Fearing bad news


A few years ago, I wrote about being crippled with fear.  There have been times in my life when I was overwhelmed with perpetual fear–specifically fear that my father was going to die. Late at night, crying in my bed, I would plead with God,

“Don’t take my dad until you give me a husband. I cannot grieve my dad’s death alone in my bed. Please don’t make me.”

After I got married, waves of that same fear would suddenly crash on top of me.  Would God now end my dad’s life because He gave me a husband?

Slowly those fears changed shape into fear that my husband would unexpectedly die. I would lie awake at night, my sleeping husband next to my side, imagining what I would do if he was suddenly gone. Could I bear to sleep in our bed again or even live in our house?  Would I move in with my parents or my sister? Could I survive?

Lately, my fears have continued to evolve. I sat across a lunch table with a friend last week, tears in my eyes, as I told her about my fear of growing old with my husband and then to someday wake up to his lifeless body, or find him forever asleep in a chair. Even yesterday, I began to cry over the thought of one of us getting Alzheimers or Dementia– and sadness overwhelmed me, imagining my husband as my ever-sweet, perfectly-patient caretaker while my mind and our love deteriorated before his eyes. I AM GETTING MISTY EYED AS I WRITE THIS.

I’ve been told this is normal– something that many new brides experience. I’ve also heard you experience it all over again after your first child– fearing your child’s death, your husband’s death or other fears you couldn’t have previously fathomed.

But I don’t want to keep getting slammed with fear.

I don’t want to cry all the time because of things that may happen 60 years from now.  I don’t want to waste a second of this life by crying over or fearing something that is completely out of my control. I just want to trust God, live open-handedly, and choose joy every moment.

Of course God knows this. He knows I’ve been struggling with this. He is intimately aware of my thoughts, fears, and worries.  And in His kindness, I came across a verse during my morning reading:

“They do not fear bad news;  they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” -Psalm 112:17 (NLT)

God’s people– those who love Him, obey Him, and know Him– they do not fear bad news. There is a lot of bad news I could imagine. The worst news being the death of any of my loved ones. But I don’t have to fear even the worst news, because I know God will take care of me.

I do not fear bad news; I confidently trust the Lord to care for me.

It’s become my mantra. Each time a sliver of a fear trickles across my mind, I say those words out loud. “I do not fear bad news! I confidently trust God to care for me!” He always has and He always will. I have even been privileged enough to witness this in other friends’ lives as well. I have watched friends travel through the worst news–losing parents, siblings, even a child–and God carefully and graciously provides for them every time. His strength perfected in their weakness. His love overflowing in their hurt.

God will take care of you.

I don’t know what bad news you fear, or what bad news you are facing today. But I am confident that God will take care of you. You don’t have to fear.

4 thoughts on “Fearing bad news”

  1. Oh my word, YES. Every time Andrew leaves for a day trip or just to go to a meeting, the thought crosses my mind: What if he doesn’t come back?

    We heard Piper speak recently about 1 Peter and he focused on the passage in 1 Peter 3 where he says you are Sarah’s children “if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

    Piper followed that up by saying that submission is a call to FEARLESSNESS. That gentle and quiet spirit means we have the bravery of a warrior, we adorn ourselves with hope in our heavenly Father.

    So then I looked around my house and realized I was already preaching this to myself. The verse in my kitchen is “Do not fear for I am with you.”

    There’s a C.S. Lewis quote in my bedroom that says, “Courage, Dear Heart.”

    The verse over my desk is “She laughs at the days to come…”

    I have struggled with fear and anxiety, spent some time in therapy over it, and I still fight it to this day. But it was a comfort to realize that not fearing the bad things is a process that He is still refining in me. He is making me more like Sarah and the other “holy women who hoped in God.” And my own heart has cried out for this, even in the words I choose to hang on the walls of my home.

    He’s not finished. And every fear He fights in me makes me just a little stronger, a little braver. Glory to Him who doesn’t leave us alone, who doesn’t scoff at our fears, but holds us close and says, “I am with you!”

    Great piece, Hanna!

  2. Girl!!!
    Story of my life! You are NOT alone in the struggle!! And unfortunately…..after having Grailey that fear of her dying is ever so present….heck….i even feared losing her during my entire pregnancy!! So this speaks to my soul…thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing this!!

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