When Fear and Sadness are Pressing In

It is like an elephant is sitting on your chest.  It feels like there is no more room to breathe.  If feels like you might choke.  Or cry. Or scream. Or die.

These are the moments when fear presses in hard.  Reason goes out the window.  Crazy thoughts begin to dance manically in your head.  All is not well and you feel like it might not be well for awhile.

The walls are caving in and you need Jesus.  But, where is He?  How come He won’t save you from this moment?  All you need is space, but all you feel is squished.

What are you to do?

First of all, you are right where you need to be.  Do not add shame to the fear.  Fear is a work of Satan.  Deal with the fear first and the shame will disappear.  You need to start by saying TRUTH into the moment.  May I suggest some things I do when I feel this way?

    1. Turn on a light.  Go outside.  Literally act out Isaiah 9:2  that says, “The people who walk in darkness  will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.” Bring the physical light into your space.
    2. Galatians 4:7 says, “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”  May I recommend literally just saying those words over and over?  When we speak truth into suffocating spaces, we begin to push back the walls. If you do feel as if you cannot talk, may I recommend listening to this song over and over until there is space to think?

3. Make a list of what you are afraid of and exactly what you need fixed.  Pray this list exactly how you wrote it to God.  He wants your honesty.  He loves your honesty.  He loves that you are coming to Him and no longer letting your mind lead the way.

The problems don’t go away.  The fear goes away.  There are situations where you are going to have to come back minute by minute and do this all over again.  That is okay.  You are not meant to do this on your own.

Remember you are a child of God.  I took the picture below while hiking in a cloud on Pilot Mountain here in North Carolina. At first, I thought it was a great picture representing when life seems to press in on me.  However, after I took the picture and looked back on it, this thought came to me, “What if, Janelle, this is what it looks like to have God sitting over you- protecting you, fighting for you as you fight the world?  What if this is what it looks like to have God stand big and say, ‘This sweet thing below me is mine.  Back off, Satan, fear and hell.  She is mine and she is going to need some space.'”  The picture took on a whole new meaning.  I am safe because I have God standing over me.  This fear is tiny and I can say it is so because of what Psalm 18:2 says, 

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Click here for a free printable of this verse and picture- The LORD is my rock.

Do not despair.  You are loved.  You are not alone.


About Janelle Upton

My name is Janelle and I am so glad you are here. I am a person who God brought out of a dark pit and set in a spacious place to be healed and really live. I love to study, read, and ponder all things that will lead me to understand who God is and what He is doing in my life. May what you read in this space lead you to walk closer to the God that is crazy in love with you.

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