Friday, September 6, 2013

You see, life's scary for me.

This is another post participating in the Blogtember Challenge. Join us! 

Friday, September 6: 
A story about a time you were very afraid.
I'm a fearful being. Some of my earliest memories are anxiety-filled.

The first time I ever felt anxious was at four years old when I noticed my pointed ears looked like elf ears. Just like the ears of elves that Santa employs at the North Pole. And as Christmas approached I became paralyzed by the fear he'd take me back North when he came to drop off presents. I was thrilled to help Santa out with the Christmas rush, but devastated by the thought of leaving my family and friends behind.

In third grade I was consumed with the fear of cancer. I was sure one of my cells would go AWOL and I'd find myself bald, nauteous, and knocking on death's door. I'd spend months in a hospital only to whither away as the cells squashed my desire to live. Many nights I'd lay awake in a cold sweat worried

In fifth grade I became aware of the social order at school -cool girls versus not cool girls. And, I was inducted into the "cool" group. Should be a sigh of relief, instead I feared every day they'd find me to be a fraud and kick me out. Surely enough, they did. And my worries didn't stall such an occurrence one bit.

In middle school the fears were social -awkwardness, embrrassment, pimples. The anxiety subsided come eighth grade, until I remembered the unknown world of high school followed promotion.

In high school I feared losing my boyfriends. Yes, lame, but true. I was a serial long-term dater and each boy was dear enough I didn't know what life would look like without him. And, so I'd overanalyze, fret, and lose sleep over the break-up that could (and eventually would) happen to my fragile teenage heart.

Then I went to college. I lived in an apartment alone which was the way I preferred. And I became afraid of everything. Death, life, night, day, evil, good. Fear, fear, fear.

I started my rituals. Little tendencies toward organization turned into hours of consumming obsession over the books on my shelf and the way they were inherently organized "wrong". Alphabetical by author, then by title, by color of the spine, by publisher, I'd do it over and over until I was in tears from the stress and exhaustion of it all. My kitchen cabinets drove me insane to the point of sleep deprivation and I'd spend the night emptying them and refilling over and over and over. Then I discovered the beautiful aroma of a bottle of bleach and I scrubbed every nook and cranny my nubby little fingers could manage. Hours upon hours of knuckle scabbing work only to crave the same routine come noontime.

You see, life's scary for me. 
I'm afraid of the world out yonder.
My heart drains of zest only to be replaced by a deep-seated horrifying feeling of impending chaos.

Thankfully, there's a good God watching over my steps. An omniscient God who won't insulate me from bad, but who is there with me in the darkest, ugliest, scariest of moments. And, I, though hard-headed and struggling, am learning to seek His presence. He reminds me often that not a sparrow falls from the sky without His presence. Am I not more precious than a sparrow? (Matthew 10:29)

You are valuable too. Let go of your fears, anxiety, worry because He didn't make us to live trapped in a bubble of frets. No, He created a vast and unique world in which He longs for us to find joy through exploration. Pack up the bleach, leave the books alone and get out. He's there in all circumstances -good, bad, the in between- and that's where He wants you to rest: in confidence of His presence.

What's restful for you? 
I'm an anxious mover so I'm trying to slow my roll. 
Lectio Devina's one way. Another is silent, still prayer. 
And, still one more, reading His word, other Christian authors' words, blogs.
What slows your mind to a standstill in busy, worried times? 

4 comments:

  1. Ashten@alwaysashtenSeptember 6, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    I just want to hug that little girl and tell her it's gonna be ok and what an amazing woman she's going to grow up to be. <3

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  2. It is so funny how much we are alike. we have pretty much the same fears, minus the book order
    stuff lol. This is a daily reminder how God is looking over us and we can’t be
    afraid of life. When I turned 20 up until the day I turned 21, I was deathly afraid I
    was going to die. Then a few months before the wedding, I thought I was going
    to die again, or Marcus was going to die. We can’t live our life in constant fear. LOVE this post, just like all the others.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are so vulnerable and open and you are SUCH a beautiful being. I love you sister.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for this article, it made me realise I was not the only one to worry all the time and that I should just live and enjoy my life. This is so honest and so touching, thank you ;)

    ReplyDelete

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