I’m facing fear and contemplating its use in my life. We’ve chosen a life that exists 6 hours from a hospital, reliable health center, and airport in a 3rd world countryside. Why did we choose this life? We have a calling and this is where we belong. But, alongside us are our 4 children. These children were brought into our world. We made this choice and it never really bothered us much until last month.
A situation came up where we needed a little medical help at a late hour. Thank goodness the medical emergency was not for our children but for our puppy who was in great pain. The first stop was at the vet at 11:30 that night. It was closed and I knocked on the door until the vet’s wife and his 2 small children met me. She explained that the vet was out-of-town and they had no medications to help me. Next stop was a private clinic. They were open but no-one was inside except for a couple of patients on their beds by the door. We hollered but no one answered. We even looked behind the counter for medicines to help treat the dog thinking we would leave the money at the counter but couldn’t find anything. Therefore, we headed to the last place that would have medicine which was the county health center. Lights were on but again no-one responded. We knocked on all the doors and finally a very tired looking man stepped out. We explained our situation and he handed us 2 syringes but said he had no medicines on hand. We returned home and our puppy died that night.
As my husband and I returned to bed, we laid in silence. I knew we were thinking the same thing but neither of us wanted to say it. Finally getting much-needed sleep that night, we returned to our busy schedules but our house was quiet for the next few days. We didn’t feel like talking. Finally, Marc broke the silence and said it “what if that was one of our children?”
Isolation and fear gripped both of us. I was reminded that fear is not just a feeling. It permeates deep like vice grips on the chest refusing to pass on. Darkness creeped over my thoughts in a way that leaves me feeling vulnerable, isolated, and helpless and often dangles on.
That’s what fear does, it grips and stays beyond my desire. Many people choose to numb it, ignore it, or knee jerk reaction towards a false feeling of safety. I’ve been tempted to go down these paths too. But not this time. I’ve faced fear enough to know its best to take the ride and wait it out.
I’ve chosen to accept fear and believe that I can use this feeling for good. I realize what fear can do for me and my purpose in life. It can derail me or I can use it to strengthen me. Therefore, I sit and remain calm, patient, and pray for clarity and wisdom. It’s in the silence that I decided fear can do these 4 things:
Fear can motivate a realistic strategy and warning for the future.
Since our puppy incident, we decided to make solid plans. Gathering the phone numbers of Khmer friends who could come be with our kids in an emergency. Gather the passports and money in a safe easy to access location. Assure that the kids know what to do in an emergency and that we have on hand what we need for emergency treatment. These step come from a realization of our vulnerability.
The feeling of fear helps us realize how tangible and alive our faith is.
It constantly reminds us of our lack of control. No matter how much we are tempted to put a safety net around those we love, we all realize at sometime or another that we have little control of other human beings. Whether in the safest box or life in the jungles, life has risks. Therefore, I choose faith. Faith acknowledges my vulnerability in light of a sovereign loving Father whose watchful eye never looses track of me; of us. Just as He has given me purpose, He will do so for my family as well. It’s beautiful, its good, not pain-free, maybe pain-full but never alone!
Fear quiets the soul.
Fear often fills me with desire to be quiet and alone. It reminds me that everyday is a wonderful gift. I can live and experience life to the fullest each day not knowing what tomorrow holds. It’s important for me to accept and face fear so that I can remain in a place where others benefit from my gifts and skills. Again, I never know how many days I’ll have to give to the people around me today. So, I choose to live it all.
Overcoming Fear = Freedom.
Without fear, I would never know the beautiful upbeat dance of joy mingled with freedom. That’s when we can live the abundant life to our potential, God’s potential. This is the lightweight life with few burdens on my back. Therefore, fear can come and go and I will choose the path leading to everything I hoped to accomplish in life with my husband and children by my side.