Saturday, March 9, 2013

30 Days: Blogging Prompts - Day 2: Fear

Over a month ago, I wrote a post that was Day 1 of a 30 day list of blogging prompts.  Well, life happened and I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I used to.  It has been really difficult for me to come up with good content.  I haven't been in writing state of mind, I guess, which has made it difficult too.  I want to write, so as I sat here wondering what to write, I decided to go back to that list.

The task for Day 2 was to write about three legitimate fears and how they became fears.  That's a challenge!  As a growing Christian, I found this one difficult.  Certainly there are legitimate fears in life.  I am fairly certain that if I was stranded in open seas, that a healthy dose of fear of sharks would be warranted.


I am also pretty certain that if I were to ever find myself on The Amazing Race, If I was faced with this, I'd be faced with a hefty dose of fear:


But I am just not sure that I could honestly write about three legitimate fears and how they came to be fears. As a child, I was scared of dogs.  I'm not sure why that came to be, but I was scared of them.  To this day, I am not a fan of dogs...at all.  I don't hate them.  I am not scared of them.  I'm just not a fan.  Also as a child, I think I had a fear of the abominable snowman.  I'm sure that probably came out of an episode of Scooby Doo or something like that.  Was it a legitimate fear?  Not likely.  Have I ever run into a yeti?  No.  I'm pretty sure, as an adult, that this fear is unfounded and I can live my life without this fear keeping me from going about my daily business.

Death.  Death might, perhaps, be on many people's list of top three fears.  And why shouldn't it be?  Death is scary.  We know it will happen to each of us - eventually.  We don't know how or when, but it will happen. I can honestly say, though, that death is not something that I fear.  That doesn't mean I look forward to it!  I just don't fear it.

I certainly have had many opportunities in my life to build up a fear of death.  Perhaps there was a fear at one time that doesn't exist now.  I had a stillborn son in 2001.  While everything was going on that led to this, I had severe pre-eclampsia.  I am not certain how close to death I was, but I'm certain that I was closer to not being here than most people of my age at the time have ever been.  Two weeks later, I had a severe pulmonary embolism.  I didn't know that's what was going on at the time.  In hindsight, I should have gone to the ER three or four days before I did.  I should have gone by ambulance when I did finally go.  I am here writing about it now, so it all worked out, but at that moment, I was even closer to the end than I was just two weeks before that.  Fast forward to 2006 when, two weeks after Peyton was born, I was faced with a massive pulmonary embolism that spanned both lungs.  The attending in the ER {I went right away, although my symptoms were not pointing to this being the cause for my feeling "not right" that day.} had never seen a PE as bad as what I had - with the patient still living.  This was the closest to death I have ever been.  Honestly, I was more worried about my two week old baby upstairs in the same hospital going through her second surgery since her birth than I was for my own health.  Did it concern me when I had to sign a waiver because the treatment for my problem might have killed me?  Yes.  Did it worry me when they had a member of the clergy come in to speak with me?  Yes.  Perhaps I was too sick to be truly scared.  I was scared, yes, but not trembling in fear.  Did I want to die?  No.

Through all of these episodes, I was not on the Christian walk that I have been on the past few years.  I was going to church but I don't know that I would call myself a true Christian or believer like I would say I am today.  Why I should have been spared three times in five years was beyond me.  What I believe today is that God has a purpose for my life and He was not ready for me to leave this world on any of those occasions.

I also lived {from a distance} through the illness and death of my mother in 2010.  Yes, I was scared at first. I felt sick when I heard her diagnosis.  I felt worse when it came back.  But as I continued on my walk with the Lord, I came to a certain peace.  I do grieve her loss still, but as for her actual passing, I wasn't scared.  I didn't know what to expect, sitting in that room with her when it happened, but I knew that her passing was just the end of her earthly existence.  I miss her greatly - now more than ever - but the concept of death is not something I fear.

There is strength in Christ.  There is a stillness and calmness that comes over you when you know that He is with you.  The more I recognize God's presence in my life, the less I fear.  I feel now that to have fear is to have an absence of faith - not to be completely without faith, but to be lacking in faith to one degree or another.  The Bible offers a great deal of strength if you are confronting fears of your own.  Use the Bible to find this strength.  Lean on God in your weakness and times of fear.  Acknowledge that He is your strength and cast aside your fears so that you can life the life He desires for you.  God does not desire for us to live in fear, but to live fully.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.  {Psalm 34:4}

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  {Philippians 4:6-7}

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  {1 Peter 5:6-7}

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.  For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.  Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?  {Luke 12:22-26}

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  {Philippians 4:13}

~~~~~

For a complete list of blogging prompts, you can follow along with the list below.  I'll add links in each time I post something new.  Or you can follow the label "30 Days".
Day 1: List 10 random facts about yourself.
Day 2: Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and describe how they became fears.
Day 3: Describe your relationship with your parents.
Day 4: List 5 things you would tell your 16 year-old self if you could.
Day 5: What are the 5 things that make you happiest right now?
Day 6: What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
Day 7: What is your dream job, and why?
Day 8: What are 3 passions you have?
Day 9: List 3 people who have influenced you, and how.
Day 10: Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Day 11: Describe a few of your pet peeves.
Day 12: Describe a typical day in your life.
Day 13: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
Day 14: Describe 5 strengths you have.
Day 15: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Day 16: What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
Day 17: What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
Day 18: What is the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
Day 19: If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Day 20: Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
Day 21: If you could have 1 superpower, what would it be and what would be the first thing you did with it?
Day 22: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
Day 23: List your top 3 hobbies and why you love them.
Day 24: Describe your family dynamic from your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
Day 25: If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
Day 26: What popular notion do you think the world has wrong?
Day 27: What is your favorite part of your body and why?
Day 28: What is your love language?
Day 29: What do you think people misunderstand the most about you?
Day 30: List 5 things you would hope to be remembered for.

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