It can happen anytime your brain shifts gears, and it happens to me a lot. You are just living your busy life when BAM!, out of the blue, you are struck by a fear. A concern. A worry. An anxious thought, first one, then two, then twenty. What-Ifs begin to pile up and What-Would-I-Do and then the fear begins to seep in, slowly and then faster, soaking you in this terrible, suffocating sense that something is terribly wrong.
For some, this is a constant reality and state of mind, a difficult challenge that requires real healing and sometimes professional help. But for all of us, worry is real. It impacts our life. It distracts us from the present and sullies our hope in the future. It is insidious and overwhelming and it’s a joy-stealer. But it isn’t our only choice.
In She’s Got Issues, I talk about the reality of fears and how we can get stuck on a “channel” in our brain and keep repeating the same worries, like a bad song that just won’t go away. But just like a bad song we keep singing, the only way to stop singing that bad song is to sing a new song. Turning our minds to truth is an intentional choice.
For me, this has looked like a simple exercise–the ABCs of Jesus. Anytime I feel overwhelmed by a concern, a thought pattern, or a fear that isn’t leading me to hope or joy, I sing a new song. The Bible says
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8, NLT)
This is why memorizing scripture literally changes us–it gives us a new song of truth to replace an old, terrible song of fear and worry. I love to declare the ABC’s of Jesus to myself, literally going from one letter to the next, thinking of a quality of Christ that I can praise all the way through the alphabet. Sometimes I can focus and do this quickly; other times my mind is so distracted that it takes me a while to get through the words. But 100% of the time, when I get to Z–I’ve changed the channel in my mind. I’ve moved past my own fears and into the arms of my Father, who has comforted and corrected my thinking to bring me back to a place of joy.
The best way to learn your ABC’s is to write it for yourself, but I’ve also created a handout for you of my words, so you can print out and start singing a new song for yourself. So grateful for you–drop a comment here if you have any other tips to add for fighting fear!
Here’s the download: abcs-of-jesus
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