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Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Phobia


I was originally going to write about my parents; it seemed like the obvious choice.  The problem was that I couldn’t find the right words.  I’ve written about my mom, but not about my dad.  His birthday happened to be on Monday.  I will get that post done, just not today.

To really know me you need to know about the phobia I struggled with for decades.  Honestly, I still struggle with it at times, but I am overcoming.  I would almost declare that I am totally free, but I know that there are moments when I feel it, just under the surface.  That is when I have learned to kick into full on offensive prayer mode.  I am determined that the enemy will not steal my joy or control ANY aspect of my life.

I don’t have a good name for this.  Trust me, I’ve looked.

5 trembling introspective minutes have just passed as memories flood my mind.

Imagine a hybrid fear.  Here are your elements: Sharks, whales, blue water, glass, sea life, tank divers, underwater images, watery blue light (my hands are shaking y’all), aquariums of any size, water behind glass, the sounds of water going into deep water, dark pools… are you getting the idea?

Imagine walking through a mall.  There are pet stores with aquariums in the wall space (am I dating myself), restaurants have feature aquariums or bubble filled water feature columns, bookstores have covers of sharks with bared teeth in all their glory.  One glimpse causes hyperventilation and the embarrassment of being lead through with eyes closed or hands over eyes.

Imagine a school trip to the Smithsonian.  As you first enter the American Museum of Natural History the sea life room is in view and a massive blue whale hangs from the ceiling.  The heart races and breath shortens.  I sit alone as a 16 year old with the stuffed elephant and wait for my friends to return so we can go see the Hope Diamond.  They all know to be my lookout – exactly what any 16 year old wants to do, but that is why they are lifelong friends.



Imagine life 25 years later and you are still struggling, but not nearly as intensely.  Television programs and movies no longer cause hyperventilation.  The displays at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have been nearly conquered.  Then, your moms’ group decides that the Shedd Aquarium will be the next group outing with the kids. 

This is actually hard for me to look at still.

With much, much, much prayer and counteracting self-talk I have faced my fears head on.  It wasn’t easy.  There were many deep breaths and halting steps – as recently as two weekends ago.  I had to come to the realization that I was eliminating a whole part of God’s amazing creation and deeming it “NOT GOOD” in my mind.  Isn’t contradicting God’s word what got us all in this mess anyway?  I’ve had to confess my acceptance of this lie and that I was in fact cursing what God had blessed.

Fear is a quality I do not want to pass down.  Awe and wonder and gratitude are what I want my son to learn and express towards this marvelous home we been given to steward.  So I continue to be brave for him.  As I often say, I’m just gonna fake it ‘til I make it.  It’s just another type of faith and that is what I try to teach every day. Thing is, I’m still learning.  Aren’t we all really?

How are you addressing a fear in your life?

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good.  22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”  23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
Genesis 1:20-23 ESV

8 comments:

  1. OH, I know faking it til you make it. I'm proud of you girl. ((hugs))

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    1. Thanks, sometimes you just have to pretend in the beginning.

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  2. Perfect, Amy!!!! So proud of you and your willingness to face this head on. Love the picture of your little guy looking in the tank- just precious!

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    1. Look how little he was! That was a big deal day for me.

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  3. I am so glad that we are friends. Seriously! This phobia of yours is just utterly fascinating to me. I think God puts people in our lives to change our perspective and shake us up sometimes - to make us remember that we don't know it all, especially. You are so awesome. I am so glad you are in my life and that you teach me new things through your life and your writing. Keep moving forward my friend.

    P.S. Does this mean that you are NOT coming out west to learn how to fly fish? Since you'd actually have to stand IN the water with the fish? Just checking. ;)

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    1. I'm actually not afraid of water. I swim, play in the ocean, love waterparks... I'd love to learn to tie flies. It's the fussy kind of craftiness that I love, but touching a fish - ick! I could rock some waders, girl! Believe it or not, I used to catch crawdads out of the creek behind my Granny's church with my cousins. I'd rather go kayaking, though. :) Thank you so much for just being you and always having the right thing to say.

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    2. Ok, you hook 'em and I'll touch 'em. A perfect team!!!!

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    3. Shane just said, "ooh!" when I asked him if he wanted to go fly fishing out there. :)

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