Listen HERE to Episode 22
Well hello, friends, I’m so glad you’re here.
I’m just jumping straight in this week and getting super honest.
As you may know, someone close to me was recently diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer, but on top of that I’ve had a few personal health issues that have started my mind spiraling…
Is the the cancer back?
Has it spread?
What’s going on God?
And as you can imagine it swung me back into all the usual cancer fears.
These are some things that I have heard from you that keep you up at night as well:
- Fear of all the unknowns
- Fear of the cancer coming back bigger and stronger
- Fear that God has dropped the ball or is ignoring you
- Fear of losing the future you planned and dreamed of
- Fear of leaving loved ones behind – especially those who are totally dependent on you either physically or emotionally
- Fear of the pain we‘ve got to go through
- Fear this might be it
Fear is cancer’s #1 sidekick.
Where cancer comes, fear’s right behind it like a menacing bully – adding insult to injury.
And no one – and I mean no one – is immune, so I’m going to be hanging out and talking about fear and worry over the next week or so because it’s SUCH a big issue.
I’ll be diving into some practical, emotional, and spiritual things we can do.
I’m even in the middle of creating a more in-depth resource to lead you through fighting fear in your mind body and soul – can’t wait for you to get your hands on that!
But the reason I’m telling you about my own fears and how fear is such a big issue is because if that’s you too, and you’re battling constant fear, I want to reassure you of three things:
- It’s completely normal, and you’re not alone.
- You’re not weak, and your faith isn’t sub-standard, you’re not a lukewarm Christian. You’re not alone and there’s nothing weak about you or your faith.
- We might not be able to stop the fears coming at us but we can conquer them. You can stop fear ruling your life.
And today going to show you a way that we can keep cancer from ruling our lives.
How many of us have found ourselves staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night worried about our recent scan and what it will show?
Or maybe you’ve discovered yourself biting your nails to the quick or pacing up and down, worried you won’t see your kids or grandkids grow up and get married.
We worry about how much treatment will hurt, whether we’ll lose our dignity, whether it’s terminal, or if it’s going to come back.
We’re afraid God’s forgotten about us, or He is mad.
We worry about everything we don’t know, don’t understand, and can’t see.
We just want a sense of peace and calm in the craziness and worry.
As C. S. Lewis said, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us, we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be….”
Like I said many times before, we can’t avoid the fear – we are built for it, and it’s actually a good thing.
But we don’t have to live in it or be ruled by it.
There is a way to conquer our cancer fears and to go through cancer with a sense of peace, calm and trust that other people will begin to notice and comment on.
I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all your fears vanish, but I can’t.
What can do is give you the tools, strategies, and techniques to conquer them when they come – in dead of night, in chemo chair, or in middle of the cereal aisle at the supermarket.
It can be so frustrating to try and deal with the fear and for it to just come right back again.
That’s why this isn’t a one-and-done deal, but a system and tools for you to be able to deal with the fears every single time they raise their ugly head.
My goal is to give you all you need to not let fear boss you around ever again.
Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that it is possible, there is hope – and you don’t have to live in constant fear and worry.
As I said I’ve been swung back into a whole heap of fear recently, and I’ve had to be super intentional about doing things to rob the fear of its power.
I’ve had to work hard to not let fear be the boss of me.
Yes, the fears, worry and anxiety are very present and horribly real, and they follow me around wherever I go. But they don’t get a say in the way I live my life or how I feel about my life. They don’t get to boss me around.
To help you do the same I wanted to share the four things I do when I feel fear rising so I can find the peace and calm I so desperately need:
First, Notice it.
It may sound crazy but I often don’t know fear is what’s driving me.
I might notice something else first: I’m distracted, pacing, can’t sleep biting nails, snapping at people, Googling(!)
Or I notice it in my body first: sweaty palms, racing heart, etc.
I often don’t realize I’m afraid but I won’t be able to sleep, or I procrastinate and am snappy!
That’s when I have to take a minute and stop and ask myself “what’s going on?”
Maybe your mind is not swirling with questions and fears, but what’s your body telling you?
Second, Articulate it.
Putting words to the fears gets them out in the open and robs them of their power.
I see you, fear, and I’m getting you out of my head and onto paper because you’re a lot less dangerous there.
Write a list. Journal. Pray. Scream it. Just get it out.
Third, Breathe it out.
Stop and breathe. Breathe, out the fear.
I even imagine it leaving my body as I exhale.
Then, once my fears our out, I am able to look at them objectively and do the last step…
Are they real or imagined?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that my fears are imaginary and I’m scared of monsters under the bed.
But our fears do come from somewhere, and that somewhere has two parts – one real, one imagined.
There’s what’s actually happening and what we imagine about what’s happening.
For example, you’ve got scan coming up (that’s a real fact) but our worry is focused on what’s imaged – we worry about the 50 terrible scenarios the scan leads to – cancer’s spread, the need for more surgery, the treatment hasn’t worked, the doctor says there’s nothing more they can do – you get the idea.
There’s what’s happened or about to happen…and then what we imagine about it.
Tim Ferris talks about this in detail on his TED talk – click here to take a listen.
Lastly, give it all – real and imagined – to Jesus.
Through prayer and journaling – just like in the Psalms.
Unburden our hearts and surrender your fears to Him.
And ask for His peace from His Spirit in return. That is what He promises to give you.
Let’s take a moment to pray using our simple guided prayer format that uses the acronym TRUST.
Thanking Him for who he is and what he’s done. Resting in his love. Unburdening our hearts. Surrendering our hopes, fears and needs. Taking Him at his word.
If you haven’t already, you can download your own copy of our TRUST prayer practice on a beautiful book mark below!
Listen HERE to Episode 22
Or listen on Apple Podcasts.
If you haven’t already, download your TRUST prayer book mark HERE so you can pray along with me and pray with more confidence and less doubt in the week ahead.
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