“I have accepted fear as a part of life — specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: ‘turn back!'” ~ Erica Jong, author

New Fears

Fear is a part of divorce. For awhile, terror was a part of divorce for me.

I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to support myself. I was afraid my kids would be forever scarred because of our “broken family.” I was afraid I would never be happy again. I was afraid my kids might like my wasband’s new wife better than me. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle all the change in my life.

Confronting Fear

Sometimes, don’t you feel like running away from the fears in your heart? Cathy Newton, one of the speakers at my divorce recovery bootcamps, tells a story that has helped me tremendously in dealing with my fears.

Cathy was living in an old remodeled farmhouse when she discovered a six-foot-long black snake in the crawl space of their cellar laundry room. Her husband, who had grown up on a farm, told her that black snakes were “good snakes.” He even got her a book that explained why black snakes were good to have around your house.

Armed with new information to quiet her pounding heart, Cathy grew to accept “Blackie,” as she saw him on several other occasions. She faced her fear with information and clear, realistic thinking.

Real VS. Imagined Threats

Whenever I feel fear rising up in my throat, I try to evaluate the real threat, think of a worst case scenario and figure out what I’d do if the worst thing happened. I also try to take a few deep breaths and remember that no matter what I’m facing, the God of the universe has promised to give me a spirit of power, love and self-control. With that realization, I hope to keep “my snakes” in a place where they can do some good.

What are your snakes? What fears are controlling you, today? Investigate them. Evaluate if they are real, or imagined threats. And if your fear is really worth worrying about, get help to deal with it. Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your journey forward. Face it head on… despite how hard your heart may be pounding!

“For God does not give us a spirit of timidity and fear, but a spirit of power and love and self control.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

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