Faith Was The “Antidote” For My Fear

Recently, I was waiting for some medical results, which, if negative, may have meant some serious consequences. Fear gripped me, but I did not share my feelings with anyone. Without even making a conscious decision to do so, I found myself back in self-reliance, relying on finite self instead of infinite God.

At home, I began experiencing a series of “mini-disasters” in the kitchen with some canning and cooking I was doing. This didn’t normally happen—what was going on? In this frame of mind, I went shopping for some needed household items. Walking into the store, I found myself uncontrollably taking second looks and lust “drinks.” I was incapacitated. Again, I asked myself “what is going on?” I was absolutely dumbfounded because it had been so long since I felt like this.

I stopped and reviewed the last couple of days and saw my life was becoming “unmanageable” again. Recalling how things worked so much better when I was connected to my Higher Power, I reached a moment of acceptance and cried out, “Help me God.” I sensed His response—“Write out a Fear Inventory.”

The program literature guided my writing. Answering the question “what is my fear,” I wrote “fear of dying”! Why? The unknown results of my medical tests. Then, “How had self-reliance failed me?”, “How could trusting God help?” and “What would God have me be?” were answered to the best of my ability. I prayed for humility and the willingness to surrender the fear. Sitting quietly in conscious contact with God, I awaited His directions and guidance.

I sensed Him giving me words from the beautiful 11th Step prayer—“For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.” It was clear that I had not been focusing on God. Also, the Step Three Promises came to mind—“As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter … ” (AA 63). I felt God was inviting me to trust Him.

I do not know what the future will hold. But I believe God will walk me through it as I continue to participate in the SA fellowship and practice the Steps in my daily life.

I thank God I was able to recognize the unmanageability and absence of surrender in my life and return to a faith that works. Faith was the “antidote” for my fear, as it appeared to be for Bill W., AA’s co-founder. He wrote, “In my own case, the foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith. … To me, this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning and a destiny to grow, however little and halting” (The Best of Bill 15).

Dennis T., Alaska, USA

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