You probably don’t spend much time thinking about fear, nevertheless you probably spend a significant amount of time dealing with it. Ghosts of fear walk the hills and dales between the dying trees. Our lives.
Our fears rarely remain stagnant. They either grow stronger over time or they diminish, depending on whether we feed or starve them. At least, that’s my experience.
Unprocessed fear cuts us off from our full aliveness and spirit, and it separates us from others.
God does not intend for us to live in fear.
Fear, for me, is directly linked to my childhood. It is not only a habit of thought but I state of being. My first 27 years were like standing under a branch that prevented the sun from touching the earth. A condition of unbearableness was my constant state of mind. My life felt like a hole torn in the fabric of the world – but I was the only one who could see the terrifying reality.
Fear was inextricably linked to how I perceived the world and other people. I lived on dread and ultimately made it a lifestyle for myself. I thought I might as well. It was my personality after all wasn’t it?
And then I got pregnant and went from orphan-to-parent and then back again. I felt like nobody’s child..what business did I have making one of my own? After all, I lived on air. All orphans must live on air. But a mother should not attempt it. She should be nourished and full of life and wisdom – but what life did I have to pass down?
But then I woke up. From fear. My son peeled my eyes open just enough for me to see that I didn’t have to be so afraid. I had two feet and a heart. And that could be enough to start.
God made me to be confident and unafraid and trusting. So I trusted this. This little creature that they cut me open to posses.
What a metaphor.
I could see now what I once could not recognize enough to feel – that these few days, [these very few days on earth], were the only paradise anyone could ever know.
Fear is not gone from me. It still pops up between the pages of the books I read to my children. I pass it flattened on the road on our way to school. The kids ask me what it is. I pick it up at the store, examine it…sometimes I sneak it into my pocket and take it home for a while. Sit with it to see how it feels. Sometimes I put it back on the shelf and go home.