I once heard a speaker say, "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's hard to remember that your primary objective is to drain the swamp." Alligators, or fear, are the things that cause detours in our life and make us unproductive and unsure of ourselves, those things that keep us from living fully. Living in fear is real for so many. It can manifest itself in different forms ... anxiety, fear and worry to full blown panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorders. This fear can be triggered by an everyday situation or by a traumatic event.
I love the image of God in Psalm 91:4. Have you ever watched a mother hen scoop her chicks into her wings? When fear grips us. God gathers us up in the safety of His love. Fear can be crippling, but you never have to face it alone. As a believer, you have the promise in Philippians 4:6-7... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Imagine never being anxious about anything! It seems like an impossibility - we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school. But Paul's advice is to turn our worries into prayers. Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.
Coping with fear...
Read Psalm 91 and have your teen repeat the promises.
Try a breath prayer with your teen: As you inhale, pray, "God is with me." As you exhale, pray, "I will not be afraid."
Help your teen find scripture verses on fear. Laminate them (credit card size) for them to keep in their bag or locker. Here are a couple you may want to include: Psalm 23:4a, II Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 43:1-2, 4, Psalm 86:6-7.
If you feel your teen may be suffering from more than ordinary anxiety, please contact a therapist or doctor.
Lord, so often I think I don't have what it takes to face the world. I feel lonely, scared, and unsure of what to do. I want to walk in confidence and to live fully; please show me how.