When I think of fear, I see the “cliffs of insanity” talked of in “The Princess Bride” I am to climb. I felt great fear being chased by a mad rooster as a teen. I feel fear and anxiety when I think of my single life after losing my husband to death. I felt fear when I tried to help a teen bent on physical abuse in an alternative school.
When I think of fear, my thoughts take me to the recent Las Vegas tragedy, as terror was instilled by others wanting to harm. All these feelings and thoughts cause terrible fear, but there is a way to overcome them.
Our life might not be as dramatic as rock climbing or enduring an unexpected trauma, but every day can introduce us to fearful experiences and we must learn to deal with them. We can learn to calm our anxiety as well.
There are so many encouraging words from the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) about this very topic. They say it so well, that I need to include them here:
“There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may be burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls.
In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope…. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn. This is ‘the Spirit of Jesus Christ,’ which gives ‘light to every man that cometh into the world.’” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf (First Presidency; April 2013 LDS General Conference)
From a recent talk in the LDS Church General Conference, Henry B. Eyring said:
“In a season of increasing tumult in the world, those increases in testimony have driven out doubt and fear and have brought us feelings of peace.”
Then there are these marvelous words from Jeffrey R. Holland on the close of the April LDS Church General Conference in 2016:
“Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christ-like virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going.”
Our faith can grow by choice when we take the time to read our scriptures, pray about those scriptures and then ponder what we have read. I use my driving time to work to listen to scriptures on CD.
It is amazing how calm I can be through miles of backed up traffic in Phoenix when I am listening. It’s relatively quiet and then I turn them off and pray and ponder. By the time I arrive at work, I feel so calm and at peace. It is amazing. This quiet time builds my faith which alleviates fear.
Reading and listening to inspired writings and living a faith-filled, Christ-like life will help us in our fearful thoughts and high anxiety. In turn, our inner peace will come from those thoughts we ponder within. I experience a lot more inner anxiety than I care to admit but this is a great way to calm down and not lash out or become angry when I get frustrated.
I can’t always listen when thrown into a stressful moment but those quiet times sustain me when anxiety starts to build. Anxiety causes us to become fearful. Fear can hold us back in doing what you want to do every day. Faith fights fear. I know it and I live it.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.