As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.
I first came across How to Live in Fear–Mastering the Art of Freaking Out in a Christian bookstore. I thought that was a little strange, with a title like that. “Fear” and “Christian” don’t go together. But the longer I leafed through the pages, the more I realized the title fit perfectly with the theme: being able to live with faith in God while having anxiety/panic attacks.
Pastor Lance Hahn has experienced severe anxiety attacks since boyhood. For a few years the attacks left, then they came roaring back into his life. He describes what it’s like to be a Christian, and the senior pastor of a large church–a pastor who suffers from panic attacks.
I appreciated his friendly, conversational tone; it was almost as though he was sitting in a coffee shop talking with me. He lightens the topic with his sense of humor.
Pastor Hahn addresses the stigma and misunderstanding about anxiety/depression present in Western culture. Sadly, this is sometimes found to a greater degree in churches, especially if an individual chooses prescription medication to help the person do what needs done.
The author devotes a chapter on issues surrounding medication, from whether a Christian should take medication to being aware of the effects of different types of medicine. In my opinion, he offers a balanced view of the situation. He emphasizes the importance of keeping your doctor appraised of what’s going on–on how a medication affects you, for instance.
He gives examples of his personal triggers. In reading accounts of particularly rough times for him, I could see that getting too tired physically, and being depleted emotionally sets up an environment for anxiety attacks for him.
With knowledge of his triggers, he maintains a healthy diet, exercises, and keeps in close touch with his doctor and support system of family, friends, and his prayer partners.
In part three, Pastor Hahn writes about the spiritual aspects of anxiety attacks. Here, too, I think he gives a balanced view. Most of all, he gives hope. He emphasizes that despite the situation, God is still good; He is still in control; He is aware of what the sufferer is going through. He has not turned His back on the sufferer, no matter what it feels like. The author also points out that since God is in control, healing is possible at any time. Because of Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection, and coming return, there is always hope.
Comment: I believe this book offers practical, realistic, and faith-filled ways of coping with severe anxiety/panic attacks. To me, it’s a “treasure”.
For more information, check out: http://www.lancehahn.com.