Fear is something that many people downplay or attempt to hide. They might feel like they're being silly or don't want to appear weak in front of others. But the truth is that fear is a natural part of being human, and if you don't have some capacity for being afraid, you can't adapt. But, too much fear can be unhealthy.
Like stress, fear is a natural reaction to certain stimuli. It helps us identify threats and assess situations so we know how best to react. Do we stay and fight? Do we run? Do we not worry because the beast on the horizon is docile prey?
Obviously, we've adapted to a point that for most people in modern life, some of these questions are metaphorical. We're not actually facing down a primal beast, and we may not be physically fighting or running. But the purpose of our fear remains the same, and even in an assisted living community, it's natural to be afraid of the unknown or things that are out of your control.
But it's important to keep fear in balance. Letting your fears become paranoia or constant anxiety can take a toll on mental and physical health. It can also rob you of time that you could be living a vibrant, active and enjoyable lifestyle in your assisted living community.
Fear can also lead you to avoid something that is better faced directly. A common example for seniors is physical health concerns. Ignoring a problematic symptom because you're afraid of what you might find out can compound the issue and make it worse. It can also cause you to worry the problem over in secret, leading to more fear and stress than is necessary. In such a situation, it is typically better to speak to your medical provider immediately so you can learn the truth about what you're facing — if anything — and move forward with a plan.
Not wallowing in our fear is sometimes easier said than done. Luckily, the Bible provides some guidance that seniors of faith can use when they're feeling afraid or dealing with something that causes them anxiety.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
The world can bring some terrible things to our doors — no matter where we make our homes. But the truth for anyone — from small children to seniors living in an assisted living community — is that Jesus does not bring as the world brings. He only brings good, and he has left his peace for us to experience in this world as much as possible. All we have to do is reach out and accept it.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
The Bible is very clear that this world isn't perfect. Whether you're looking for an assisted living community for your aging parent or are moving into such a community yourself, you may experience some bumps along the way.
Within the Bethesda Senior Living Communities locations, caring staff are available to minimize those issues. And in life, God is with you to help you through worrisome times. But he reminds us not to worry so much about tomorrow's issues that we don't enjoy today or deal appropriately with today's issues.
But now, this is what the LORD says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
This verse is a great reminder that God has a plan for you, and it doesn't end in this moment or even this life. If you have accepted Jesus, then you are redeemed and called by name to some greater future and eternal life. What happens to you in this life doesn't even compare with the glory ahead, and that can be a comforting thought when you're going through struggles.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Finally, remember that you are made in the image of God, and God is anything but timid. That doesn't mean that you won't experience fear. But God is with you and has given you the tools you need to face those fears. Reach out and take them. They can include Bible study, Scripture and prayer, but they might also include reaching out to support systems such as your family, neighbors or assisted living community staff during times of need.