How to Live in Fear by Lance Hahn Review


Goodreads Synopsis: Let’s face it: we are afraid. Our world is riddled with fear-inducing headlines, financial meltdowns, family crises, and phobias of every stripe. No wonder the New York Times now reports one in ten Americans is now taking antidepressant or anxiety medication. So how do we cope or even succeed in a world spinning out of control? As someone who has battled panic attacks and anxiety most of his life, Lance Hahn can relate.

In How to Live in Fear, Lance tackles the pervasive problem of fear and panic head-on by inviting readers into his world. In this genuine and practical book, he invites readers into the life of a pastor living with anxiety disorder. Through humorous personal stories—like losing it on an airplane or collapsing onstage as he is about to preach—Lance will win over readers with his transparency. He will also share the remedies that have helped him recover and overcome throughout the years.

How to Live in Fear is a public intervention of sorts. We need to talk about this issue, especially the church-at-large. Millions of people suffer from anxiety disorders, and the church has done little to make them feel normal. Many Christians now take medication privately but keep it a secret under the shame of being viewed as a failure. Lance willingly bares his soul in order to get the conversation started. He firmly believes the church should not only recognize the issue, but also help believers reconcile the guilt of being a Christian while dealing with dread and anxiety.

My Thoughts: As a Christian who struggles with generalized and social anxiety, I was eager to pick this book up. In my experience, mental health disorders are not often mentioned in the church. This has always bothered me on some level as so many people struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. The silent message that I get from the lack of discussion on the matter is that these things should not be discussed, that people who struggle with anxiety should have more faith or aren’t trusting in God enough. This book was a breath of fresh air for me as the author not only talks about how to deal with anxiety as a Christian, he is also a pastor who, himself struggles with a severe anxiety disorder.

This book covers the use of medications for anxiety, something that I have questioned for a while. Being completely honest, I began taking an anxiety medication in September as my anxiety was running at an all time high and was affecting my life at work and home. This decision was met with disapproval from some of my family members who feared that it would alter my personality or cause addiction. I also felt guilt because to me, it felt like I was giving up on God and turning to another “worldly” option. This book came at the perfect time…the author compares medication for mental health issues to taking medication for a headache or sore throat. This was very enlightening to me and lifted a lot of guilt that I was feeling.

The author shares tips for reducing anxiety, citing many Bible verses to help deal with challenges we face. He also shows us how God can use our fear for His glory.

I found this book to be very comforting as well as empowering. I have spent a lot of time feeling like no one close to me understands what this anxiety can feel like, but this book changed that. The author gets it. It is a book that I will refer to often in the future.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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