Feeding Our Faith, Not Our Fears

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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Some days we might feel great. On those days, the physical part of us aligns with the mental part, and the mental part aligns with the emotional part, and everything feels great.

But there are also days when things don’t align so well. We might wonder what changes from day to day that makes one moment so easy and the next so terribly hard.

Nothing specifically has happened to make the moments or the days so different. Yet they are. One moment we might have hope. The next, the dark grays of despair have shoved the bright, sunny colors back into the gloomy recesses of the crayon box, making for a dreadfully dark day overshadowed by the blues.

Despair can be a dark, debilitating place. It can be a very lonely place filled with fear and trepidation, and tinted with anxiety. This is not a very pleasant combination. 

I have a problem with fear, anxiety, and anything else that causes me to go into a panic mode. Panic has strongly reared its ugly head in the past year, and I’ll tell you, it’s not a pretty experience. One minute I’ll be doing great, and a few minutes later, I’ll be a mess, worrying and fretting about something I have no control over.

Chalk up another one for good ol’ Parkinson’s disease.

I was watching a TV show about eagles the other night. Many clips showed how eagles can swoop down and attack prey larger than they are, including humans. 

“Oh great,” I thought. “Now I can worry about being attacked by crazy eagles that have nothing better to do than come out of the middle of nowhere and scare the living daylights out of me while I’m photographing their bird cousins.”

But worrying and being fearful rob us of life. It can happen in little snippets or come in overwhelming waves. If we add the fears we have about Parkinson’s disease to the regular fears we struggle with daily, we may find ourselves curled up in a dark corner of that crayon box I mentioned earlier, shaking from head to toe.

We have all been advised at one time or another not to worry about what tomorrow may bring. We shouldn’t let ourselves get worked up about what may or may not happen. When the time comes, we will have the help we need to deal with whatever hard things come our way. To do that, we must learn to feed our faith and not our fears. 

Did you ever think about how your fears might paralyze your faith, but your faith also is capable of paralyzing your fears? The late evangelical pastor Billy Graham once said, “Anxiety and fears are like baby tigers. The more you feed them, the stronger they grow.”

I know enough to not want to feed baby tigers. They may look all soft and fluffy, but if we feed them regularly, they will grow up to be deadly.

None of us are immune to fear.

Evangelist Nic Vujicic once said, “I was never crippled until I lost hope.” That is a tremendous statement coming from a man born without any limbs. It is amazing how our outlook can rapidly change when faith and hope come back into the equation, and our fears and anxieties are erased. 

Have you lost hope lately? Do your fears seem like they are getting the best of you as you fight this battle with Parkinson’s? Always remember: You are not alone, because we are in this together. And oh yeah — don’t feed the tigers.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

Comments

Margaret avatar

Margaret

Wonderful article. Exactly how my husband has been today. Thank you for sharing & reminding people we are not alone.

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Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you, Margaret. I am thankful it hit the spot!

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Bobbie Roos avatar

Bobbie Roos

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on fear and worry with Parkinson's. Your article gives me encouragement to keep practicing the positive outlook in my life and to definitely not feed the tigers.

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Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you you for sharing your encouraging comment!!!

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Cheryl avatar

Cheryl

Thank you for writing this article, it came at the perfect time. The part about the Eagles made me laugh out loud, something I have needed lately! We are not alone and need that reminder daily!
Thanks again!!

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Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

I am so glad it made you laugh!!!

Reply
Sue Booth avatar

Sue Booth

I found this a very interesting article. I have only recently been diagnosed and whilst I am determined to face things positively I have recently been finding myself wondering how things will go and then worrying about it which increases my stress levels and compounding the tremor in my right arm. Perhaps in 12 months I will understand things more. Just wondering if there are any newly diagnosed people on here experiencing the same issues . Thank you .

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