Are you Afraid?

You’ve felt it, right?

Skin tingling, warm neck, heart palpitations….

Compliments of FEAR that rises in your belly even though your mind tries to be rational.

My daughter used to scream whenever she saw a spider on the wall. Using a tissue, I’d grab the innocent, unsuspecting creature, and flush him down the toilet.

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“How can you do that?” she’d ask.

Because I’m not afraid of spiders.

I am, however, afraid of falling from great heights.

A few weeks ago, my husband offered to buy me lunch at Half Moon Bay near San Francisco. Instead of driving four hours, he wanted to fly me there in a two passenger (tandem seating) Citabria. Otherwise known as a taildragger plane.

“It’s only a two-hour flight,” he said. “It’ll be fun!”

Flying, fun? I had a panic attack before I got into the plane.

It’s not that I don’t trust my husband as a pilot. He has thousands of flying hours. But there’s something about sitting in a small area (behind the pilot) with a few inches of light-weight materials (metal, wood, fabric) between me and 3,000 feet of space that makes me….AFRAID!

However, I wanted to be courageous.

While Husband flew the plane, I made myself smile and repeat the Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do this…even this.

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I also listened to a podcast on anxiety.

The narrator’s soothing voice instructed me to, “Place both your feet on the ground.”

That’s the problem. My feet aren’t on the ground.

“Breathe deep.”

Smells like jet fuel.

“Close your eyes. What do you hear?”

The loud rumble of a single engine with a propellor which I pray doesn’t quit in midair.

Such were my anxious thoughts while my sweaty hands clung to each side of the plane. Not unlike the way I cling to the metal cage of a ferris wheel. As if that would cushion my fall!

When the plane finally landed near the Pacific Ocean, my husband mentioned the breathtaking scenery we’d flown over. I couldn’t comment. I missed most of it because my eyes were squeezed shut.

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As for lunch, I didn’t have an appetite. I stared at the menu, wondering, How much is a bus ticket home?

Do I hear laughter? He who is without fear cast the first stone.

Fear is first mentioned in Genesis when Adam told God, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” (3:10)

God knows our propensity to be afraid.

Afraid of objects. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of change.

Afraid of death, man, failure, rejection.

And yet, whenever fear is mentioned in the Bible, scripture reminds us that in every situation—even death—God is always present and all-powerful.

Therefore, we will not fear though…..

I know this to be true. And “the truth,” Jesus said, “will set you free.” This includes freedom from worry and fear.

That means I must habitually renew my mind by immersing myself in God’s Word in order to know the truth.

And then cling to Truth regardless of sweaty hands.

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Otherwise, I’ll fly through life with my eyes closed. Unable to enjoy the journey.

What makes you afraid?

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

13 thoughts on “Are you Afraid?”

  1. Sounds like mom. This is funny, especially for someone who flies so much. My fear of flying is that I’m not in the pilot seat. I want to be in control. Another topic.

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  2. That was so funny to read, Karen, but I’m sure it wasn’t funny to go through. I had a similar experience when I went on a very scary roller coaster that would go straight down. I was so terrified that I closed my eyes, which made me sick, and it took me two hours to get to the point where I could walk again afterwards because I was so dizzy. I thought to myself that if anyone wanted to torture me, all they had to do was put me on a roller coaster. 🙂

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    1. I Hear you. I avoid roller coasters. Funny how people are tortured by different things. I wonder why. Your book on Renewing the Mind has been very helpful with my fears etc.

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  3. I wish I could hit ‘like’ dozens of times. I am sorry to say, I too, was laughing to the point of tears. But, only because I get it and it is so nice to know someone else has scare-de-cat-itis like I do. Thanks for the reminder, Karen, of Who to lean on when I feel that ‘warm neck’ feel and those palpitations rise.

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    1. Glad I could make you laugh! That was my goal: make me laugh. We’re all so serious. And humor is a known painkiller!
      Besides, I’m no expert on conquering fear. Just looking at the photos, curls my toes!

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  4. Falling on the floor laughing because this is me too! Oh dang, this could be an episode of a sitcom. So true. xxxooo

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    1. Anonymous, Nice to hear from you. When I read “falling on the floor laughing” I KNEW it was you! You have a distinct voice. 🙂
      Yes, that day was pretty funny! I still have the clammy hands to prove it!

      Long before I blogged about this event, I told some folks about my experience. They laughed too! Especially when I said, “I don’t smoke cigarettes. Never have. But when we landed in our hometown, I felt the strong urge to have a cigarette!”

      Is that why movies show men smoking a cigarette right before their execution? Something to relieve stress?

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