~ Every anxious thought that steals my breath
It’s a heavy weight upon my chest
As I lie awake and wonder what the future will hold
Help me to remember that You’re in control
You’re my courage when I worry in the dead of night
You’re my strength ’cause I’m not strong enough to win this fight
You are greater than the battle raging in my mind
I will trust You, Lord, I will fear no more ~ Fear No More, The Afters
Fear. Anxiety. Worry. These words have become my new reality since Melanie passed away. When my son drops something behind me that I wasn’t expecting I jump like a bomb just went off. As my husband is taking the garbage out and bangs against the door, I practically come out of my own skin. When did this happen? How did it happen?
I know many who struggle with anxiety. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I fought and won this battle decades ago and now, here it is. Back again. Knocking at my door. The thing is, I don’t want to walk in fear, wondering what the next bad thing is that’s going to blow up my life. When your child dies and you hear those words, it’s not something that simply just, goes away. The images in your mind are not so easily erased. I believe that when an unexpected and tragic death occurs, the thoughts and feelings that suddenly seem to pummel you from every direction is actually, quite normal. Fear and anxiety have even gripped my sweet Cameron. Every time I’m getting ready to leave the house he wants to know: Where are you going? What time will you be back? How long will you be gone? There it is again. Knock, knock, knocking on my door. Fear. Anxiety. Worry. You are not welcome here!
Fear and trust were two things Melanie continually struggled with. Fear of the future. Fear of people. Fear of failure. Fear of getting high. Fear of not getting high. Fear of not being loved. Fear of not being enough. Fear of not being accepted. She often said she didn’t trust anyone, but in her everyday battle, she did trust, just all the wrong people. This was something we talked about the day before she died. During that last phone call, she had an epiphany and with a very sad voice said, “Mom, you were right. I really am a very bad judge of character.” I didn’t want to be right, but I also couldn’t argue with her. It was true. Unfortunately, it was, in part, due to placing her trust in the wrong people that she is no longer with us today.
When we cry out to the Lord, he hears us (Psalm 18:6), and he will answer us in many different ways. So, when the words to the song, Fear No More, by The Afters dropped into my heart, they were like balm to my soul. A sweet and gentle reminder that I don’t have to fear. I don’t have to worry. Have I won the battle? Not entirely, but I’m fighting it every step of the way. I’m determined that each day I’m closer to winning the war and I will remember, “I will trust you Lord. I will fear no more.” Melanie understood anxiety and she wouldn’t want me or Cameron to become paralyzed with it. This is yet another reason to rise up and say: “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). God’s words are the weapons of our warfare. This has become my battle cry! If I’m in a war for my soul, my mind, my peace, I’m going to fight it with everything I have in me.