Friday, October 23, 2009

Refusing Fear

"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows." Japanese Proverb
I drove to work this morning with the song, How can you say there is no God...  playing around in my head. All morning that tune played over and over  inside me. I felt like I could fly. By the time I left work, I had so much energy I needed some way to release it. I drove to the mountains where I love to run. The air, the smells, the sights - being in nature - made me feel even more pumped.

Before I had left work, a friend told me she's concerned I run alone in the woods. I hit the trails and started running. Her words popped into my head. I started to feel afraid - afraid to run in the place I love. I kept running through the isolated wooded trails, but I became aware of a growing sense of not being safe - of the possiblity someone evil was lurking behind the trees, on the trails, waiting - I felt that familiar sense of needing to brace my body, to be on guard, watching, attuned to every sound, every movement......It was too much. I was really afraid. I turned around and headed back to my car. I hate that as a female, we never feel really safe in the world.

Fear - I don't want to live being afraid. I don't want to be restricted in what I do or don't do just because I'm too afraid. I do that a lot. I'm still afraid to be seen. I still find it easier to talk in the darkness. I'm still afraid of people knowing the real me, how bad things had been - so I keep a distance - And I'm still afraid of being alone in the dark -
Fear - it has a life of its own. It drives, it pushes, it picks up steam the more I feed it with wild crazy thoughts from my imagination. 
Fear - it cripples, it stops me from living my best life, from doing the things I really want to do.  And it forces me to accept situations I don't want.
I never used to admit I was afraid. Instead I forced myself to be brave, to look fearless - by shoving needles in my arms, or throwing up or cutting myself. I never cried - instead I fought - mostly myself - to stay strong - to not show weakness - to not show fear.  

Fear - someone once told me it's the opposite of faith. I want to walk in faith - faith that I can do anything I want. Faith that has a positive strength to it. 
Faith that can stand up and speak and not be afraid. Faith that can look fear  head on and not back down.  
I know I need to be careful - to not put myself in crazy situations. Maybe running in the woods alone isn't so smart. I need to really think about that. Other fears - fears that control me - I want to challenge them and become freer. 


Just Be Real said...

Dear one, I appreciate this post very much.

First, I walk early in the morning alone. So, I can relate! On occasion I see an jogger, but mainly it is just me. I too have thought I should not do this alone, but then I think "when do I have the time to walk?" I am too tired when I come home from work, etc. Still, we do need to be cautious.

Fear is a terrible thing!!!

I too do not want to live being afraid!!!

Today, I faced another mile stone with having to speak in front of my peers and then was led to lead singing and worship. Even though at the beginning I was scared beyond belief, the peace of God came over me, that I even got lost in the Spirit when I played for my peers.

Fear is hard one to tackle at times. I guess as we grow in our walk with Christ, it may get a bit easier each time.

Thanks again for sharing Sarah. You are truly a bright spot!


Susan said...

Take a self defense class, carry some mace... and keep running.
I appreciate this post, because I identify with so much of it. Every day, we become a little freer though.

Andrea said...

Keep running. Always be aware of your surroundings, and be safe, but do NOT allow satan to steal your joy by planting unhealthy seeds of doubt and fear in your heart. As Susan said you can carry mace with you. I sometimes walk alone. I take one or two of my dogs. I am rarely afraid when I have them with me. Honestly, if I didn't have them, I would probably struggle more and have to carry mace. As long as you know you are taking appropriate precautions you should NOT be afraid.
I can tell from previous posts that running sets your heart free and opens it for GOD to work. Likely, this is why the enemy does not want you to do it.

Much love, hugs, and prayers, andrea

Epiphany said...

That all rings true with my recent post about my fear of heights.

Gaia said...

Perhaps FAITH and SAFETY are 2 different issues. GOD has promised he will light your way and bring you through to the other side, and he said I have given you all the wisdom in the world to know how to get to the other side safely.

Find a friend, find a brighter spot, find a safer spot to run.

Be SAFE. Hugs & God Bless.

speck of dust said...

I relate to this post. I'm so sorry your run was spoiled by fear. I know how freeing and healing it is for you.

Being alone in nature is something I think many women would have difficulty with even without severe trauma experience. We all grow up in a society of fear, bombarded with stories of attacks etc. And though it is just our thoughts causing the fear and not any real threat in the moment it is good to be aware of safety and how to make ourselves safe. For me, fear can be a good emotion because it's making me pay attention to something.

Maybe you could start a small running group of women who feel afraid to run (I'm sure there are lots). You may find women who have their own stories you could relate to and gain help and support from.

Or if you love to be alone running I agree with previous posts about self-defence knowledge and mace. I should think about something like that. Lately I've not felt the need to go off on my own so haven't been thinking about it.

rcubes said...

Do not let fear paralyze you. The enemy just loves stealing someone's joy. It doesn't hurt to be cautious...Like what others said, maybe another friend can do this with you. Be strong in the Lord's mighty Power...God bless you and have a wonderful weekend.

Finally Free said...

I love to rollerblade at the track by myself and walk on the beach by myself. One day a friend said, Aren't you afraid? She explained she would be. Hmmm.....I never felt afraid. I'm with Susan. I will try to arm myself, but I refuse to let the enemy steal things I love with fear. I like the dog idea. My dog is only 9 pounds, but He barks like He is 90lbs. Thanks for sharing.

Tracy said...

I think several folks here have made wise suggestions about continuing to enjoy running and being wise about it. The only thing I'd add to that is to make sure someone knows where you run and when.

About fear in general; I'm so grateful that God truly and totally loves us just as we are. Even with our fears. As we grow closer to Him, He brings more and more healing into our lives. As it's been said in 12-step groups - it's about progress, not perfection.

Kay said...

family, co-workers, employees, friends all fear the fact that I walk home to and from work (very odd hours I work) but I fear not. I walk with confidence and strength every day, every time. Even tonight, I witnessed four men beat down one man...I had no fear, no. I, alone, pulled my phone out standing in the middle of the street and called the police taking descriptions and licence plate numbers down. No. I have no fear, I am blessed to be sensible enough to make it come to an end, as police scare made it stop...the battered boy having no other hope at that point as stand by watchers did just that.

running free is nothing to fear. you are so right.

Madison said...

Fear is the opposite of faith. So true. Running alone in the woods? Only with a big vicious dog and a cell phone. It's difficult to spray mace on someone who attacks you. Other than that, fear can be a vicious stalker following you wherever you go. Resist it with passion.

Colleen said...

Fears can just take over. So hard to fight it. I keep remembering the bible verse - Perfect love drives out fear. So I hang onto God.

JANICE said...

Thank you and I all so Understand this, any help you can give me I would be grateful

Deb said...

Last December, I determined that 2009 would be the year that I face my fears.

I have a lot of them.

But I'm making progress.

All of your posts are meaningful to me.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Sweet dreams.

Being Me said...

Fears and secrets... meaningful and true, well put. Thank you for leading me here and for your visit.

Denise said...

God can, and will turn your fears to victories sweetie.

Zan said...

I live in a very small village, and I've always felt safe here. Recently however my mother said she got afriad for me, because I do not lock the backdoor at night. To get in to our garden you'd have to climb over the neighbours wall, not an easy task so I never bothered to lock the door. My mother, once she found this out, kept going on and on about it and that night I was unable to sleep, imagining someone breaking in, imagining that I heard voices in the garden. I got scared. I felt fear. I locked the door.
Isn't it strange though, that if you do not think about it, you don't feel the fear?
I only locked it that one night, since I have kept it open determined not to let fear change who I am. Plus the dog sleeps in the kitchen. I really do hate fear because once it grips my heart with its ice cold fingers, it changes everything I am.
I hope you'll keep on running, even if you have to carry self defense tools!

Terri Tiffany said...

I too worried about your running in the woods. I worry probably way too much but life is so different than when I was younger.
Our Faith conquers our fear but I admit to days when it waivers and then the fear creeps in. Trying hard to stay confident. Have a great day!

Deb said...


You're enough, sweet blogging friend.

He's using you now.

Sweet dreams.

Jane said...

Yes, I can relate to your fear too. But some fear, or degree of it is healthy for it makes us wise, protects us. If we sense no pain, we'll get ourselves cut and burned without awareness. If we feel no fear, we'll get expose to all kinds of danger. But our imaginations can run wild and frighten us and immobilize us to doing what needs to be done. Keep running, but take note of the time and place, protect yourself for you're God's precious child.