It’s something that has been ingrained in us since ingestion of the forbidden fruit.
Everyone has their own; all while being shared by someone else. Fear isn’t all bad. It acts as a the rumble strips in our highway of life, preventing us from going off the road and into danger.
The fear of overdosing keeps us from taking too many pills, the fear of the agonizing pain prevents us from poking at the snake, the fear of flying through the windshield makes us click our seatbelts.
Fear can be good.
But it can also be paralyzing.
I used to fear my marriage failing. I was terrified of what life would be like without my husband. I would deny my own wants to fill his. I was careful not to tip the scales over a certain number. I thought if I did all the things right, nothing could go wrong.
I used to fear death. Death of my husband, my children, myself. I couldn’t imagine what life would look like without any of them in it. Or their lives without me. I needed them and they needed me.
I used to fear a cancer diagnosis. How could one keep their faith with such a devastating disease?
I used to fear more month showing up at the end of our money.
I used to fear the thoughts that others had of me.
I used to fear thunderstorms.
Now, I no longer fear those things.
I have new fears. Fears that torture me more than the sleepless nights alone with the anxiety that my old fears used to cause me.
Now I fear missing the silent cry of a hopeless sinner. I fear the pride that comes before the fall. I fear succumbing to a passing wink from a stranger’s eye. I fear the familiar hug that delivers a brutal blow behind my back. I fear the thought that I may have Jesus all wrong. I fear being too much, yet still not enough. I fear missing the rich, natural beauty of Creation for cheap content by the creation. I fear being self-centered, looking only at my own hurt and sickness that only needs neosporin and a band-aid while my neighbor needs an I.V. and stitches. I fear that God is a Good Father to everyone but me. I fear the possibility that I’ve heard God wrong, or not at all. Or if I did hear Him correctly…He changes His mind.
But those fears don’t paralyze me, they propel me…straight to His outstretched arms.