Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am a fearful person. I'm not really sure how it happened, maybe I was coddled too much as a child, but at any rate, I indulged the feeling and let my imagination take over. I used to have to sleep with all the shades and the closet door closed, covers over my head, and a nightlight on. I was most scared of vampires. Occasionally I was scared of the dark. Some nights I slept in my sister's bed to feel safe, some nights I never fell asleep I was so scared. I would scare myself silly with novels, movies, and TV shows, and often just my own imagination.

Now I know my boundaries. For a while I thought I had conquered fear, finally, only to realize that I had merely figured out a way to cope. It was like a disease I thought had been cured of, but really I just knew how to manage my symptoms. Flare-ups are still occasional. The queasy feeling of fear melting in my stomach, the sturdy concept of fright uncurling in my mind, and the panic that I won't be able to cope with this bout of creeps. It sucks.

I'm afraid of failure, monsters, torture, embarrassment, cancer, ghosts, fire, the nervous system, drowning, electricity, awkwardness, being watched, pain, getting lost, aliens, scientific/medical experimentation, serial killers, heights, people sneaking up on me, being alone, not knowing, the government, being a fool, mad scientists, the dark, kidnapping, demons . . . and so many things that scare me and I don't know why nor could I put words to them.

Part of it's pride, part of it's insecurity, part of it's a lack of trust, and part of it is just pure indulgence in fear. Sometimes I forget that I'm free.

Fear is silly, irrational, and paralyzing. To quote Bono, "All our kids are screaming but the ghosts aren't real." I know that the things I'm afraid of aren't real. I'm not scared of those things in the daytime. But when the dark comes my confidence dissolves and comfort is shelved out of my reach. My head knows God loves me and saved me and I don't need to fear, but my heart is already filled with the stuff and it just doesn't matter. 

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?"
Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship."
1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

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