Monday, October 24, 2011

Walks in the Dark

As I made the pleasant walk from the gym to my car tonight, I wound through the familiar shrubs and bushes nestled around the walls of the fitness center. I scuffled across a stretch of dry, brown ground, kicking up dust as I did. I crossed a quiet street, and passed a sleeping church and huddle of houses before reaching my vehicle.

I had made that walk many times before, but in the past, I felt fear.

From the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, I dealt with rampant fear in my life. Like a cancer, its mass spread from one area of my existence to another, devouring truth and implanting panic. For example, when I took walks like the one described, I experienced constant paranoia that someone would attack me. In addition, I was consumed by fear that I would be found un-beautiful by the world, so I indulged disordered eating behavior and rejected all affirmation from my husband. Also, I hated flying, because the idea of a plane crash made me pale with terror. The list went on. It was a difficult time, one of profound confusion and struggle.

I won't go into any more details now. Suffice it to say that God delivered me over the course of the year as I met with a Stephen Minister (lay counselor) at Wildwood Community Church, listened to the Word spoken and accepted the love poured into my life by loved ones. 

My walk tonight reminded me, with a burst of clarity, of just how far God has brought me. I'm no longer scared of dark walks alone, nor am I a slave to bad eating habits and thoughts. I also dislike flying only for practical reasons now. 

Can we say HALLELUJAH? God was so patient with me the entire time, which is material enough for an entirely new post! What I want to comment on right now, though, is how my past issue of fear branched out, in seemingly unrelated ways, so that I felt its effects holistically.

If you see a pattern of fear (or some other issue) cropping up in several different areas of your life, whether or not they seem connected, it is likely that you need to deal with the general issue of fear (or fill-in-the-blank) in your life. And by deal with, I don't mean grit your teeth and will yourself to do better -- I mean bring before our holy, healing God. For I know that he is the only one who can deliver us from ourselves.

To the dismay of my writer's mind, I don't have much of a conclusion to offer here. Just keep in mind that we see patterns in our thoughts and behaviors for a reason, and instead of trying to play whack-a-mole and kill off the different ways a bad thing manifests itself, we need to go after the thing itself.


  1. Thanks for this post! This and the Imperfect Forgiver have given me things to think about. I'm thankful you share your struggles and how God has helped you overcome them.

  2. Megan! Thanks for reading! :) I appreciate the encouragement.

  3. Good thoughts, Jaimie :) I always enjoy your words!


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