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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

me and my fear

I think it was a few weeks ago that Tim was talking finances with a friend, who urged us to get life insurance policies. We agreed that it was the smart thing to do, just in case, and then the conversation went on.

As we were getting ready for bed that night, Tim brought it up again and reaffirmed that he really wanted to get that done soon. If anything happened to him, he wanted me to have more than just our savings to sustain me for a while. I quietly agreed, and then Tim promptly fell asleep while I laid awake, anxiety eating at me, tears running down onto my pillow.
The cruel voice of fear, writing sad storied in my head.

Before I was married, the fear was that I would never find someone to love me. It followed me all day, influencing my decisions about where I went and how I spent my time and what I wore and how I valued people. Born out of lies, insecurity, and despair...all unnecessary, I know this, but there it was.

So I'm lying in bed crying, all worked up that the man I love (who's so at peace, he's asleep, mind you) will fade from my grasp like a vapor, and I realize how easily and regularly I get to this point. All it takes is erratic (read: normal) Chicago traffic to make me gasp in fear, or grip my seat with anxiety that we'll be in a crash that will take him and leave me. Or if Tim orders a cheeseburger when we're out, I get all bossy and patronizing, making him feel guilty for his unhealthy choice that will probably cost him his life and my happiness down the road. Or if he crosses the street too slowly with cars approaching, I pull him by the arm towards the sidewalk.

I see the pattern of course, there will always be something to fear. I'm sorry, future children! Besides that, the greatest product of my fear has never been the fear realized: it is my behavior. Fear makes me controlling, angry, anxious, insecure, condescending, and the list goes on. ALL negative side effects of a needless condition.

And then, laying awake and afraid that night, I just gave up and gave in to the fear. I submitted myself to it as a real possibility, admitting that the worst of the worst could happen to me and then if it does I would make it. I would eventually be ok, because ultimately, my wellbeing and peace doesn't rest on Tim or any other person or thing that will expire. This isn't a "strength within self" mantra, I don't have that kind of strength and I don't know how to fabricate it.

The God who put me together can take me apart and He can take care of me through it all. And I'm not supposed to live in fear.

And, I swear to you, this is the only relief and answer to my fear. The only hope for sleep and peace and hope in my tortured night. Trusting, having faith, in a God who loves me is the only remedy for my weak heart and tendency to be bitter, self-focused, and hard to live with.

I just thought I would tell you about me and my fears, in case you get afraid too.


  1. Gosh. I just adore you, Bethany. This is great.

  2. :smirk: i was just telling a friend about how sky was under his truck fixing it the other day and i started freaking out that it was going to CRUSH HIS HEAD.

    after a few heart-racing moments, i was able to remind myself of many of the things you wrote of.

    and then i laughed at myself.

    this love thing isn't all roses and rainbows, it's trust and terror intermingled.

    this is an email, i'm sorry.

  3. Love this, Bethany.
    Oh, how I can relate...

  4. I would recommend reading "what women fear" by Angie Smith