Trials are a part of our lives. But what do we do when life gets so tough we’re not sure we can keep going? Learn how to find hope during hard times with these five tips for putting faith over fear during trials.
A couple years ago, I was sick. Nothing too bad, just a cold with a low-grade fever. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was enough to make me extra tired and a little on edge.
But then, my husband came home early from work with a stomach bug. Throwing up is my biggest fear, so this was a not-so-great scenario for me. I sent him upstairs to keep the germs contained and went on with my day.
Well, thanks to my good friends anxiety and OCD, the day got worse and worse. I couldn’t stop considering the worst case scenario–that me and the kids would start puking as well, all while Dad was puking too. No, thank you.
Frustrated by My Anxiety
The stress was building and I was trying to not think about it and keep our household running as normal, all while still dealing with my own fever and congestion issues. By the time bedtime rolled around, I was a mess.
I somehow managed to keep my cool and get the kids to bed, pretending everything was fine, before I lost it and turned into a huge puddle of tears. The fear wouldn’t leave me alone and I felt so weak and frustrated by my own anxiety. Why couldn’t I just let it go? Why couldn’t I just be strong enough to get through MY HUSBAND having the stomach flu? I wasn’t even the one throwing up and I felt like the world was ending. Geez, what was wrong with me?
Getting My Answer
Not knowing what else to do, I prayed. And the answer I got was to open my scriptures. Not the app on my phone that I often read on, but the physical copy. I pulled the book out and opened it to a random page from the Book of Mormon (a book of scripture from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and my eyes landed on these words:
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether: 12:27).
Now the tears were falling for a completely different reason. I know that it wasn’t a coincidence I opened up to this page. My Father in Heaven was looking out for me and He led me to these words–the exact words I needed to read in that moment.
Faith Brings Strength
With a renewed hope that I would make it through this trial, I put my faith in my Heavenly Father. I knew that this weakness, this anxiety, was meant teach me. And so instead of focusing on my fear, I focused on what I could learn from this moment. And I felt a strength I hadn’t felt all day.
Unfortunately, trials are part of life. We’re all going to have them. And we’re all going to have fears. We can’t control that. But we can control how we choose to look at them. It’s not easy, but the important things rarely are.
Here are five tips I’ve used to help calm my fears and instead turn to faith:
When I’m feeling fear, my breathing tends to get erratic. I can’t calm down enough to get a good breath. When I feel my breathing becoming uncontrollable, I stop and focus on my breath. I take a few deep breaths, feeling the air fill up my lungs, then slowly release. In and out. In and out. This helps me calm down just a little bit.
Once my breathing is under control, I say a prayer. I’m a very religious person, so my Father in Heaven is a big part of my life. I find that praying helps me feel less alone and helps me recognize the goodness in my life. I know that He’s listening and, just like in my story above, He will answer my prayers–even if the answers don’t always come when or how I expect them to.
3. Stay in the Present Moment
Fear or anxiety puts us in the future. In my story above, I was putting myself in the future, the what ifs of the stomach bug spreading. I couldn’t manage to stay in the here-and-now, the fact that my kids and I were still healthy. That’s what anxiety does.
To ground myself in the present, I try to focus on my surroundings. What do I hear? Smell? Taste? See? Feel? Naming these things, sometimes out loud, helps me remember to live my life right now and not worry so much about what I can’t control (the future).
Gratitude changes everything! When I focus on what I’m thankful for, I have a really hard time worrying about my fears. I’m too focused on all the blessings I have! Here are some tips to increase daily gratitude.
5. Read or Listen to Comforting Words
Find something that makes you feel uplifted. This can be scriptures, music, podcasts, Ted talks, religious sermons, a good book, anything you can think of. This will help take your mind off whatever you’re worried about and instead feel you with inspiration.
Replace Fear with Faith
Fear is going to be a part of our lives, but with a focus on faith, we can see our weaknesses in a whole new light. By adding a few tools to our “Combatting Fear Toolbox”, we’ll better be able to change our fear into faith and live better, happier lives.Click To Tweet
What do you do when you’re filled with fear?
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