Monday, September 21, 2009

Fear and Perspective

 "Courage is not the absense of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." Ambrose Redmoon

The other day I took my kids walking along the water. A snake slithered in front of us - I screamed. My youngest jumped in my arms. My oldest cracked up laughing. 

To her it was 'just' a harmless garter snake. To me and my youngest - it was huge, disgusting - terrifying. For the rest of the walk my youngest and I moved cautiously - terrified of meeting another slimy snake. My oldest kept laughing and trying to convince us we were just being goofy. 

I got home and thought about my fears. I've been so afraid to tell anyone about the stuff that happened to me. I've been afraid to speak. Afraid to be seen. Afraid of the memories. Some days I want to scream at myself - 'who cares. It's over. I survived.' Other times, I'm convinced people will look at me differently and think something's wrong with me to have been where I've been.

I kept silent for a long time. Afraid. Worrying what others would think. Living in shame. Not wanting anyone to know. Not wanting to admit it was bad - lying even to myself. 

This year I felt God shaking me....... shaking me into reality. Things happened. I connected with people. People who knew. Some said they were shocked I had survived the drugs, the streets - living life on the edge. God forced me to face the truth. The truth of what happened. The truth of how bad it had gotten - the truth of where I had been far down He had reached to pull me out.

I started writing. Mostly to get rid of the images in my head.  I had minimized it  - kept telling myself it was no big deal. But the shame....the shame consumed me. I couldn't be with people long. I couldn't let anyone look in my eyes.

I went to talk to a physician friend. I told her the words faltering...hesitating....broken. I couldn't look at her. Worse - I couldn't have her look at me. You should be dead she told me. You need to tell your story. Her words shocked me. For so long I didn't believe it even happened....I thought I made it up.

Listening to her ....and writing - I started feeling selfish, selfish that I never told.....

God had touched me. He had broken chains that I couldn't get free of. Nothing had worked, not jail, not hospitals, not rehab.......Then He touched a hospital...under oxygen.... He freed me from the drugs. Just like that. 

I promised Him I would tell whoever He wants - so others can have hope - to know there's a way - But.....

I'm still afraid to be seen, to speak in front of people. I keep thinking about that daughter's persepective versus mine. 

I don't know how I'm going to tell.....but I will. He gave me life. I owe Him.



nannykim said...

Being real is so wonderful in the Christian life--being open to others. If God has put you in a fellowship of believers start there. I hope you will get opportunites to speak for him verbally as well as in written form.

I love the quote about fear and it is very true. I use that idea all of the time when I have to conquer my own fears....and my fears are often silly ones!

But there is a wonderful refreshment of being open to others and being real, isn't there. It helps others immensely and that is why we tarry here on earth--to help others, to glorify God, and to enjoy Him.

Gin said...

You never cease to amaze me. You are growing stronger every day. I can feel it!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

There's something healing about telling your own story too. God really can use the bad to bring the most wonderful things. I know he is doing that in your life!

Paula said...

Mill of hugs to you. You are so awesome. You arent asurvivor you are a WINNER. Never forget. You are a Winner. Whateveer happens to you, whatever you did to yourself there is a force inside you which is stronger then anything else. Inspite all happenings you grow stronger to finally emerge to heal and grow. Love to you

Just Be Real said...

Dear one I know I have told you before, but I so appreciate your Realness! You have accomplished so much!!! I too hide and I hate to speak in front of people or even give an opinion. But, it is getting better!

Dear one, in time He will bless you with the right words for the right people and they will hear exactly what needs to be heard! The Holy Spirit will bring this about. This is what I am trusting in also, as hard as it seems for me with the fear factor, I know He will NOT let me, you or anyone down who trusts Him!

Appreciate you! Blessings!

RCUBEs said...

When we rely with our own strength, that's when our focus on Jesus gets distracted and we seem to be more worried, more afraid...But you're doing it sister and it might not take just a few months but you're trying your best along with God's strength and that's what matters. Snakes to me are disgusting, in reality and spiritual sense anyway...God bless.

Scrapping Servant said...

I just love that God is bringing you out of your shell. I love that you are willing the share your story. I had chills reading this... God SOOO has a plan for your life! I am so blessed to have "met" you.

... you said you think you did the Freedom Story thing wrong?... I think you are fine, I didn't realize there are WHOLE blogs on the subject - I love it! Just be sure to post a couple buttons for others to share as well.

speck of dust said...

You're amazing. Today, right now, you're already where you need to be. You are alive. And you are well enough to feel fear of a snake. Isn't that amazing? That you work so well!!! Love you x

Tracy said...

It's so beautiful to read all that God is doing in your life. He is working and blessing in your life in so many ways that it's inspiring to read.

There are few things in life more wonderful than the experience of being totally honest, bare, before another and being loved. Aren't you glad (even though the being honest and bare part is so difficult) God wants this for you?!

Plus, I've noticed in my own life that when I kept the painful things in the dark, that they had power over me. But once I took them out and shared them in appropriate ways with safe people, the power began diminishing. The Word tells us that the enemy is out to destroy and one of the ways he does that is by his lies about how people will look at us if they know the truth - when I started talking that power got broken. When I started speaking the truth of how God sees me as His beloved child aloud to myself I got stronger.

Finally Free said...

Your are inspiring to me....your story, the miracle God did for you. You are so courageous.

I still haven't said yes to my speaking engagement. I am procrastinating.

I like the perpective of the snake story. Maybe, when I am up there speaking I will laugh and know that the people are just garden snakes. They don't bite.

The funny thing about this fear is I did it before and I'm still scared.

Maybe it will get easier...after the second time.


Prayer Girl said...

Reading this gave me goose bumps (God bumps) up and down my arms.

I have experienced the miracle of sudden and complete deliverance from addiction. So - I truly understand what power you have experienced.

Use that same power to give you the courage to face your fears and allow God to use you for His purposes.

I know you will. God bless.

Wanda's Wings said...

Telling is so important. Your faith will see you through. You have an amazing story to share. God wants the word out. You have so much courage. Don't under estimate yourself.

pdkamath said...

Thanks for the well written honest feelings

Lisa Marie said...

I understand the weight of having others eyes upon you, when you already feel so looked down upon by the world. You have learned that putting yourself in God's sight is the only way to be completely at peace. Yet, here you are, pushing yourself outside of comfort and peace in order to reach out to those of us that might not be ready to be in the sight of God. He chose you to help those. You are doing such an amazing job.

Denise said...

You are trying, more each day, and that is what truly matters sweetie.

Lori Laws said...

Honesty is the mark of a great writer. Just step out, God is there to empower you...and also to catch you when you fall. Look at how faithful He has been to you so far! The best is yet to come!

God bless!

travelmom said...

Hi - so great to find another traveler. I love your Ambrose quote. When we consider how much grace God has poured into each of our lives thankfulness just pours out. God will direct you - just listen and pray for His leading. In the meantime, be the gospel to those around you (children, neighbors, etc..)He will pour out His Spirit into your life and the lives of others through you. Each of us has a unique story - but the message is the same - to glorify our Lord and point others to Him. Start by thanking Him for His grace in your story. Thank you for sharing here with us. May God richly bless you as you travel on.

Edie said...

He loves you. He wants to heal you and He wants to reach out to others through you. As Mary said "Do whatever He tells you." And don't worry, He will protect you and He won't rush you.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm so pleased to meet you.

nancygrayce said...

There are so many of who survived similar circumstances....I too was ashamed for years and felt it was my fault. Thank you for speaking for many of us!

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

The bottom line is that it does not matter what other people think about you. It only matters what God thinks about you.

On a practical note, if you are going to be making speeches, you might want to join your local chapter of Toastmaster's International. They do an excellent job of developing good speakers.

robinsgothealth said...

I believe it takes more strength to tell what is really going on inside than to hide it inside where no one can learn from the truth! You are very couragous and I have the most respect for you knowing you faced your fear head on and now are sharing it with others!
God uses the pain in our lives to help change us and others for the better!

God Bless!