As a child, pain manifested itself in my physical body. My body could ache for days from the damage it received but I don’t ever remember crying. Fear kept crying at bay and my body alone carried the brunt of my trauma.
Fear has continually hunted me most of my life. It’s ghostlike presence peered around every corner, mocking peace, as it tried to land. Fear is a strong current, one that we don’t talk enough about. Is it because we’re afraid?
Fear is a great equalizer. Makes each of us as human as the next.
When fear found me in my dreams and I was startled awake, it was waiting for me when my eyes opened. Its presence did not spare me. When I left my parents’ home to go to school, it was waiting for me there too. When I grew and tried to become a woman, it laughed at me and thwarted my growth.
What an ugly enemy. What a powerful foe.
It was in my relationships with every immediate family member and later translated to my friendships. I feared everything and everyone. As a result, I tended to give my power away to anybody who wanted it and I learned many were happy to take it from me.
The penalty of running with fear is staggering.
My healing really began when my steps started moving me far away from fear. I don’t know that I’ll ever be completely free, but I’ll not stop gaining ground, moving past it’s black territory.
No more fear of people. I took that blank check back and tore it up! Still, it wasn’t the fear of opinions of others that seized me. It was the fear of evil. It could take any form, at any time, and attack, or so it seemed. It walked with me like a lion waiting to devour me.
In my early adult life, fear drove me into silence and kept me there. It hovered over my decisions and stood in the way of my freedom. I hid from it at all costs.
That was yesterday. Today, I have learned to stand looking fear directly in the face, even if my knees shake. Cussing at it if I have to. Telling it to be still, that it had to bow to the God I’d found. Its power evaporated. I reminded fear that it was no longer wanted or needed. I ripped off that mask, threw it to the ground and unwaveringly, I walked on.
Fear does not have that same grip over my life it once did. Not because it isn’t hanging around rattling its strong chains and echoing a remembrance in me; it simply lost its power because I’ve sat at the knee of God and He shows me what real love looks like. Real love has no punishment. Real love sets you free.