PART I: Pandemic: The Key to Fighting Fear

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Once depression, anxiety, fear, and panic take up residence within us, it is hard to reverse them and return to a peaceful, calm perspective. These strong emotions can be very unsettling, disruptive and destructive to one’s peace, and are self-perpetuating. Fear especially can even affect your mental health, your physical health, and spiritual health in a myriad of ways if it goes unchecked. But there is good news in all of this. Many people find that positive thinking, and prayer and gratitude to God, are the remedies for fear, despair and panic.

As a retired RN, I know well that extended periods of prolonged, intense stress may, and often do, harm one’s physical and mental health. Pervasive, ongoing stress-like pandemic stress–has the potential to affect one’s mental health, and virtually every organ, every system in one’s body, in a negative way. It can cause, provoke, or exacerbate a whole host of serious medical issues including: cardiac symptoms such as angina chest pain, or heart attacks; autoimmune exacerbations of lupus, psoriatic arthritis and multiple sclerosis (MS); gastro-intestinal symptoms, ulcers, debilitating migraines… and the list goes on and on…

Particularly during this pandemic, we need to do everything we can to ease unnecessary stress, and support and maintain positive mind-body-spirit well-being. Fear and anxiety are contagious. Despite this pandemic we are living in, we need to do everything in our power to rise above our negativity, fears, and circumstances. We must enlist all of our resources to cope. One of those life-giving resources is prayer.

We must be diligent and work hard to maintain some sense of ‘normalcy,’ even in the midst of the current uncertainty, upheaval, and social isolation. If nothing else, finding and implementing new coping strategies may very well serve to boost ones immune system, and provide relief for those who are overwhelmed. These coping strategies, especially prayer, may help putting an end to our worrying about things we can’t control, as we get a refreshed perspective, and prevent the damaging effects of ongoing stress.

For people of faith, it is comforting to recognize that God knows exactly what we are going through during this pandemic-this unprecedented, uncertain, and for some people, devastating time. If we can just turn to God through it all, mindful that He loves us profoundly and beyond measure, perhaps we can regain our serenity and peace. He is not a faraway God. Rather, He is a saving, loving, compassionate, ever-present God-right here with us.

Where Does Your Help Come From?

So where does your help come from? Some say it is their faith that gives them hope… and I concur. Within the mind-body-spirit connection, it is important to address all three areas of wellness. People of faith need to pray daily through this pandemic,for protection, guidance, healing, and peace for ourselves, and for their loved ones. God will help you cope as you turn to Him and place your trust in Him more and more. For when things seem most out of control, and we feel weary, burdened, overwhelmed, and lost. God is there, and He is in control. We need to invite Him in to our lives, praying fervently, and with great anticipation, as we place our trust, and confidence in Him. Then we can forge ahead unafraid, knowing with confidence that He is working all things out on our behalf, in His own special time and way, for the common good.

“All things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

When we are fearful, despairing, or panic-ridden, it makes it difficult-impossible even– to reach out, encourage, or comfort those around us-let alone ourselves. Perhaps today is the day to choose to put aside all negativity, invite God in to your life, and ask Him for His help. Asking God for help-even for the first time may be life-changing, and could be the most life-giving decision you’ll ever make. Though each of our experiences and beliefs are unique, we are all enduring this turbulent time, this storm, if you will, together. For holistic healing, we need to fight fear daily, and pray for peace for ourselves and our loved ones, as we strive to endure and rise above the pandemic, and the all of the adversities we face.

Though it takes much fortitude and courage to fight fear, we need to remember that this is a once in a lifetime, time-limited experience. With a vaccine on the horizon, this pandemic will eventually abate. The people of this country, in fact this world, will endure it and eventually likely emerge stronger, more caring, and empathetic. It is likely, too, that there will also be a great outpouring of people growing in faith and seeking God more fervently, as never before.

When we pray and choose to put aside all anxiety, despair, fear and panic-and it is a choice–we are able to revel in the peace and rest in the calm that only God can provide. By so doing, we are enabled to watch and witness as these taxing negative emotions go by the wayside, and are replaced with a new, abiding, contagious hope in God. Trusting in God’s holy love, care and abundant supply, we are able to go forward unencumbered, refreshed. For the holy Bible tells us:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

© Copyright 2020 | Adele M. Gill

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