Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My story: Fear Not

Love is what we are born with.  Fear is what we learned here.
~~Author unknown.

We were watching television the other day when a preview of a scarey movie flashed on the screen.
My little guy rushed over to me, buried his face into my chest and said,
"I'm scared Mom, tell me when the scarey part is over."

I placed my hand on his head and rubbed my fingers through his hair.
"It's okay, it's just makeup and stuff.  It's not real."

With his face buried firmly into my chest and his little trembling body curled closely next to mine, he muffled,
"I don't care. I'm scared. I'm just gonna stay here with you where it's safe, until it's all over."

Psalm 56:9-11
When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

I don't remember the first time that I felt fear.
I just remember it was always with me, like an unwanted friend who wouldn't leave.
Without a moments notice, it would appear pulling me down a dark road that I did not want to go.
My thoughts would wander, and the fear would consume me.
As a small child, I would lay in bed at night, my body sweating profusely underneath the covers.
Fear weighed heavily on my chest.
Images of dark shadows would engulf my mind.
I could feel it's presence as it creeped and circled.
I had wished it was only something that a young child normally felt, but it followed me into my teenage years, like a thick dark cloud.
It was all around me,
an unexplainable darkness.
I feared anything and everything.
I feared people.
I even feared being afraid.

By the time I reached my Sophomore year of highschool, there were just two of us left at home with our Mom.
Everyone else had left to pursue their lives and create families of their own.
They didn't visit much, and I can't say that I blame them for that.

My sister and I began to carry a very heavy load.
The outpouring signs of my mother's depression and bi-polarism hit a record high.
It was very evident to me by now, that she was not well.

She was sick. Real sick.
Things were bad. Real bad.

She was manic most of the time, and we never knew when or what would set her off.
Our lives were surrounded with the sound of crackling egg shells, as we walked within the war zone that was our every day life.
Never knowing what she would do, or what she was capable of,
my fear continued to grow.

My mother would read me scriptures about fear, and pray with me.
She told me how God would help me be strong and courageous.
She told me that above all else, I could depend on Him.
 Then moments later, one of her "episodes" would come up out of nowhere.
The anger and sound of her voice would send fearful chills down my spine, rattling me to my bones.
She helped me and hurt me all in the same breath.

I heard things no child should hear.
I witnessed things no child should see.
I endured things no child should endure.
I did things no child should ever do.

Fear continued to grow it's monstrous head all around me.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear invited it's friend confusion along to play with my thoughts.
I felt surrounded with no way out, as they pulled and tugged at me.
They snickered and hissed at me as they toyed with my mind.
They told me I was weak, that I was stuck, and that my future was dim.

I began to realize, that fear and confusion had been my mother's unwanted friends as well.

They had set up camp at our door step.
They welcomed themselves without invitation and they weren't leaving.
They brought havoc and destruction.

One minute all was good...

I watched as my mother spoke to a countless number of people, sharing God's love with them.
I watched as she witnessed to others, and said the sinners' prayer with them, watching as they entered as new beings into the family of God.
I listened as she spoke of what God had done in her life and within her family, healing the brokenness between her and her father.
I watched as she offered grace and forgiveness to those who hurt her.
I watched in awe as she spoke wisdom and healing into their lives.
I watched as her face lit up at the mention of His name.
I watched her glow as she shared His good news with others.
I listened as she praised Him with her whole heart.
I honored her.
I loved her.
I felt safe with her.

And then the next minute...

I watched as she lay crying out to God in her bed, begging Him to take her home and away from her miserable existance.
I watched as her face would change from mood, to mood, to terrible mood.
I watched as she held a knife to her chest, screaming out that she was going to end it all.
Ending a lifetime of pain.
I paniced as I hid her medications from her fearing that she would take her own life.
I watched as she wrestled the demons in her mind.
I felt as her pain became my pain.
I felt as her fingernails pierced blood from my arms as she grabbed me demanding that I listen to her and honor her.
I felt as the sting of her hand hit my face, and the tug of her hand pulled out my hair, because of what she felt was my dishonor towards her.
I listened to her, as the demons lashed at me, tearing at my heart.
I felt the warmth of the tears as they streamed down my face as I begged for her forgiveness.
I felt as my body trembled in fear and poured with sweat.
I honored her.
I loved her.
I feared her.

I wondered, how long fear and confusion had befriended her.
I wondered how long they had kept her bound.
I wondered how long had they hissed in her ear telling her that her future was dim.
I wonder now,
 if they had haunted my family generation, after generation, after generation.

I needed to break free from their clinches.
It was time for the cycle to be broken.
It was time to tell them to leave.
To tell them they were no longer welcome.

Isaiah 41:13
For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

I know many people who have horror stories attached to their years of highschool.
Just the thought of it brings hard memories and ill feelings.
Highschool was a place of torture and pain in many ways for them.
My heart feels sorrow for them, but at the same time,
I can't relate to that.
The memories I have bring me to a warm place within my heart.
Highschool was a safe place for me.
It was where I could escape the crackling sounds of the eggshells.
It was seven hours in the day that I could be free from the fear and controlling ways of my mother.
I came out from under the thick dark cloud that loomed.
Where I could speak freely and think clearly.
Where I could laugh contently.
Where I could share my emotions.
Where I was heard.
Where I could walk in peace.
Where I felt joy.

As soon as the bus would arrive at my driveway at the end of the school day, and the doors would swing open, my heart would become restless and fear would begin to beat through my heart.

Never knowing what awaited me beyond the threshhold of my house.
Home was torture for me.
Home was not the place I wanted to be.
Home was where fear breathed like fire, burning it's mark on me.
Home was where confusion taunted me.
It was where pain lived and thrived.
Home was where she was.

I had been taught that home was where you were supposed to feel sheltered and protected.
A place to feel safe, and to grow.
My house was far from that.
I needed to find my home.

Pinned Image

Isaiah 43:5
Fear not, for I am with you.

In my quiet moments,
when my mother was settled,
 or passed out from the mood altering medications,
 I would find a glimpse of Home.
I would sneak off to my room and close my door,
shutting off from the madness that lurked on the other side.
I would find it within Him.
Within reading the life breathing Words He spoke and the pages that filled my soul.
It was in writing, and allowing my feelings to pour onto the pages from my pen.
It was in my prayers to Him.
It was where I could be me.
Where I could find strength.

It was in His presence that I felt safe.
I knew that He was Home for me.
I knew that He was with me.
He was my safe place in the midst of the fear and confusion.
He was the strength during my weakness.
I know now that the strength I needed from Him,
was to endure the fear that she was handing out to me.
The same fear that grew wildly throughout my life.
He was my peace amongst the pain.
The true Friend I needed and wanted.

He spoke life into me with the Words that I read.
I knew that He held the world in the hollow of His palm.
 He could surely hold me.
He could surely take my fear.
He could surely save me.
It was there within His presence,
 that I would bury my face firmly into His chest, curl my trembling soul next to Him, close my eyes and feel safe.  Knowing that one day, the scarey parts would all be over.

Please Lord, just tell me when it's all over.

It was there that I prayed for Him to take away my fear.
It was there that I began to trust Him.
It was there, that I continued to cling to Him,
 knowing that He would hold my hand and lead me to a safe place.

It was there, that He did.

Psalm 27: 3-5

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear,
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing that I have asked of the Lord.
that I will seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord,
and to meditate in His temple.

For He will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;
He will lift me high upon a rock.

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