In this chapter, Welch walks the reader through the examination of his or her own fears.
Rather than minimizing your fears, find more of them. Expose them to the light of day because the more you find, the more blessed you will be when you hear words of peace and comfort (28).
It seems obvious that a problem needs to be recognized to be fixed. Of course, sometimes, I don’t want to expose my issues to the light, because it can be a painful experience.
The rest of the chapter outlines some different ways to recognize various fears. I’ll list them:
*Background Fear and Anxiety. Welch says, “Any time you love or want something deeply, you will notice fear and anxieties because you might not get them” (28). This hit home, because I have seen in myself a pattern of anxiety and worry which always relates to what I most value at that time. Currently, a lot of my anxiety centers on my four-month-old marriage. I know that when kids are drawn into the picture, the worry will probably be related to them as well.
*Physical Cues. I have noticed related that I constantly clench my jaw, even when I don’t feel stressed or anxious. But it indicates a lingering anxiety over so much in my life.
*Busy and Driven.
*Depression. I can tend toward depression, and it always relates to a nagging or terrifying anxiety. “Listen,” Welch says, “carefully to depression and you often hear fear and anxiety” (33).
*Superstitions. Welch tells us to assume we do have superstitions. This encouraged me, because I have thought I was weird in this way. For example, Laura and I started dating on the 13th of May. This caused me anxiety in the beginning of our relationship, because I (along with a lot of the culture) have viewed “13” as unlucky number. This crops up in all sorts of little, weird ways.
Welch closes the chapter by asking the question, “Could you imagine a life without fear?” (36). Personally, this entices me more than the idea of Ed McMahon coming to my door with a big cardboard check. It also seems as unlikely. I have ingrained worry and anxiety so deeply into the ruts of my life that a life without it seems impossible. Acknowledging that total inner peace and rest comes only in heaven, I also appreciate the fact that God gives his rest on eternity’s worrisome side.
May I hope in my God of rest, and learn to live a life without fear and worry and anxiety and “what if?”.
Change my heart, O God, for I know that you are my only hope.