Underestimating Fear

Today I finally got one of those over-due items off my list.  Waiting for our son’s skates to take their turn to be sharpened, our daughter and I headed off to run errands.  One included a trip over to Bauer Brothers Salvage.


This place has been made famous by Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict, and has been on my list of places to look for a vintage cabinet for our “new” master bathroom.  In hopes I could find something unique – and not from a big box store, I had this place on my list to check out.

Living in suburbia with wetlands and farm fields out our windows, the industrial area was outside my normal personal geography.  I was hoping our daughter would look around – but she had fallen asleep.  As any good mom would, I woke her up and we ventured inside.

The cavernous rooms of this old, warehouse were freezing and dark.  We ventured down isles of radiators, stained glass windows, doors, claw-foot bathtubs, and wood trim.  On a warmer day I could have stayed for hours, digging out amazing finds to bring more character to our home.  (Who wouldn’t want to create a shelf from a century-old trim piece from some elegant building or home?)  But time was short…

…and our daughter was scared.

At around 3 feet tall, these rooms must have looked massive.  The floors and walls looked as if they had never been cleaned by any of it’s occupants.  The items were stacked and shoved, with some thought, but with the hunt in mind.  The rooms were cold, each a slightly different temperature, and the light was variable.  Without a doubt, a slasher movie could be filmed there.  However, I would hate to see any of the amazing items covered with fake blood.

I offered to carry her, on my back or hip.  She declined.

We walked through the rooms which had been built as needed and without any overall plan.  We talked about where all the bathtubs and toilets had come from.  Why people didn’t need the doors anymore.  She saw a few pink items, and now it was all fun.  As we walked by school lockers and theater seats, she was on the hunt for anything pink.

Fear dissolved, and she figured next time we would need to bring her brother.  “I will make sure M. isn’t scared.”

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment.  The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

This previous Sunday Daniel Vigilante shared a wonderful message on fear, using to our daughter’s delight, Queen Elsa from Frozen* as an example.  He challenged us to really address our fears and see what they are doing to our life.

Elsa’s fear divided her from her family and closed them all off from everyone else, eventually unleashing misery on everyone.

Our daughter’s fear could have prevented us from our little adventure, and the delight of discovering something pink in the midst of the salvaged memories.

But, don’t take these as childish situations…I know plenty of people who fear something.  And these fears get in the way of their lives, stifling opportunities, wrecking relationships, and limiting joy.

One of my fears, common to most people, is that of rejection.  As social beings, we want to be successful in our endeavors, have friends, find love.  But the more we fear rejection, the more we hide behind various protective measures that isolate ourselves from others.  These measures can be literally hiding from others or not bringing our dreams to reality, or using violence, anger and rejection of others to “get them before they get us.”

There are many other fears, some may have a minor impact on our lives.  I am afraid of heights.  This is not a good fear to have during a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Mount Sinai.  Despite taking the Camel Path instead of the ancient steps, I still had to climb a decent portion of hand-hewn rock.  Uneven, at different heights, and will little to hold onto.  While I know I was safe…my body was tense, I could barely breathe, and under other circumstances I would not have done it.  But the prize was too great.  I took my time as others moved swiftly past me, and focused on each movement I had to make.  I did not even take it one step at a time, but rather each placement of my hands and feet, even bending my knees.  Every cell needed my mental coaching to get up the steps.  And it was worth it.  While it is the disputed location of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, it still had a major significance.  The action itself was a pilgrimage…my getting there, was an act of love and devotion to God.  In love, there is no room for fear.  On that mountain, I chose to cast out the fear, one movement at a time.

And yes, what are your fears.  I challenge you to take a look at them.  At first appraisal you may not have many, so then as the medical profession does, look at the symptoms.  What are you not doing that you could be doing?  What is your life lacking that you wish it had?  What are your regrets?  How is your relationship with your friends, family…those like you and those completely different than you?

Don’t underestimate your fears.  We all have them, and in many ways, they control our lives.

But, we do not need to be limited by them, as love can and will make them irrelevant.

 *Yes, I’ve seen this a million times…if you haven’t, well, you should.  It is a good movie, same with Brave.

About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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