Sunday, March 23, 2014


Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD, SC-C

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Fear of the unknown, and its great power on us, was none the more evident than these past two weeks, with the mystery of the missing Malaysian airline MH370, with all its 239 passengers.    Not only were people fearful of what could have happened to their loved ones, but many were fearful as to why the plane disappeared in the first place.  The news media bombarded us with all kinds of theories and speculative reports as to what could have happened.  Social media was abuzz with conspiracy theories.   Reports ranged possible terrorist attacks to abduction by aliens, and even the rapture.   Hardly any scenario was left out of the imaginations of people, as they tried to piece together what could have possibly happened to that plane, and all its passengers.   Globally, the entire planet was gripped in fear as to what that missing plane might mean for us.  From the state of Israel taking extra precautions just in case the plane might come back as a missile to attack them, to other countries trying to assign blame wherever possible – blame the pilots, blame politics, blame hijackers, blame the Malaysian government.  You name it; there was lots of blame to go around.  

One thing we have learnt is that fear, once it takes a grip of you, has a life of its own.  Fear always seeks out the thing that which it fears to validate itself, even if it means making up stuff, and going out of its way to try to prove that it is not unfounded.  People see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe, based upon their OWN fears.  Those who wanted to prove terrorism found ‘evidence’ of terrorism.  Those who wanted to prove hijacking found ‘evidence’ of hijacking.   Those who wanted to prove the plane was still around found ‘evidence’ of the plane.  For some reason, the plane loomed larger than real life, bigger than reality, and became the bogeyman now to fear.   The problem however with all these theories, was that they sent false hope to the families of the victims, that their loved ones could still be alive, only to have their hopes dashed with every false lead.   Because of all the false reporting, and fear surrounding the reporting, many family members became suicidal, as they were hanging on to every last thread of hope that was thrown at them, only to have that hope taken away from them.

As a spiritual counselor, part of my job is to bring comfort to those who are grieving, and to bring them back to a place where they can deal with their emotions, and grieve without falling into despair and hopelessness.  Psychologists have identified five stages of grieving, and they are:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.   Proper grieving involves going through all the stages until one reaches acceptance, but many times people get stuck in one stage or the other, unable to reach that place where they finally accept that their loved ones may be gone.   As a spiritual counselor, I help them to come to terms with their own beliefs as it relates to death and dying, and the afterlife.  Sometimes they may have dreams, visions of their loved ones, or feelings that their loved ones are still here and not dead.  I help them to process those feelings, and share scripture with them to bring them comfort and closure.  Sometimes deep down they believe their loved ones are gone, and sometimes they are in denial, ignoring all the facts presented, especially if there are no bodies to prove that their loved ones are gone.   In situations like where there are no definitive answers as to where their loved ones could be, I help them pray through their fears.    There is a lot of peace to be found in prayer.  It also helps to know that someone is there to give you support and help carry your burdens, so that you don’t have to bear them all alone. 

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Freedom from fear means trusting in God that all things are working for your good, no matter how terrible they look on the outside (Romans 8:28).   To have a trust like that takes deep faith and understanding, but once you develop that trust, then everything will begin to come together for you, and your mind will slowly be at peace.   Freedom from fear means putting away blame, anger, and bitterness, which only serves to eat you up on the inside, creating more problems instead of solving them.  Freedom from fear means understanding what life is about, and how everything fits into God’s divine purpose, knowing that “it is well” (2 Kings 4:26). 

If you are grieving because of you lost someone in your life, or you are struggling with chronic anxiety because of fear, as a spiritual counselor, I can help you sort out some of the spiritual questions you may have, and help you clear up any confusion in your mind, as well as help you diffuse the stress associated with fear and anxiety.  In addition to grief counseling, I coach you so that you can get your life back on track spiritually and emotionally, by removing the negative effects and toxic emotions associated with living in chronic fear and anxiety, with my three-week Spiritual Renewal Coaching Program.

Spiritual Renewal Coaching Program
The spiritual renewal coaching program is divided into three sections which will address three areas of your life where you can find relief for stress – physical, social, and spiritual. This is a three-week program, but at the end of it all, you should have less stress in your life, be better able to enjoy life, and most of all find peace with God, yourself, and those around you.
The program outline is as follows:-
WEEK ONE: Physical relief
-Physical exercise, therapeutic touch, and affection
WEEK TWO: Social relief
-Social activities, gratitude, relationships
WEEK THREE: Spiritual relief
- Worship, life goals, spiritual growth

For more information on all my spiritual coaching programs, please visit my website:

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