Monday, April 30, 2012

Get a grip

Opening scene:  a dark shadow flits across the screen.  Camera pans to a frightened face, screaming is induced.  A ghastly figure dominates the room.  Evil is presented and seemingly conquers its victims. a little boy whispers, "I see dead people..." Blood.  Darkness.

Scary movies.  I hate them.  Actually, I hate being scared, period.

Once, as a teenager, my date and I went to a haunted house.  Oh sure, I was shaking inside, balking at the thought of going  into the darkness and seeing lord knows what...  But, the tickets were payed for, I was dressed to impress, I could do this.


 I made it about 10 steps inside before someone jumped out wearing a mask and wielding some sort of sharp dungeon like instrument and it was over. Not caring about the crowd around me or the unsightly figure in front of me, I literally jumped on my dates back (poor boy), piggy back style, buried my face in his back and wept.  He staggered and buckled under my weight, but I was not letting go.  I was afraid. We exited the building as soon as he could find a way out, my make up running, his back wet with tears and saliva.  Actually, now that I think about it...  He never called me again.

(Sorry dude.  Obviously it wasn't meant to be)

Since then, in light of the over abundance of scary movies on the market (remember when they only came out around Halloween??) I've since learned to limit my fear in a Hollywood sense.  I don't allow myself to watch scary movies, read thriller books, or even watch things that stress me out (i.e. CSI, SVU etc).  There is no desire in me to be looking in dark corners, or hearing creaking noises under my bed in the night... I already have an over active imagination as is... read here for more details.

 Having said that, if I've conquered the Hollywood fear, why is it that I am still afraid?  One of my continual struggles is fear. Not fear of dead people, ghosts or noises (though if my husband goes out of town I may have every light in the house on), but regular ole fear.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of failure.  Fear of Spiders.  Fear of lack.  Fear of not being a good mom.  Fear of something happening to my kids. Fear of singing. Fear of Scorpions.  Fear of forgetting to put my pants on before I go to church (oh wait... that's a nightmare)

 Fear...  fear... fear...

It comes out in mental moments more than it does in the movies.  There's no screaming in the background of my mind, random blood stained person in my shower or a man wearing a Jason mask.

No, its just that nagging, "what if" that invokes more fear than the above mentioned things.

(If there was someone in my shower, why, I'd like to think I'd down her with a bottle of rave hairspray, my curling iron and a loofah).  


I read recently that "Babies are naturally born with two fears. A fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned by association and identification".  

Say what??

Yup.  All those things I fear now on a daily basis, somewhere along the line, I was taught to fear them or I became a product of my environment. 

I'm done.  I really believe that we are being called to identify our fears and move on.  To outgrow some of these mental battles that we struggle with.  I'm tired of being afraid. I'm tired of living bound up by thoughts of "What if"  "No... don't" "What if" "what if" "what if".  

I had an idea the other night, (it could have been bad sushi, but... I'll press on and see what happens) to take a Bible verse on fear and write about it every day.  To really get God's word about fear into my psyche and see some changes made by the power of God.  There are, apparently, over 500 references to "Fear Not" and "Fear" in the Bible.  That's over one verse for every day of the year... 

So. I'm going there.  Want to come with me?  I've got to GET A GRIP!