One of my highlights in 2016 was being chosen for the launch team for Kelly Balarie’s book Fear Fighting, awakening courage to OVERCOME your fears. The book released today.
Kelly shares personal stories and actionable tips for over coming various fears-inducers including:
- The Devil
- People Pleasing
- Comparison and Competition
- Waiting While Trembling
- Rejection and Opposition
- The Past
which all happen to be fears widows deal with at some point in time.
Not a Rosy Story
It was the chapter on comparison and competition that sucker punched me. Kelly writes about comparing herself to Rosie and the story was anything but rosy.
I too compare myself to others, wanting what they have so I can be like them and fit in. Whether it was fitting in with the in-crowd in school or fitting in with society after being widowed. Widows do not fit in with society, we are chewed up and spit out on the outside of the palace gates. We are the true deplorables. (but that is a subject for another post.)
Grief and Comparison
I found myself even doing it while grieving. Everyone else got back to normal or in some cases, their lives took off in unexpected and very pleasing circumstances. Me – I was grieving. The only moving I did was to the unemployment line a year after Joe’s passing.
There is no room for comparison while you are grieving. Do not compare yourself to another widow, she make look like she has it altogether but you do not know what goes on behind closed doors.
Once you do discover the details of another widow’s grief, you will most likely decide you are blessed to be experiencing the grief hand you were dealt.
Grief and Competition
Getting through grief is NOT a competition. There is no race to see who can come out of grief the soonest, who has the easiest grief, or who comes out of it looking the most beautiful.
There was not another woman who was widowed at the same time as me, so I did not compete with anyone to see who could finish grieving first or who looked better while grieving. (fyi – you are finished grieving when you walk through the gates of heaven. Revelation 21:4)
Behold His Radiance
In the chapter Kelly also writes:
What we see as our hindrance, God sees as admittance to behold His radiance.
Grief is your hindrance, but you will see God in all his radiant glory through the help and support friends and family provide.
And once you see His radiance, it is up to you to emit God’s radiance to others. You do not do emit radiance by comparison and competition – you do that by serving others, even while you are grieving.
Something To Chew On
Kelly closes each chapter with a section titled Something to Chew On. These are additional thoughts for you to meditate on. My favorite from the Comparison and Competition chapter is:
“Remind me of all the bad, and I will say, “The downpours are just precursors to rainbows.”
“North End of Rainbow”
Rainbow Over Woods Behind House – June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)
Group Bible Study
Included in the book is a 12-week group Bible study, or you can do it alone. I am starting the Bible study this week. It will be a great way to kick off 2017.
I’ve always said grief is life’s greatest self-improvement course. Fear Fighting is an excellent book to read and learn how to sucker-punch any fears that arise, whether or not you are grieving.
In Excellent Company
This book is in my stack of favorite books by author’s such as Ann Voskamp, J.T. O’Donnell, Mark Batterson, and Heather Burch. As you can see it is also one where I used a lot of sticky notes. There are also a lot of highlights and notes in the margins.
Well done Kelly, well done good and faithful servant!
Disclaimer: I am part of the Fear Fighting book launch team and received a free copy in exchange for my honest review. The links provided are not affiliate links and I receive no compensation when you buy Kelly’s book.
(Special Thank You to the Brunswick Library and the Adult Reference staff for the use of their fireplace and resources. The library served as my office for the past 4 months.)