Fear and trembling have come upon me; horror and fright have overwhelmed me. Psalm 55:5
This is a true story! * Only some names and minor details have been changed for privacy.
Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is...Sara Barielles
Well here it goes, I'm going to write about fear; It just so happened that the other day my David Jeremiah magazine came in the mail and every time he has one subject his whole magazine is about- So guess what it was about? FEAR. It has a pull out that says, "What are you afraid of?" and all these words are on the outside of the magazine like; anger, animals, death, darkness, Friday the 13th, ghosts, moths, nosebleeds, nuclear weapons, poetry...Wait a minute. Poetry?! You mean other people are afraid of poetry too!? Wow , now I don't feel so alone! lol
And, good ol' google; I found this fear has a name:
Metrophobia, or the fear of poetry, is surprisingly common. Many people first develop this phobia in school, when overzealous teachers encourage them to rank poems according to artificial scales, break them down and search for esoteric meanings. Others simply feel that poetry is somehow “beyond” them, belonging only to the realm of the pretentious and highly educated.
This is from About.com Phobias They also have a list of the "Top 10 Common Specific Phobias"
I guess I was 15. I was to turn 16 my junior year. I met Doug at Bennigans where I was with my sister, one Summer while she was visiting. Must have been 1982. He was there with his older brother. He said what his last name was in the course of the evening and I looked up and called all the people with that last name in the phone book. I know, obsessive, isn't it? Thankfully, it must not have been a very common last name or I got lucky and he wasn't the last one. He was shorter than me but I didn't care, I thought he was nice and cute. So that is how we started "going steady". His family is or was at that time, pretty wealthy. Tim (my oldest brother) was living with us in Fla at that time and he told me, "You should stay with him because he's rich". My Mom had a party that Summer. Mom liked to entertain. This is one of the many things I have in common with my mom. I too love to have people over, it's always a good time! Even without booze! Really! So, Mom let me invite my friends over too. My friend, Lisa came and Doug- we went swimming, cause I'm the little mermaid right? We played a game called "pig" that put the person who could hold their breath the longest AND swim the fastest at the advantage. So I won.
Had I known it could come true?
I would have wished in ’92
For a mermaid just like you...Train
I don't remember how long we were going out but one time Doug picked me up and was telling me he wrote some poems about me and they had something to do with water. I really liked the guy who started people calling me "mermaid" when I was a freshman in high school. It did seem a complimentary term. I've never seen a mermaid depicted as ugly. But poems?! I freaked- this guy is getting too serious on me! He set the poems on the car seat next to me and said I could read them. I just stared at them, then looked away. We got to wherever we were going and I never read them! I regret that now. Then he went away somewhere up north to camp and I told him to write me and gave him my address. He didn't write me. He didn't even call me when he got back and this time I didn't call him. Then one week-end I was with Lisa at the bowling alley and who drives up but Doug with another guy in the car- staring at me. After we spoke a couple minutes, Doug motioned for me to bend down and give him a kiss- I declined, saying something like, "No, we're not going out anymore". I was at the bank on Friday and heard that old song where Tina Turner says,
"I've been thinking about my own protection. It scares me to feel this way..."
One of my favorite movies is, “Runaway Bride” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere: It’s about a woman who keeps “running away from marital bliss.” I first saw it in 1999. Seeing this movie, in the midst of our marital-house- building trials, made me cry! I saw it the first time with Sarah and a friend. Then appropriately after a fight with Bob, I saw it again; and cried again! Tears are cleansing and it’s good to realize what your problems/weaknesses are, because if you don’t see them or worse still; are too proud to admit them; God can’t heal you and help you over-come them!
Maggie is very fearful and insecure as was I. A couple of years ago I was trying to be funny and saying, “I still don’t know what I’m gona be when I grow up” which is stupid because I believe God said I’m going to be a writer and *gasp* a speaker! This is truly amazing, really because public speaking which is a very very common phobia was one of my many. I was also terrified of performing when I was in band and color guard in high school. I was always afraid of messing up- which made me mess up! Even though I was in a large group of other band members or color guard people and I loved doing it, I was always nervous.
Don't let my calm demeanor fool you-I'm terrified!
Since I first saw this movie, I’ve bought it and seen it again many times and the more I watch it, the more I see myself in the main character. The first thing I saw myself in, however, was a scene where Maggie is apologizing to her friend Peggy for flirting with her husband. Not that I flirt with other women’s husbands all the time but when I am flirted with I will “eat it up” and find it very hard, nigh impossible not to flirt back, albeit subtly. While we were building I felt abandoned by Bob especially because I did NOT want to build a house. This was “his thing” and my needs/wants didn’t seem important to him. I know/knew Bob is a perfectionist and it would take him a long time to build a house. Add to this all the time away from the family and you have a recipe for disaster.
Maggie Carpenter: Is there one 'right' person for everyone?
Ike Graham: No, but I think attraction is mistaken for rightness.
Maggie Carpenter: I think there is a distinct possibility that I am profoundly and irreversibly screwed up.
Maggie sort of morphs into every man she’s with, she changes to please him, right down to ordering the same eggs as him! I see all the time how my “people-pleasing” messes up my life and interferes with my relationship with God. There's a scene where Ike the reporter who writes about Maggie confronts her about this:
Maggie Carpenter: Every one of those times I was being..supportive.
Ike Graham :Not supportive. You weren't being supportive--you were scared!
Something I hadn't really noticed in myself in the movie until recently is the way Maggie's family and friends all "talk down" to Maggie and tease her about her short-comings. They have a party and all make fun of her, also there's a scene where this lady won't let Maggie buy the dress she wants for "attempt number four". Both times Ike stands up for her. I think this is why by the end of the movie, she proposes to him.
There's a scene where one of her fiance's (he's a coach named Bob) foot ball players also proposes to Maggie. She replies, "Go away Dennis, you're jail bate!"
Which brings me to my next subject: cougars. Something I've also been afraid to talk about. But why? Cause I am one? No. I 've been accused of being one. This has been very hurtful to me and Satan has always used guilt against me but it was not conviction from God- it was condemnation from the enemy. This has caused me even more fears which also come from the enemy. As I quoted in 1 John 4 in my previous post: "For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]." (Verse 18 Amp.) So my fear of teenagers (Boys in particular) has a name also. It's called; ephebiphobia. So, if I became a substitute teacher I would teach at the high school- I had previously said I wouldn't because I was scared. Anyways, I'm not sure God has that particular job in mind for me. But perhaps a Bible Study at my house for teenagers? Hmmmmmmm? We will see. Any teens reading this interested? In -box me!
I've also had just a fear of men in general and I would avoid them if possible. My general practitioner and Psychiatrist are both women. I would fear men's displeasure or anger towards me AND their attraction to me, fearful they would hurt me etc. This also has a name. Arrhenphobia. Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high." But also important to note; I am BiPolar which is almost a kin to having a "split personality" and my "manic" self or "high" mood if you will is not or at least appears to be fearless. I have for many years considered myself "healed" or balanced out because of my medications but this is only since 2003.
It just seems to be that teenage boys are attracted to women in their 30s and 40s. It's just a fact of life. And why is it that we are afraid to talk about sex with our kids? Don't we know they're hearing about it at school, on TV, the internet? Miley Cyrus is just one of many examples. She just posted her "Wrecking Ball" video in which she appears naked. If we talk to them about sex are they more likely to do it? Not according to WebMD:
Studies show that teens who have discussed sex with their parents are more likely to wait longer to begin having sex and more likely to use contraception when they do.
The subject of cougars is on TV frequently, it's been on many of the shows I watch, like "Bones" had an episode about it. The series that started last fall addresses this subject also, it's called "Bates Hotel". This is sort of a prequel to "Psycho" set in the 21st century. It's about how Norman Bates relationship with his over bearing mother turned him into a serial killer.
A real "Cougar story" even played out this Summer at a Christian camp. An 18 year old camp counselor got involved with one of the mom's of the campers who was a divorcee. This boy lost his job, but was the child involved still able to go to camp? I believe so. Children shouldn't be punished because of what their parents do, still this mom should be held accountable. Perhaps I will talk more about this another time.
Also in an upcoming post more about Satan. Satan takes God's good things and tries to turn them into "curses" but God can take Satan's things he meant for evil and make them turn out good. You see this in the story of Joseph in the Bible among other places (Genesis 50:20). With this "cougar thing" Satan has taken the blessings of motherhood and teenage boys desire for a mom type woman and corrupts it, trying to make it something "dirty" . Look at the blessing of Christ dying on the cross for our sins. How is it that Satan gets people to use God's name as a curse word? Marriage between one man and one woman and sex are blessings too. Oh boy are they!!! Yet what is about the worst cuss word ever? F--- WHY? Would you say, "make love to you"? Satan has taken something meant to be a beautiful blessing and turned it into a curse! There's rape, incest, pornography, abortion....But we don't have to let Satan do this to us!
In I Peter 5:8&9 it says,
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. (The Devil is a copy cat- Jesus is the Lion of Judah)
Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
When I wrote The King of Hearts I said the thing that started my problems at my old church was sharing my Average Girl article with a youth there.
It was much longer and I had the story about meeting, "Matt" in it. I wrote about him in O Brother Where Art Thou?
The funny thing I didn't share in that article is that Christian, the boy in the beginning of the story, dumped me for a cougar!!!! Yes, true story!
It seemed this boy who I shared the "Average Girl" article with had a thing for me, so being the fearful woman I was at that time, I would get Bob just like the "good girl" that I am and I would just back away. Lets call him "Jared"- he was 17. He would often go with me all over my old church to pick up my four little kiddos- following me around, like a little lost puppy and how irresistible is that? What Christians often fail to realize is: having a "feeling" isn't a sin!! It's if you "act" on that feeling that it becomes a sin. And again, I have failed here! Not that I've had sex with any other man besides my husband, but I'll "cliff hang" sometimes. I'll flirt back. I return to being a "tease" like I was in high school, only it's worse now because I know it (I know better)- back then I did it unknowingly.
Check out: Cliff Hangers, Pot Stirrers and The itsy Bitsy Spider
Also see: The Can O' Worms
I've repented and praise God I'm forgiven and I don't take any of that guilt and condemnation crap from Satan any more!
All this happened when we were building (1999-2001) and I was often (On a Wednesday night) at church alone. I've wrote before about how lonely I was back then. So here's this (not unattractive) boy paying attention to me and I'm supposed to say I don't like it? Also I had always thought/said I was fat- it was kinda like the "self fulfilling prophecy"- I kept saying, "I'm fat", "I'm fat", "I'm fat" and I kept having babies until (after having Lydia) I reached 210 lbs! But still? Perhaps because I hadn't reached 210lbs. yet? This boy finds me attractive? Go figure? He started helping Bob out at the house. Once I gave him a ride out there to work. When he got out of the car, he left a piece of paper behind with a poem on it on the seat of the suburban. Wow- it's like Déjà vu all over again. Before I realized what it was, I read it. It was a beautiful poem-- about me?! Then I freaked out! I felt like I was sinking...Lord help me! Am I falling?
Then when I worked up the courage to finally ask Jared about the poem, he said it wasn't about me! What?! Was he lying to me? Was he scared too? I thought about Jared and MYSELF when I read this on my niece's facebook: "Cowards deny the truth." At the same time, even if he lied, I was happy about it.
It wasn't until a few weeks later when I was thinking about the poem again that I realized something: He was talking about virtue, purity and feeling comfortable with someone. Then I got it- it sounded like he was writing about a mother. King Solomon wrote, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10 Wow- I was even more flattered but also? I was RELIEVED.
You know what? Acting all "Holier than thou" doesn't impress anyone. Being transparent, open and honest? Being REAL? That does! But even if it didn't impress everyone (and it doesn't) we should aim to please God- Who desires "truth in the inward parts". (Psalm 51) Yeah I get tempted by that...But I won't because I love God and all the people around me too much to do that! Look at the end turnout- would it be good? NO! And no man is an island! You sin and it affects all those around you!
When I wrote Cats and Dogs and wrote about Katy Perry and Pink and it got so long and I was like, "God why Katy Perry? Why Pink?" But I wrote what God guided me to write. It didn't make it into my "top ten" like "One Thing" did but that's OK. And now when I started thinking I was gona write about my fears, cougars, sex and being kicked out of my old church etc. I was afraid. Then one Saturday I drove Claire's Honda to the U Sav-It here in Byron and a song came on the radio:
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
Katy Perry, "Roar"
Katy Perry singing, "Roar" at the Video Awards.
I kept thinking of more ideas about what I was gona write and Bible verses that went with my subject. I had been thinking about my friend and all she had gone through last year and how similar it was to what happened to me at my old church. She said I could write about it, since she doesn't live around here. I will change her name since with modern technology this world has become so small. Don't want anyone looking her up on facebook or anything. So, I was going to write again about sex addiction in women but my fears kept assailing me. Then I went to the gym. I go to Shaping Up - A women ONLY gym (Of course, cause I'm afraid of men, right?) here in Byron. Marcia just got her copy of October's "Women's Health" and who is on the cover but Pink!!!!! Not only that, also the cover says Pink will share on "How to live fearlessly"! Wow- that was enough to empower me- right there. But then I read the article and it said Pink was going to play the part of a sex addict in the movie, "Thank-You For Sharing"!!!! Talk about CONFIRMATION- Thank you God for leading-guiding- AND encouraging me!!!! He is totally awesome and I love Him!!!!
And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding. Proverbs 9:10
For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. Proverbs 24:16
Sometimes I fall...
My faith is gone and so I freak
Here I am in this tree
Where I will forever be
All because of poetry?
Or perhaps I'm in a cloud
Up in the sky
Yes, I have been up that high!
How could someone write such lovely words? About me?
I sleep -perchance to dream
A silent scream
I see Satan now, he's coming back
In his hand he holds an ax
He tries to chop down the tree
He wants to see her fall
The tree, the cloud, the dream and all
Falling from cloud nine
Only looking back did she see
How God worked things out perfectly
Thank God my faith came back to me!
How could she break such a young heart?
Or lead it astray?
Perhaps he lied
But it was the only way for her to see
And come down from the tree!
Yes it's true, God saved me
But sometimes I fall
So I remember-
So I wake up-
So I call on Christ to raise me up
Because I can't live this life without Him!
He's the only One to trust-
So I've fallen from the tree- so what!?
He calls, "Rise up and follow Me."
And so I do...
The tree is my strong tower
The righteous run to it and are safe
Abide in His word and you will be
like the beautiful cedar tree
Or an oak of righteousness
You will be blessed
Rely on God's goodness
Now she truly sees
the tree is the place to be!
For my first book of poetry with this poem and others go here: "The Seven Story Tree"
If you missed and would like to read/see my intro posts- Go here:
Intro to The Fear of the Fatherless
The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion
For Part 2: Cat Fights, Canines and Confrontation
For Part 3: Cowards, Codependency and UnConditional Love