You would think that when you have lived among the worst things this planet holds that you wouldn’t have fears anymore, and in a lot of ways you don’t. You know that if your talking to someone who has senselessly committed murder that they won’t think twice should your life get in the way, but there is some bias in that. It’s like, once you know your potential enemy you know how to pray for them, you know what they are capable of and you learn quickly not to push them. The fear isn’t so intense when you know.
It’s what you don’t know that can be horrific. For someone like me who had PTSD it is easy to get stuck on loop when it comes to a lack of trust and unnecessary fear. Why? Because I know what that murderer can do, I don’t know what the person in line at Walmart behind me can do, I don’t know what the stranger in the parking lot is capable of, or the guy from work.
People who don’t have PTSD often think opposite to how I do though. Seeing the murderer as the bad guy because a piece of paper says so, but before he killed, before there was a document saying he was the bad guy, he was the guy standing in line, the kid you grew up with, your neighbour, your friend. Then one day, the world changed and suddenly you hold yourself higher than him because you wouldn’t do that to someone.
It is amazing what fear can do and what it inhibits. I think that fear and love are the strongest emotions we can experience and in a lot of cases they go hand in hand. Your hubby is a few hours late and his phone is off and the fear inside of you begins to swell.
I don’t know how many times I heard growing up “if your father doesn’t get here soon he better be dead or I will kill him” simply because my mom was worried about him being away on icey roads for so long.
I always laughed at the irony, “if he is not dead I will kill him”! Poor guy!
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that worrying is not trusting God fully. I imagine fear is the same way. Though, I also think it naïve to believe that God would send us warning signals only for us to avoid them based on the assumption that he will keep us safe.
I am always reminded of the story of the man in the flood. Priests used to tell it to us in school. You see, there was a man and flood water was quickly rising and he was told he needed to evacuate and he refused saying that God would save him. They sent a boat to rescue him and he still refused saying that God would save him. They sent a helicopter as he stood on his roof and he refused saying God would save him. He drowned and when he got to Heavens gate he said to God “you said you would save me!” and God exclaimed “I sent out warnings for you to evacuate and you ignored, I sent boats and helicopters and you refused. I gave you every opportunity I could to save you!”
And then, for me, it all made sense. God doesn’t need to shoot down from the Heavens in a blaze of glory with horses and a sword to save me. I can save myself through what He provides me with. I am already saved spiritually. I have to learn though, that God’s saving grace here on earth may not be as obvious as one would think. Which is why keeping a prayer list or a gratitude journal is so fun. You read back ad see how much He worked in your life in such a short amount of time.
He died, so that I may live. Through His advice and grace I won’t be that guy standing on the roof dying when God clearly wants me safe.