Poor Molly. She is going to be an absolute nervous wreck.
The wind has blown almost constantly, all day today. Molly, for reasons unknown to me, is terrified of the wind. It has been rare in my life when a dog has not been a part. In all of my 63 years, I have never had a dog afraid of wind. Gun fire? Yes. Fireworks? Yes. Thunder? Yes. But wind? No. Not until Molly. She and Bella are outside now, Bella is sprawled out in the front porch. Molly is right outside the door, growling. At the wind.
Granted, the wind makes the trees and bushes do strange dances. Dead limbs, some of which can be really large, fall unexpectedly from the sky. Those monster chimes on the front porch play odd wordless tunes that at those high tones probably do hurt her ears. Bella ignores it all, and I’ve caught her giving Molly ‘the look’. The look that parents give their kids when they’ve gone over that line and the parents have had just enough of that mess.
But fear really is a horrible thing. To be so afraid that all you can do is sit in one place and hope it goes away.
As a youth, I had a fear of heights. I’m not sure why, considering how many times I climbed trees up to the point where to go any further would be dangerous in that the tree couldn’t support the weight. Then suddenly, heights terrified me. Ask mom to tell you about trying to cross that suspension bridge. She talked me across that one but it took a while. So long that the men who had been well into the sauce they had been drinking…were stone cold sober by the time they stepped off the bridge. Or so mom tells it. All I wanted to do was sit down somewhere and let my body quit shaking.
Now, for some reason, I have a terror, an absolutely over blown anxiety attack in the making fear, of getting lost. If I don’t have clear directions as to where I’m going, I usually don’t go. I don’t like admitting that, but there it is. I’ve had people laugh at me and remind me, unnecessarily, about the maps on my phone. The last time I tried to use that, the phone would not talk to me. I was fighting driving and trying to check the map without incident. I finally found where I was going, but it was a weird round about double back try again, wait I think I missed the road, no there it is kind of trip. I was a nervous mess by the time I got where I was going and simply wanted to sit in the car and pretend I wasn’t there. At least until my nerves calmed down.
The day my husband died, I had spoken with him very briefly early that morning. I tried every break during the day to reach him. My worry, concern and fear, growing only to have my worst nightmare come to life minutes before I left work.
Those are a few examples from my life. Condensed but still enough to get the point shared.
I think though that most of us, if we are honest, have had moments of fear in our life. Maybe those times when you are facing something terrifying like a swinging bridge way too high above the ground. Maybe fearing a break in to your home, or an attack while out. Things that just get in your head and won’t leave even when the probability is small. Yet, the fear is there. It is real and it makes life less than it should be.
I admit, and remark often, I am a work in progress. My work to overcome fear is ongoing, but it is going. I am learning and I am improving. It may be slowly, but its happening. My son even bragged on me the other day when he overhead me talking with a lady. Before that he swore that I wasn’t talking with anyone. He’s wrong of course but he has to see to believe and he did that day.
I know, that God did not give us a spirit of fear. To be made to be afraid, to be fearful, to be anxious, is crippling. It prevents actions, such as my often not going places out of fear of getting lost. Who knows what all I missed, adventure wise and faith wise? Fear locks us away and leaves us in the dark. How often, are our fears irrational and of something we shouldn’t fear? Like Molly’s fear of the wind.
I was thinking today that I know there are times when I may write on something I have already mentioned. My hope in that, is that someone new may come along and need to see these words. This is me, this is what I have and do face, but it isn’t winning. I’m getting there. I’m doing better. It takes time, but it happens when you try. when you trust. When you step out in faith and joyful anticipation of what waits at the destination.
When Bella and I hiked today, the sky was dark and held the appearance that it was going to rain at any moment. The wind was blowing, the sun played hide and seek games among the clouds. I saw that before we left and headed toward the park. I didn’t let it stop me. I watched the skies off and on during the climb up. I watched the sky and the ground beneath when we reached the top. Watching that, knowing the possibility, I still wasn’t afraid or worried. As we headed down, I actually thought a summer shower would be an amazing thing to be hiking in. Of course it didn’t rain though.
Driving home I managed to get behind a flatbed eighteen wheeler hauling a house. It was a small house, but it was a house. At one point I was following traffic around this truck and I’m thinking, an accident wouldn’t be good right now. It didn’t happen and I went merrily on my way.
Fears can pop up like those moles in that whack a mole game. You never know where or when they may appear, but you know they are going to pop up when least expected. Just remember, you have the mallet so you can take care of those scary things.