You Don’t Have to Live in Fear

When my dad was around my age he started getting kidney stones. It was scary to see the man I looked up to in so much pain. I viewed him as strong and capable of protecting us from anything. Shortly after one of his stones, he went for a run and I was scared something would happen. When I asked, “Aren’t you afraid you’re going to get another kidney stone while you’re running?” He chortled and told me, “Well you can’t live in fear Kath.”

That has always stuck with me.

The Bible says that “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Image courtesy of Phillip Ackermann at

Over the last few weeks we were under the direct threat of the Austin bomber. The news continually tempts us to fear school shootings and numerous other tragedies that can strike locally. And personally I live under the threat that Nathan will have one of his episodes of unconsciousness, which are scary and show stopping.

When Nathan goes unconscious, my heart rate rises with his, but I do not become paralyzed like I did when they started. He had four episodes over the week of spring break. As I was explaining them to a neighbor, I saw the look of shock on her face and I realized that she wasn’t mirroring my response. I don’t live in fear of them. This most definitely is the work of God in my life. The worst episode during spring break caused Nathan’s heart rate to go up to 193, he vomited three times, and was unresponsive for almost an hour. About fifty minutes in I decided it was time to call the doctor because they don’t usually last that long. But even so my first words to her were, “Please don’t tell me to go to the emergency room.”

We have been dealing with Nathan’s episodes for two plus years now and we still don’t understand them. We’ve done a full work up on him including several days in the epilepsy monitoring unit of Dell Children’s, three different heart monitors, blood pressure and blood sugar tests. And we’ve done numerous other “did you trys” to no avail.

The doctor that I spoke to on call told me that it sounds like visceral hyperalgesia, which is common in kids with neurological disorders. This more specifically describes his symptoms, but still doesn’t explain the cause. The treatment for viseral hyperalgesia is to increase a medication that he’s already on. So I readily agreed.

Sometimes when we understand a problem we can lessen the fear of it, but what if you can’t gain understanding? Can you still lessen the fear? I believe yes, but it involves faith.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)

Sure there is a difference between truly overcoming the fear of something and becoming numb to it. I’m not 100% sure which applies here. I do know when I feel like everything is pressing in on all sides, I call to mind that I don’t have anything to fear. One day all of us will be free from this pain, especially Nathan. I am convinced that God will make Nathan whole one day. This hope helps me overcome my fear.

I truly am accepting not being able to know the whys of Nathan’s body. And I am incredibly grateful each time we can understand how to care for him better. I want to act out of a spirit of power, love, and sound mind. Not weakness, worry, and panic.

You can’t live in fear.

Well you can, but it’s not the spirit you’ve been given from above. Fear of things in this world should not overpower you. And this is what Dad meant. Sure you can live in fear but there’s a better way. A way of hope.

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!

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