Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Spirit of Fear

I've been fighting a spirit of "fear" this week. I don't like admitting that. It's that dreaded week that comes across my calendar every year -- check up time. Ask any cancer survivor. Most I know dread the whole experience of check-ups. You walk back into the hospital or the doctor's office - you have the tests or exams. All of the emotions and fears you pack neatly away during the other 51 weeks of the year, come back to the surface. At least that's how it is for me.

On a day to day basis, I don't think about my cancer so much anymore. I'm six years out from my diagnosis. Low grade endometrial stromal sarcoma. I've had NED (no evidence of disease) since 2006, but annual CT scans are required - and chest xrays to watch for it's return. 50% of women with this cancer have it recur, so the annual check ups are important. When I flipped my April calendar over and saw the yearly appointment for next week -- ugghhh! Me and fear started our annual banter.

It's so easy for me to recognize the damage that fear can do to OTHER people.

(This seems to be a trend in my life.)

I know people that have made a lifestyle out of fear. They wear it - they hide behind it - they use it as an excuse. If it's possible, I think they grow quite comfortable with it. It's so easy for me to see that they're missing out on valuable opportunities and experiences in their lives. Fear hinders. It neutralizes effectiveness. I can see it so easily in someone else.

So, why do I allow it to whip me?

I've been ineffective and distracted all week. I won't lie. I don't feel that I've accomplished anything worthwhile. I've been tired. It's worn me out. It's reflected in my house this morning (dishes on by the sink, a pile of laundry waiting to be folded, mail stacked too high.) I've pretty much given the enemy a "golden pass" to smack me around this week!

As I sit here writing this post, I'm wondering why the heck I've done that? I think this is a good time to change things up. Instead of sacrificing a whole week of my life to fear and dread -- I think I'll shift the focus.

God has reminded me several times this week that the best defense against fear is "trust" in His faithfulness. I could sit and write out tons of examples of how He's provided for me, protected me, walk through tough experiences with me, surrounded me - and comforted me. That needs to be my focus this week.

 "..For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline..."
 2 Timothy 1:7.

How about you? is fear keeping you from living out your purpose for being on planet earth? or being really effective in your life? is fear keeping you from doing something you've dreamed of doing? We do just get one shot at life, you know.

I'm reminded when I sense fear rising up in me -- that fear does not come from God. If it's not from God -- pretty sure I don't want it.

The enemy will be so displeased with that approach. Hmmmm. He's had so much success over me this week, that's a pretty good reason to embrace it! No more "golden passes" this week from me.

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