By Deb Coty

Do you find yourself hocking up anxiety over and over like a Guernsey regurgitating her cud? Does worrying about the what-ifs suck the joy out of your soul?  If so, you’re not alone.

My goal for my new book, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, is to introduce tools – simple but effective tools – that help us find comfort, healing, power, and peace through our struggles with the often paralyzing and debilitating fears that prevent us from fulfilling Papa God’s purpose for our lives.

The first step in defeating these fears is to recognize the monster hiding behind the fear mask. There are as many different fears as there are hairstyles in this world, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ve grouped common fears women face into five basic categories, all beginning with the letter “S”:

Spurting fear: Raw, reactive emotion, not unlike blood spurting from a fresh puncture wound. An example would be sudden heart palpitations, trembling and sweating when you glimpse a snake slithering through your flower bed.

Savory fear: The delicious thrill elicited by a specific, controlled thing or event within our safety zones. It involves no real danger or damage, like driving fast, roller coasters, or a House of Horrors.

Saturating fear: Invasive fear that often originates in childhood and permeates our lives in ways we don’t always see. These fears, often manifested as phobias, are enmeshed within our personalities. An example would be a fear of abandonment that pervades your adult relationships because your father left when you were small.

Simmering fear: Fear of the unknown, of things we’ve never experienced but have developed an underlying dread for based on other people’s experience and our own speculation. For instance, financial ruin, death, or the what-ifs.

Sovereign fear: Born of respect, this is the subjection we willingly place ourselves under to authorities such as parents, teachers, and Papa God.

Regardless of what category your fear falls into, naming it, confronting it, and disabling it is the only way to find peace. Tolerating our fear monsters only makes ‘em growl louder.


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.