On Fear

On Fear September 24, 2015


This morning I woke up afraid. There was a bit of a thunderstorm and the slow rumble while I slept jerked me awake in fear of an earthquake.  Earthquakes are incredibly rare where I live but the accompanying fear was now present despite its unrealistic origin. Instead of being able to roll over and go back to sleep the fear latched on to other things, as it almost always does because gripping fear is a miserable shrew.

I wanted to hold my husband, desperate to be covered by him like a Mama bird engulfing her chick in her wings. I find complete safety in his embrace, particularly in the morning, providing me that extra courage typical from intimate human connection. But he’s not here this morning and I feel the loss of his physical presence acutely.  In the very next moment, I’m overcome with gratitude for his friendship and I know in the next few days he’ll be home. My love will be home and my anticipation momentarily calms.

Yet, the fear of my waking moments coupled with overwhelming appreciation for my husband express itself in a groaning prayer: God, my God, my God! I bring it all to Him.  I’m reminded as I’ve been prone to lately, how I’m hurting over the wounds of a friend.  I’ve been trying to let the demise of this friendship -and all that was said- go. How do I bind up the wound, extend forgiveness, truly extending peace and blessing over her life? God, it hurts. In the next moment, I remember I’ve hurt her too. My mind quickly generates a quick list of at least 7 people who I’ve personally hurt in all this.  God, you know my heart, my brokeness, my intentions, my every thought…you know.  YOU know God…my innermost…I didn’t mean…

I pray for awhile longer on this. It’s debilitating. Facing the pain others have inflicted on you is one monster to stare down. Facing the pain you’ve caused others is an entirely different monster with sharper teeth and worse breath. But I let them in this morning, because I know I have to.  I cannot run from any of this. But God, I get whiny like a child, even if all this pain could be taken away tomorrow, what about…

…car accidents?
…breast cancer?
…heart attacks?
…school shootings?
my kids? my husband?

My God, my God! How do I manage this life down here?! I’m just a spec.

I roll over again to my husbands side of the bed where he is not and I long for him again because he is safety encapsulated in a human body and I haven’t felt spiritually, emotionally, physically safe like this since…maybe 2008.  I hear little footsteps heading toward the fridge for yogurt sticks with yellow minions on the front.  I look at the clock, it’s 6:21am and it’s time to face this day which seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot: fear + anxiety + longing.  I’m up earlier than normal so I make my coffee and open up the Bible to Psalms 90. I’m particularly comforted by vs. 14-15…

Surprise us with love at daybreak;

    then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
    we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime. 
-Psalms 90:14-15, The Message

I make a mental note to text it to my husband later today. I muse that I’m an awesome wife and I know he actually believes this to be true. (If I can’t pull off being an awesome wife in three weeks of marriage there’s a problem. I digress). These verses feel so meaningful in lieu of last night’s FaceTime.  We’d shared more in depth the evil we’ve lived through. His stories -a few of them- are heart wrenching…perhaps leading to this mornings awareness of the certainty of life’s tragedies.

But before all this, yesterday, I was wildly on top of the world. And as a result I felt optimistic and empowered about addressing everything life throws at me from debt to death and everything in between. I even cleaned out my car, a feat which only happens when hope is present.  But today is different. The fears of the unknown and the pain of the past has me emotionally haggard.  I have an idea…

I should write.

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