeat fears that catch us off guard like that? Or worse, ones that just linger on and on, with no hope for relief?
Churchill said it best, when confronting the fears of a war-ravaged Britain during WWII:
You can’t go through scary places and seasons in your life without turning right around and facing them head-on. So, in honor of my first boyfriend (ehem) here are some tools to beat your fears:
View the issue or situation from God’s standpoint. Know the truth. Know His word. Hold on to the promises. Listen to it. Read it. Speak it. Memorize it. The more of God’s truth is in your mind, the more you’ll view the situation from his standpoint of power and hope.
Adjust your expectations (of yourself and others). Put a little margin back into your life so you can process the feelings, see things from God’s view, get the rest you need during that added stress.
Decide to never ever ever give up. (Because seriously, if you think it’s scary where you are now, imagine how bad it will be if you just decide to build a house and live there!)
Envision you: with courage. Think thoughts like this: If I wasn’t scared out of my pants right now, how would I feel? Or if I wasn’t shaking in my boots right now, where else could I invest my energy? Fear paralyzes us, but the underlying or accompanying feelings of grief, sadness, embarrassment, or disappointment are ones we can process without the adrenaline onslaught.
Rely on your team. The rebels in Star Wars lasted as long as they did because they were a team. They met together regularly, discussed strategies, encouraged one another and went to battle together. Fear preys on us most when we’re alone, so stick to your team (which includes God who’s assured you “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”)
Don’t let that scary Vader breathing keep you from moving forward today. Use the View-Adjust-Decide-Envision-Rely tools and beat him at his own game.
The Rebel Alliance (a.k.a. your family and friends) will thank you for it!