Tuesday, April 10, 2012
For the last week, I've been waiting to return to the hospital for follow up tests to one of my annual exams that looked a little funky to the doctor.
It was a bit of an odd week. I'd shared the news of needing follow up analysis with only a few people and while I make it a practice to never worry until there is something to worry about, I did find myself at moments paralyzed with "what if?" fear. But I only felt that way when speaking to other people about the next steps.
When left to my own devices and thoughts - I was at peace and without fear. At all. Made me reflect on my relationship with fear.
When I was younger, I used to fear lots of things.
Then slowly as I matured, I let go of irrational fear. I remember vividly the summer of 1995 when I enlisted a counselor because at the ripe old age of 23, I feared being alone as all of my close college friends were tying the knot. What a wise man, that counselor was because right then and there, he led me to let go of my irrational fear of being single and all other irrational fears that came into my life ever since. We worked intently and quickly (I only had three sessions that summer) on how to equip me with tools to cope whenever I felt fear - irrational or any kind.
You see - fear is just what the illustration at the top of my page says it is. As cliche as it sounds, when we allow ourselves to be consumed by the "fear" of something - it becomes a war of the wills. Your will to overcome the fear or the fear's will to control you. Fear can't live in your life without your permission.
Fast forward - the "alarming" test that caused a series of follow-up tests turned out to be a false alarm for a serious condition. I think about how much time I lost on being fearful and it was negligible.
Right on. Just as it should be.
During some trying times in my life 4 years ago, I clung to a verse in the bible that has now become my life verse. I chose it but really it chose me because it exemplifies the way I try to live my life free from debilitating fear. I choose to live a life of love and see why:
There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life-fear of death, fear of judgment-is one not yet fully formed in love. - 1 John 4:18 MSG
What about you? What is your relationship with fear?