28
Jul
08

Do Not Be Afraid (part 1)

 

I’m a scaredy-cat. I think I’ve always been a scaredy-cat. That combined with a vivid imagination makes me wonder how I ever come out of my house.  One night I was walking in my driveway after dark, and I thought someone was creeping up on me from behind. I could see the shadow of someone on the shed in front of me. As I got closer, the shadow also got closer.  I jumped, and the creeping thing also jumped because as it turned out, it was my own shadow that practically made my heart beat out of my chest. But Abba, in His graciousness, is dealing with me about my fears.

 

Some of my fears are completely unwarranted but due to my wild imagination and watching too many movies, reality sometimes eludes me. Even though my brother is a policeman, one fear I’ve always had is being stopped by the police. So I’m usually pretty careful and don’t speed very often. However, I do routinely speed on one of the roads near my house. Thursday night, I was clocked doing 51 in a 30. Needless to say, I got my first speeding ticket, and it wasn’t as bad as I had always imagined. At the time of my speeding incident, I was playing the song “Do Not Be Afraid,” which later made me laugh at Abba’s timing. I’m not crazy about having to pay a fine, but it was worth it to finally face that fear and realize that my perceptions were far worse than the actual reality of the situation.

 

Some of my fears stem from being in new situations. Last week, my family and I went to a water park. Our library has a great reading program, and we got some free

tickets to Nashville Shores. Since I do not like new things or situations, and I’d never been to a water park before, I was out of my element, but I was determined I was going to ride the water slides. As I was standing on one of the platforms getting ready to go down one of the slides, I was picturing myself being in an inner tube at the speed of a roller coaster but without the safety features that roller coasters typically have, like being snugly strapped in and having wheels that are connected to a track. I could just imagine my body and my inner tube being pitched over the side of one of those slides. But I put on my brave face for Jonah, my second son, who was my only child who wanted to ride the water slides. The last thing I want to do is to transfer my fears to my kids, so even though I was scared, I rode anyway.

 

Towards the end of the day after Jonah and I had ridden many times, I encouraged my other boys to at least try one of the slides. I explained to Jesse and Jake that I was really afraid before I rode, but that it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and that it was actually a lot of fun.  And so they decided to take the plunge, including Jeremiah, my 3 year old. He actually laughed the whole way down. Julia, who is 5, got to the top of the slide and was almost sitting in the inner tube when she decided that water slides were just not for her…not this year anyway. We rode from then until the park closed. I even rode the Music City Racer that went face first. But even before I picked up my float and marched up the stairs, I had a debate with myself about safety and being out of my comfort zone. And when I got to the top of the platform, I was still thinking about leaving my float and slinking back down the way I came up. But I’m glad to say that I rode it anyway, and once again, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be…I’m realizing that giving into my fears will make me miss out on a lot of things, and I’m not willing to let my fears paralyze me any longer.  

 

So, in all of this, I see that Abba is allowing me to face my fears one at a time. I just hope I don’t have to personally walk through each scenario to allow Him to conquer them all. But even if I do, knowing that He is there with me makes the way a little easier. And once again “The voice of truth says, ‘Do not be afraid.’”

 

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