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When Fear Tries to Suffocate Gratitude

Mark and I have a system for getting ready for work in the morning that really works for us.

It is really less of a “system” and more of a free for all. Whoever gets to it first makes the coffee, prepares our lunches, sets up the DVR so we can watch just the legit (non celebrity gossip/reading from the newspaper) part of the morning news while we eat breakfast, cooks breakfast, makes sure my flat iron is unplugged before we leave the house, etc.

We don’t have rigid roles, but everything always gets done and we somehow manage to get out the door on time-ish. Some days I do most things, some days Mark does most things. Today it was the latter.

This morning, each time I caught a glimpse of Mark rushing up the stairs or passing me in the hallway as we got ready, my heart swelled with gratitude to God for bringing us together in marriage. We make a great team, and he is one of the most considerate, loving people I know. He is such a blessing to me, and I’m grateful for the life we share together.

I started praying from the heart in thanksgiving to God, and suddenly an overwhelming sense of fear tackled me. My thoughts were derailed and took a turn for the worse.

“He makes you so happy. You are so vulnerable. What if something tragic happens? How would you cope? Do you think you can be this happy forever?”

How easily I slipped into “what if” mode! Instead of giving thanks as I originally intended, I was spending those precious moments being fearful and worried. As soon as I realized my prayer had gotten off track by these negative thoughts, I strengthened my focus, and decided not to allow myself to dwell on those bad things. I will not let a fear of losing what I hold dear keep me from praising God for the blessings in my life.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 118
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

How do you refocus yourself on prayer when you get distracted? Anyone else struggle with fear in the midst of gratitude?



  1. The mornings in our house involve The Man doing pretty much everything (he even makes my tea in my to go cup for me) and me sleeping until the last possible minute getting up, getting ready, and heading to work.

    I’m great at getting distracted in prayer – not so great at refocusing myself, I’m sorry I don’t have more advice. I do struggle with fear in the midst of gratitude, and I generally just try to remind myself that fear is not of God (I usually fail at doing this, but it’s what I at least try for).

    • Adri Adri

      Your husband sounds SO sweet!!

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll try to remind myself that fear is not of God and see if that helps me at least shake off the fear, if not refocus.

  2. LOVE this post! There have been times when those thoughts have slipped into my mind and I have to remind myself that not only do they have no basis or foundation whatsoever, they’re just flat out silly. Sometimes when our lives (marriages) are so good, we expect the rug to be pulled from under us. It’s great to be reminded (by ourselves and others), there’s no rug…

    • Adri Adri

      Thanks, Fawn! That is a great phrase to remember…there is no rug. Very comforting. I’ll keep that in mind next time fear sneaks up on me.

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