Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FEAR

Yesterday as I sewed I was listening to my Kindle read a stupid book to me.  Within the first few paragraphs I already knew exactly the formula used for the book.  It was a Christian Fiction book so I listened to the whole thing.  Why?  I guess I didn't want to be rude to another Christian.

Anyway, I'm a little bit glad that I listened because I did find one little sentence that jumped out at me and made me think.  The words that caught my attention were, "Fear is the opposite of faith".  Do you think that is true? 

I thought about this off and on throughout the rest of the day, and apparently I am still thinking about it this morning.  I started thinking about the things that make other people afraid, because of course it is "other people" who have these kinds of problems.  I thought of someone close to me (you know who you are) who is very, very afraid of cockroaches.  She has her reasons.  I also know someone who has a fear of being rear-ended (she also has  her reasons).  I also know and love several someones who have a fear of flying in small planes.  Again, there may be good reasons.  I continued in this way, thinking of a long list of things "other people" fear... thunderstorms, public speaking, making small talk, snakes, water, clowns, newborns, horses, and the list goes on and on.

I was working on a BIG sewing project so I had a lot of time to think.. finally I had to think about what I feared.  I like to think my faith is strong so if fear is the opposite of faith... this whole thing was making me uncomfortable.  It was a stupid book anyway, right? 

OK, OK, I'll confess a few fears.  I'm afraid of being late... anywhere.   I hate that feeling of letting people down or making them wait for me.  I think that's not a bad thing but there have been times when it almost made me sick to think I was going to be late.  Sometimes I've been really mad at Mike for making me late somewhere.  It's been a problem for me.  I remember one early morning when I was in high school.  I was rushing to get out the door when Mom said, "Susie, you know you don't have to be there to open the doors, right?"

I'm also afraid of witnessing a plane crash.  Yep, that's what I said.  I may be a little afraid of being in one but the thing that gives me those repeated nightmares is actually seeing the crash and then having to rush to the scene as the sole rescuer of many, many people.  I've had that dream over and over in many different forms. 

Along those lines, I have a fear of being bombed.  I don't know why.  I've never been bombed.  I've never even lived in a war zone.  But there it is.  If a plane flies over a little lower than I think it should, sometimes I just get the idea that a war I didn't know about is just starting and the enemy decided to bomb me here in the center of
Wyoming to get it all going.

A big serious fear that I have is of losing someone close to me.  Like a lot of Moms, I've worried about my husband or one of my children dying.  If they don't answer their phones, my imagination does mean things to me.

A year and a half ago that fear went into hyper-drive.  Maria got the swine flu.  That was when  the swine flue was big in the news.  They'd show maps of all the countries where people had died from it.  I was really worried about Maria.  She was already trying to recover from anemia and childbirth.  She was sleep-deprived like most new moms.  I knew that she was weakened already.  She didn't need this!  Still, all in all, I really felt she'd get through it and I thought I was handling it ok. 

But THEN, I started worrying about Cordelia.  She was this tiny little 3 week old person and I'd just learned about another local baby in ICU with swine flu.  All of a sudden I realized that being a grandparent compounded my worrying way beyond what I'd expected!  One day as I was driving home from work it hit me that if we lost Cordelia, not only would my heart be broken by the loss itself, but my child's heart would be broken.  Suddently, I was bawling as I drove.  I felt a near panic for Cordelia's safety!  What could we do?  How could we protect her? 

Well, Maria recovered and Cordelia never even got sick.  I didn't ever come up with a plan to protect her.  Maria and Eric wore the blue masks as a precautionary measure, knowing that Cordelia had likely already been exposed before they even knew they had the bug.  It all turned out fine for our family.

I said that I hadn't come up with a protection plan for Cordy but I guess I kind of did.  I prayed!   And prayed!   And prayed!  It was very apparent that I had to have faith that God would see the situation through to its perfect result.  I certainly had no help to offer on my own.

Now, I have perfect faith and fear nothing!  No.... that's not at all true!  I still worry about something everyday.  I have been given the gift of faith but over and over, I try to worry my fears away before I remember that I have that gift.  It makes me frustrated with myself but there it is... now I am worrying about worrying too much... 
God help me!

6 comments:

Maria Rose said...

My fears have changed as I age. When I was young I worried about getting hurt. Later I worried about bills. Now that I am a mother I worry most about leaving my little girl without a mother. I know she would be OK, but it would be a wound that would never heal. I just pray that I will get to see her live a full life, watch her become a grandmother and perhaps even a great grandmother.

Kate Ware said...

Oh, Sue!! I needed this post. I struggle with fear every day. It is probably the #1 contributor to my anxiety. And, have often questioned myself -- do I have too little faith? Is that why my fears take over? But I do find when I take a moment to meditate, and calm myself down, the first thing I do is pray. So I have to think that maybe, just maybe, God uses my fears sometimes to actually remind me that He is in control, and that all I need to do is hand them over to Him. So, I think fear and faith can go hand in hand.

Pam Brewer said...

Fear is actually a healthy emotion,it keeps us safe. But just like all human emotions, it can run amuck. Thanks for the post Sue, good to know I'm not alone!

Sleppery said...

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Jill said...

What an interesting post. It has made me start to think about what I fear - the little and the big things. I agree with Pam - fear is healthy!

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Orange Paisley said...

You guys are right, we need fear. It is a great motivator to get us to look to God or to help us run faster if a bear is chasing us! Like Pam said, it can run amuck. (I am going to use "amuck" more often...what a great word!)

And Maria, my biggest fear when you guys were young was exactly what you fear now, leaving my children motherless. That still carries forward now! I don't think I have a fear of death anymore; in fact it seems like a grand adventure! However, I still fear hurting those who love me when it is my turn to begin that adventure.

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