Modified: April 2020, First Published in October 2016 — Original Author: Janie Seltzer, keeperofthehome.org
With the troubling times in today’s world, it seems the conversation about how to fight fear with faith is alive and well. A crisis of any kind can be devastating to the health of our minds and spirit but it’s possible to learn how you can survive these fearful times.
Therefore, we want to share a story from our good friend and Spiritual Director at Ziglar Family, Janie Seltzer, about fear and how she overcomes it individually and for her family.
Fear is a NORMAL PART of being human!
Everyone has fears—rational fears and so-called “irrational” fears!
So don’t think there’s something wrong with you because of your fears, or that your fears are too big. Take comfort: there’s hope!
My story of fear
Here are more details of where my story of overcoming fear began: When I was a freshman at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, I was suddenly hit with a terrible fear.
One day, as I ate lunch with my boyfriend (who is now my husband Don), my tongue seemed to move awkwardly in my mouth as I was chewing.
All of a sudden, for reasons that I could not understand, I thought I was about to have an epileptic seizure. I put down my fork and did not continue to eat.
When Don and I got back on our bikes to ride in opposite directions to class, I was afraid that the epileptic seizure could happen at any time. From that day forward, for several months, I was afraid.
Everywhere I went, a dark cloud hung over my head in the radiant “Carolina blue” skies of Chapel Hill.
One day I sat and prayed in the undergrad library. As I stared down at my textbook, I asked God to help me understand where this fear came from. Under the majestic dark oak vaulted ceiling high above me, I waited . . . hoping and praying for answers.
Finding the cause of my fear
In the stillness of the place, a memory surfaced. I saw myself when I was a young girl sitting with my family in the den watching a TV show called Dr. Kildare. This particular series was about a teenage girl who developed epilepsy and had a grand mal seizure on a surfboard in the ocean in California!
Although I seemed to be unfazed by the program at the time, this memory seemed to be the source of my fear!
I realized suddenly that a fear registered in my mind and was stored in the computer of my brain, and had somehow popped up onto the screen of my mind. I was joyous to grasp that this subconscious memory was the basis of my strange reaction at lunch that day!
Relief flooded me. I naively assumed that because I recalled the source of the fear, all would be well.
But this was just the beginning. A good beginning.
But there was more . . .
Learn here the 5 Ways to Bring Positivity into Your Home Today!
The fear remained
Embarrassed by what felt like an irrational fear, I didn’t know where to turn for help.
My embarrassment prevented me from talking about my fear with anyone. I did not know a therapist to talk to . . . so I continued to struggle alone.
Finally, one day, I did the one thing I knew to do: I went back to my dorm room in the middle of the day (hoping no one would be there), shut the door and locked it. I found my study Bible, turned to the back where I knew there was a concordance (like a bible topical dictionary).
Then I got down on my knees beside my bed and plead with God, “Please help me overcome fear.“
Looking in the Bible
When silence was my only answer, I looked up the word fear in the concordance, praying for help from the Bible⏤something, anything! I started looking up all of the verses related to fear, beginning with the Old Testament.
I plowed through, verse by verse, reading things as I quoted before: “I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me, freeing me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
“Great,” I thought to myself. “David found freedom from fear . . . but he doesn’t tell me how!”
But that was not entirely true. He says, “He sought the Lord... “
But isn’t that what I was doing?