When DREAD Leaves

If you’ve lived with a nagging sense of dread, you know how heavy it is.

Dread, the apprehension of what is certainly to come, drains the life out of you. It pulls on the corners of  your smile and stoops your shoulders.

As far as I can tell dread and worry are separate from each other.  Worry moves tomorrow’s trouble into today and makes you anxious. Worry makes you nervous.  Dread doesn’t pull tomorrow’s problems into today but it sees the trends. It knows the likely outcome (and how likely it is)  And it minces no words when it tells you the outlook is grim.  Dread dulls everything.

Cancer’s pending finality.

Certain financial ruin based on current trends.

The eventual end of a marriage or continued estrangement from a son or daughter.

Worry likes to blindside us and work us into a frenzy.  Dread may be quieter but it refuses to leave the room.

Worry stirs us up and then leaves for a time when we call it for what it is.  Dread is relentless; it pulls your brow into furrows a bit at a time, so slowly you hardly notice.

Worry is imagined. Possible but unlikely.  Dread is real. Granted, dread is future, but it’s very likely.

I’m not a worrier but I know dread, and it’s weighty.

When it leaves, it’s usually because something out of the ordinary changes all the formulas that have lead us to conclude “this outcome is nearly certain”.

God lifted a silent, pressing, persistent sense of dread from my life this week. Yesterday and today, actually.   I’m not turning cartwheels (now THAT would be funny!)    I’m not whooping and hollering.   I’m as quiet as I have been lately — but the dread is gone.

I want to remember this. Learn from it. See God’s hand in it.  And capture what I’m supposed to capture so I can help others.

More importantly, I want —if God will permit me— to be someone who helps people press through the dread, wait patiently for His answer, and recognize it when it arrives.  Who knows? Maybe He’ll let me be part of His solution in the lives of some I meet?

Because this is all so fresh, my thoughts are not fully developed, but I wanted to capture them here.  Let you know I noticed, and that I’m listening if you have perspective you’d like to add.  Thoughts on the dread you’ve encountered, and the relief that comes when God says  “enough”.

More to come…

3 Replies to “When DREAD Leaves”

  1. Dave Krebs

    Phil – Yes, I have experienced some of both this past year. Definitey not fun, but a time in my life where I learned a lot. It has also been a time that I have have grown closer to God (He was always there, it was me who was sometimes not listening or paying attention). But as I have continued to pray (PUSH) God has answered our prayers and I am claiming Philippians 4:4 as a time to rejoice! But like most things in life I dont know if worry or dread is ever gone for good. We seem to be good at replacing it with another form. But for now I am rejoicing. I am also hoping that through the trial of this past year, That I can help others that might be going through a job loss. I would like to use what I have learned and provide support and gudiance to another in a similar situation. Take care, I appreciate your column. In Christ, Dave

  2. Phil

    Hi Dave, It’s always nice when people I see face to face stop by here and comment. The last few months have been grueling, but God’s faithful. There were times I had to remind myself “for a shadow to be that dark there simply MUST be brightness somewhere” and remember that we know the Light of the World in a real and personal way.

    I too have learned the importance of Praying Until Something Happens (PUSH), though it’s easier said than done.

    Something tells me there are going to be PLENTY of people to help in coming months. I don’t want to lose sight of the opportunity to help the way you and others encouraged us when things looked pretty glum.

    Great friends are priceless.

  3. Dave Krebs

    Phil – Your websight is very well put together. I can see how it would be a great outreach and a means of communication. I was just thrilled to hear the news of your new job. With all the negative economic news these days, it sure is good to hear of the victories (a God thing). It sure does sound like the coming days could be quite a challenge. Hopefully we can help some people at church or in our neighborhoods with encouragement in their job search. I sent an email to Pat Dolan to let him know that I would attend the meeting on Feb 25th. I also asked if he had an idea of the agenda for the evening. I hope you can make it as well. Talk to you soon.
    In Christ,

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