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Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Trial Run with Fear

I am sure you have seen the cute little icon that says something about the Bible saying “Do not fear” or something like that 365 times, one for each day of the year.  I’m not sure how many times the Bible actually references the fear we all face, but I know that’s it’s easier to quote a verse to someone else than it is to take solace in that promise yourself. 

See, I have begun a new adventure in my life, and luckily, I’ve been blessed to have a trial period at it rather than just diving in, head first.  I am 26 years old, but I have never been in a position to have to live by myself for a long period of time.  I commuted to school for university, lived on campus for Bible school, lived in cabins all summer long and generally go from friends house to friends house on long road trips.  I’m not married, have no children, and my biological family lives over 2000 miles away and for the last two years, I’ve lived with a co-worker and her husband.  But it’s time for me to “grow up.”  What does growing up even really mean?  Well, to me, in this next stage, I vision it meaning to get out on my own, having to support myself on my own income, cooking for myself, and becoming more….”domestic”, if you will. 

I have now been in a house alone for one week and boy did it start off rocky.  I arrived home to an empty house on Saturday afternoon, exhausted from 10 days at camp and anticipating an empty fridge and warm house.  I had just unloaded groceries and sat down on the couch when a knock thumped on the front door.  Two men stood outside, looking like slick detectives with badges but just the black pants, white shirt type of guys.  They told me they had some questions to ask, so I answered their questions the best I could and had to repeatedly clarify that I had just gotten home from being out of state and had not been home.  After they finished their questions, I asked if they could tell me what the fuss was about.  The Major Crimes unit of NH State PD doesn’t just show up to take surveys...  That is when they informed me that a woman, who lived probably a mile away (only separated by woods), went missing Thursday (June 27th) and they were looking in the woods that surround the house for clues and such.  Before the day was over, there was NH Fish & Game up on the corner searching the woods and another cop searching for a ATV rider that wouldn’t stop for him.  Not to mention I live on a hill, at the dead end of a road, with a half mile drive way….WELCOME HOME JOY!  Day 1, home alone…..a little eerie.
So for the first few days, if I was home, I barricaded myself in, locking all doors, making sure windows were closed, and setting the alarm even if I was home.  It was steaming hot inside the house…think, sauna…..It was literally 95 outside and 92 inside the house.  Made me just want to go outside for a walk, but that was too scary a thought.  I messed up in my security though.  On Monday, with the alarm set to protect me inside, I slipped and opened a door on the main floor, setting the alarm on myself.  I ran down stairs and tried to reset the alarm, but alas, it was too late.  Talk about feeling foolish and embarrassed.  The cops were called by the alarm company, so they came blazing up the hill, lights flashing, two separate cars and I sat on the front steps waiting for their arrival.  Talk about embarrassing…..My intense fear caused me to be in more trouble than I ever anticipated. 

“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within that endangers him, not the storm without.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I explained to the two officers what happened and the reason why I had barricaded myself in the house….the visit by 3 different officers already, the fish and game presence, the unknown whereabouts of the missing woman and assailant.  They were understanding, took my ID, and then said I was free to head back in the house.  I had just closed the door, sat down on the couch, head in my hands in embarrassment when another knock at the door.  It was the same officers, asking me to step outside.  I obliged and they asked me if I was alone at the house.  Long story made shorter, one officer was convinced he saw someone in the house while I was outside talking to them which quite frankly, creeped me out immensely.  I told them that no one was invited in there and to please do a search of the house, as my fear was spiked at the thought that my worst fear of someone coming inside the house while I was there was already long gone and I wasn’t alone.  So one officer stood outside with me while the other searched the house and I nearly… no…I did bubble over in total anxiety.  The officer found nothing in the house and reassured me to call 911 if I ever felt scared.  All the officers I met this week were extremely nice and I could tell they did their job for the right reasons….I was just so over interactions with officers. 
So in the last few days, I’ve done better at not having interactions with cops, slept great every night, and gotten braver in my own house.  I have balanced the time at home with cleaning, reading, and walking as well as going out to spend time with friends or shop.  These last two days, I’ve gotten braver to go out for a walk here on the road and open windows and doors to get a cross breeze going in the house.  I’ve gotten better at feeding myself and just feel less anxious when alone.  Brave is not a word that I think anyone would ever use to characterize me, but this week, God has helped me turn fear into trusting Him.  There are definitely steps to take to be smart, but I need not be enslaved to fear and anxiety. 
I look towards hopefully getting an apartment and I want to be confident in my ability to live on my own.  I don’t want to live in fear.  This environment I am in, is supposed to be a safe trial run, in that it is the house I have been living in for the last two years.  And I think it will be fine…I just don’t want to fail.  I want to prove that I can do this…I can grow up…I can live on my own and take care of myself.  I can live alone and not fear.  I can because I’m not alone….God is always with me, whether I cling to those promises or not but I am thankful that He left those promises for me anyway. 
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

Until next time,
In Christ,

1 comment:

  1. Joy, I have tears in my eyes as I read this. I lived in, intense debilitating fear....every single day for like 6 months, back in 2010-11. Learning to actively trust GOD with all of my heart and strength and mind was something I knew as a concept, but *totally* new to put into practice. I loved the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote....maybe I can pray for you, and you can pray for me as we battle this same spiritual battle; and be able to encourage each other?


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