Monday, November 27, 2006

Let faith arise...

I've been thinking this evening about what makes me angry. I had a run-in with one of my neighbours this evening. That didn't make me angry, more like frustrated.

What makes me angry, is that as I'm typing this, in my office in my little house on Statesville Ave., I'm sensing fear.

"Sensing fear?" you might say, "What do you mean by that Heather?"

What I mean is that I'm here alone, it's dark, and I'm hearing funny noises that sound like people creeping around, lurking outside my windows. It's making me jumpy and a little nervous. And THAT makes me mad.

You see, when I was a kid, I was petrified of the basement. Now, my parents will testify that my brother and I played down there all the time, and we did. And it was ok. The issue came when the basement was dark, and I had to walk up the stairs.

We have these really creaky wooden stairs at my parent's house, and there's a lot of them. I used to be fine till I got to the foot of the stairs, but as soon as I began to ascend, I would get this awful panicky feeling like something was chasing me and about to grab my foot and drag me into the darkness of the basement. So I'd race up the stairs as fast as I could, into the safety of the kitchen, where I could be assured of the presence of Mom or Dad, the familiarity of the washer and dryer humming along, and the reassuring sounds of the radio. No fear there. But there was just something about that basement.

Even when I was a teenager, and, as all Canadian teenagers do, I moved into the basement, I was afraid. I was afraid of the sounds down there. The shadows. That a hidden person, or a ghost was going to grab me on my way to the bathroom - which made for some long, bladder-filled nights.

It was fear that had a grip on my mind. And it was such a tight grip, that all it would take is for me to hear one noise and I was so far gone into fear, that I could convince myself that it was an intruder, or a ghost (I only had to watch one of those reality shows about haunted houses and the memory of it haunted me for years) and if I moved and drew attention to myself, it would reveal itself to me and 'get me' somehow.

Rationally, this make no sense. But feelings are rarely rational.

Now, not everyone falls prey to this kind of fear, some people actually relish it, but I was different - I was paralyzed by it. Even after I came into the Kingdom of God this continued. In fact, I didn't have any freedom from it until about a year ago, when I was again, living in the basement, hearing funny sounds.

Alone in the basement at night, at 28 years old, I would succomb and be afraid over and over again exactly as I had when I was a little girl, over 20 years earlier. Unable to shake this eerie feeling like there was an unseen presence in the room with me, I got into the habit of leaving all the lights on and the TV on too, I coping mechanism I learned in my teenage years, because nothing can get me in the light, right? Just the dark. Just what goes 'bump' in the night. Except it really was not funny at all. It went on and on.

That is, until one night, I just got angry. I HATED feeling afraid and nervous and freaked out and unsafe. Hated it. That was not God's destiny for me, to live under fear's thumb. So, one night, I just started speaking out the truth -

God loves me.
He's here for me.
He's got my back.
I'm totally under His protection.
Nothing bad will happen to me.
I don't have to feel afraid.

Wait a sec, what? I don't have to feel afraid?
What a concept!
I'm a very 'feelings' sort of person, and since I'd always been so used to getting caught up and swept away by what I feel (sortof like a rubber duckie caught in a tidal wave) the concept that I don't have to get dragged off by every feeling that comes into my head was like an epiphany.

So I began to pay those 'fear feelings' very little attention. When my radar started to pick up something scary, I'd just tell those fearful thoughts to go away, that I'm not choosing to feel afraid right now. It's nonsense and I won't let it control me.
And it worked.
And I did a victory dance!

So tonight, I'm home alone. I'm hearing noises. I'm beginning to feel uneasy. To feel nervous. I even started to imagine it's my distraught neighbour outside my house coming to 'get me', or some high homeless people plotting outside my window to break in and steal all my money. (haha)

But you know what? Right now, I don't choose to feel afraid. My feelings don't get to be the boss of me, so instead of letting fear grow in me, I'm going to let faith rise up, because the truth is that I have the Lord's angels camped around me and they've got me covered (Psalm 34:7) and that God is my Refuge and my Strength, and not only that, but He's an ever-present Help to me in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

"I will say to the Lord, "You are my safe and strong place, my God, in Whom I trust...I will not be afraid of trouble at night...Because I have made the Lord my safe place...nothing will hurt me. No trouble will come near my home. For God will tell His angels to care for me and keep me in all my ways, and they will hold you up in their hands." Psalm 91

1 comment:

kathy said...

Wow...I need that. I'm a super turkey...with a crazy imagination that Dateline NBC itself could not dream up. I moved into the basement as a teenager...same story...except I was afraid of the European Earwigs...darn those earwigs...
Miss you guys.