I am sleep deprived today. I was sleep deprived yesterday too, but today I’m “feeling” it. The cause of my shut-eye deprivation was fear. Grippingly, wrenchingly, nauseatingly, and awfully imposing was this terrorization of my soul. Not to worry, my faith (which I have discovered is actually an action more than an idea, and translates as: trust in an unseen G-d and his Word as recorded in the Bible), has conquered my visitor from Hell. Yes, the state of my being, while suffering the fool of being afraid, was something straight out of what my impression of Hell would be…a place devoid of the presence of my loving father. Not a pleasure, I assure you.
I will bring you thru to the occult slowly, by traipsing back to the catalyst–which is actually quite wonderful and exhilarating…
My husband, Brian, and I have decided that an additional investment (aka:privilege), into our daughter’s education would be a worthwhile endeavor. She is currently finishing up her second year of learning her third language, French. And because she has weathered this past year and a half like a champ, we have decided to send her on a trip to France this January, during her one month respite from classes (though she will engage in studies while on her visit).
Now rewind to 1983 for the back-story which helps to illuminate my fearful state. It was the aforementioned year and I was thirteen (funny, up until writing this post I held this memory as if I were 9 or 10 years of age…but now looking up facts smooths out the wrinkles of a hazy memory), for reasons still unknown to me now, I watched a movie about a little boy who was kidnapped from Sears while shopping with his mom. And who was subsequently found murdered. The little boy was Adam Walsh. You might know the, made for TV movie, it was titled, “Adam”. The account of this story of abduction rattled my young soul to the core, and its impact upon my mind was profound. At that time I babysat my younger siblings (god brother and sister, for those of you who are thinking, “wait a minute, aren’t you the baby of the family?), with a new, keen awareness of evil. I developed a philosophy and guideline for our public outings of, “If I can’t touch you, somebody else can!”, which I later applied to my own children, in their younger years. Essentially, they were allowed to be within my arms reach and not further. While raising my children I felt strongly that I’d rather lose them to a Mac truck then to have them (or me) live through the horrors of abduction.
In recent years, my aching heart is aware of stories of abduction through media coverage. Specifically, the Chelsea King case. There is a trail near my house that I like to walk the dogs on. For some reason my heart hurts for her and her parents during one section of the terrain. I always, and I mean ALWAYS, pray for the King family (and the parents of the perpetrator) during that leg of my hike…it’s kind of creepy, I admit! In fact, there are occasions that I cannot complete that particular leg of the walk because my empathizing mind becomes too burdened by the evil which crossed the King’s path and fear then runs a muck within me. You will still find me in prayer for the families, though my own insecurities are also being addressed at the same time. And as fate would have it, I had the pleasure of interacting with the King family attorney this past summer. He is a most gracious man with a truly empathetic and giving heart. Anyway, this is my back story. I do not normally walk in fear…at least that is what I thought.
In fact, this particular year I have declared, with my husband, it is a year of “NO FEAR”. Now making this declaration seems simple enough…not so, not so. For it has, in fact, acted as illuminator of the many, let me write it again, MANY underlying actions we take in life that are directly motivated by fear. Example, when fighting cancer do not cook your vegetables…they are most effective when consumed in their natural state (what to do when raw vegetables are difficult for the cancer patient to ingest? Aaahhh Scary!). And of course they can only be organic, and the quality of the soil and farm is integral to the nutrient content (but when one is on a strict budget, that rabbit hole has to be left for another fox to find…also scary). Milk is bad and probably the cause of many illnesses (one friend of mine is convinced it is the origin of my migraine headaches, I am slightly afraid as I drink every last drop). Cardiovascular exercise is important for longevity, but don’t forget strengthening techniques which help fight the naturally occurring degeneration of bone mass (if you don’t move you just might die–one day). Don’t consume just any oil, it has to be cold pressed. Or hard pressed, or who knows which one! I don’t think you want me to get started on fish, the mercury content, and the wild vs. farmed issue. How about the environmental issues. Or sex before marriage issue, and the ‘must attend a university directly out of high school’ issue–or else! Of course, at my age, the retirement fund and long term care insurance issues come into play. As does the fear of disease and getting older. Oiy Vay…fear has its roots in much of our life. If we let it. For the most part, I utilize my knowledge with a knowing that this physical life is a temporary one. I do what I can, with what I have, and trust in the good Lord for the rest. …and this last statement is coming from one (me) who thoroughly enjoys learning.
So with our 2012 no fear policy has come the facing of many root fears which have permeated our lives. No matter, I like the purging…until this past week. The week Brian and I decided to move forward with allowing Esther the opportunity to travel, on her own, to France. As I shared our decision with a family member (whose travel booking advice I was after) she promptly suggested I, and Esther, watch the movie “Taken”. Actually, I think I’ll expose her. Only because she is such a squeaky clean individual that she needs a little soiling, just to keep the “chi” in balance. 🙂 It is my younger sister. The one who suffered, as a little girl, the squeeze of my hand because I was under the influence of the Adam Walsh story. The one who traveled, to France herself, when she was twenty, with a girlfriend. So upon her advice I watched a 4 minute synopsis of the film. And the wretched ax of terror hit me so hard I was shaking–honest–because this film has the underlying story of two girls who travel to Paris, are abducted and then sold into the sex slavery trade (last word hurts to even use–sorry, it’s late and I don’t want to take the time to correct it). I was, after that, gripped. My stomach was clenched with fear and my head a swirl with evil. I somehow managed to get myself back to a quasi normal state, just enough to get some sleep.
However, the next night my daughter returned home from a work dinner party, where her 17th birthday was being honored. Only instead of being showered with birthday blessings and wishes, she was being smothered with curses. They went something like this, “Oh, you should watch that movie Taken. You are so going to be taken, just like in that movie, because you are too nice.” She came and shared that news with me as I was already tucked in bed and again at peace with her upcoming trip. I will spare you from having to re-live the scenario with me, especially as the torment and mental torture I endured carried forth until the morning. It was a horrific night. And Brian, Esther, and I have had to thoroughly examine the circumstances of her travel arrangements, her host family, and the realities which come from living in an imperfect world. Bottom line, our mantra of 2012 remains. “No Fear.” Because fear is a destroyer of life. It might seem harmless while living in a vegetable, within imperfect soil, or even in the milk we drink (though the Center for Science in the Public Interest doesn’t consider these things harmless, http://www.cspinet.org/). Yet it likes to take hold of that which is biologically sound and squeeze from it the essence of being alive.
Though difficult as it may be for me to recover from my wrestling match with the devil, my daughter will travel to France this winter. She will be blessed with as much opportunity as we can provide for her. And she will know that no matter how hard it is for us, her father and I, to let go of her hand, we will allow her to bloom and grow. And what of my little sis, my now-a-principal-of-a-high-school little sis, who first led me to the rocking of my soul movie trailer? She is also the first to say to Esther, “just be aware and cautious, but most definitely go.”
This past year our Bent slogan was created because my husband has been suffering the fool of fear for a while. I have been so tired from his own sleepless nights (as he insists upon my help through his torture) that I actually installed the “NO FEAR” policy as a measure of ‘risk management’. This is probably my first time experiencing the robbing tactics of its presence. And yet, today I purchased her airline tickets. And today I share in her excitement. …fear, don’t come around here no more.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7