It’s fitting that October was chosen as breast cancer awareness month. Goblins and ghouls lurking in grocery store windows. Oversized spiders and spooky skeletons dangling on front doors. Creepy movies. Haunted houses. Cancer.
Throw in a daily barrage of news reports on terrorism, infectious disease, an unstable economy, violent crime, sudden disasters and freak accidents and we’re left with a pretty frightening world (with or without Halloween). Is it me, or is life beginning to feel less like taking a journey and more like navigating a minefield? Even worse, our loved ones are out there trying to cross that minefield, too. It’s tempting to live in fear. Here’s how I’m fighting it.
Unplug…or at least cut back. To a certain extent it’s important to know what’s happening; sticking our heads in the sand won’t make for a safer, happier planet. But twenty-four hour cable news and constant access to social media are making us all a little nutty. Those tiny machines that place the world at our fingertips are incredibly convenient, but they have the power to scare us silly. I want my home to be a refuge from the craziness, not a front row seat to every horrific event, chilling image and awful news story breaking around the globe.
See the big picture. I know it’s bad, but is it worse now than ever? Part of me thinks yep, it’s worse. Then again, maybe we’re just more aware. I’m pretty sure those facing the devastation of Bubonic Plague, the cruelty of the Crusades, or the suffering of either of our world wars would vote their time in history as the most dismal; they just didn’t have CNN news crews posting it all to Twitter. Putting things in perspective can alleviate anxiety as we remember that bad things have been happening for thousands of years; sin existed yesterday as much as it does today.
Do something. Another way to fight fear is to get busy. For the past few months, Karen (that’s her in the middle), a friend and fellow breast cancer survivor, has been training for an upcoming three-day, sixty-mile Susan G. Komen Walk in San Diego. She’s raised over $5,000 and organized a golf tournament to garner even more support. Karen doesn’t have time to sit around being fearful of cancer because she’s too busy inspiring other women to fight. Fear has a way of rudely barging into the forefront of our minds; engaging in something purposeful is a powerful way to push it back.
Remember who wins. There’s no way around it, it’s a broken world and bad things will happen. But knowing the Lord means remembering that the scary stuff doesn’t win in the end. We do. He promises strength and courage to bring us through whatever we have to face on earth, and when this life is through, heaven awaits. Seems like a win-win to me.
God carried me through my cancer, just like He can carry me through the next bad thing that comes my way, and the next bad thing that comes yours. The goblins and ghouls (and the cancer and the news stories) aren’t going anywhere, but giving in to fear is a choice. Do you struggle with the scary stuff, too? How do you fight against the fear? I’d love to hear from you.
To support Karen and join the battle against breast cancer visit http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2012/Generalpx=5535728&pg=personal&fr_id=1864&s_subsrc=bfDskFbPfPrbdg&s_src=boundlessfundraising