19 November 2012

Doing it Afraid...


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You could say that as a young girl I had a major issue with fear.  I remember being very afraid of the dark, peering around the corner of my bedroom door and up and down the passage before I sprinted to the toilet at night, and then repeating the same process before I sprinted back to my warm, safe bed.

I also had a serious fear of spiders.  Now, I know your thinking that being afraid of the dark and spiders doesn't sound to abnormal, but strangely enough I wasn't so afraid of the big, black furry spiders, but was extremely afraid of the teeny, tiny spiders with the long thin legs, daddy-long-legs.

I don't know whether my fear of spiders began with an aunt screaming with fear and jumping on a stool when she saw a spider, or when my brother used to chase me and my friends around the house with spiders crawling in his hair, or when my mother exclaimed loudly one day that she had just swallowed half of a daddy-long-legs spider down with her tea and that some of the legs remained in the bottom of her cup... either way, there was very real fear for these harmless critters deeply ingrained into my brain.

No matter how much I tried to avoid these tiny critters, they seemed to seek me out.  Whether it was random attacks on me by crawling down my face while I was calmly minding my own business or during our annual family holiday having to stay in a batch that was riddled with them, they would seek me out.  Seriously, you would not believe how many of them used to camp out in the long drop toilet!  I still have a guilty feeling as I think back to the constant thump of my mother's jandal (flipflop) squashing the poor things so that I could be comfortable enough to visit the loo without fear of them "attacking" me.


The strange thing about fear is that when left alone, it doesn't disappear, in fact it does the opposite, it grows. Along with my fear of long-legged spiders, in crept the fear of what my friends thought of me, a fear of being laughed at, the fear of too much attention (I hated public speaking) and generally a fear of anything that made me fearful.

The crazy thing is, that as adult you can still be riddled with fears.

There came a point in my life where I had a really frightful experience that caused me to once and for all deal with my enemy of fear.  Symon and I were newly married and had a Monday off together to go surfing.  To our joy the beach was empty, the waves were beautiful and the water was unusually clear.  We sat out in the water chatting while we waited to catch our waves, and while riding a wave I suddenly saw a rather large stingray cruise underneath me.



Now as a surfer, things like a random stingray isn't usually cause for much drama, but when I paddled back out and saw not one, but a whole bay literally infested with stingrays basking in the warm, clear water, fear rose up inside me and I became paralysed with fear.

Somehow I got back to the car and it shook me so much that I realise that this 'fear' thing was becoming a serious issue.

I came to a point in my life where I was so sick of being afraid that I wanted things to change.  I had prayer with a leader in my church and started to walk a journey of facing my fears - and I've never been the same since.

I can't say I go looking for daddy-long-leg spiders to cuddle now, but I do make a conscious effort not to allow fear to paralyse me, and to do it afraid - and it works.


Sometimes, your biggest fears can be holding you back from all that God created you to be.

Whether your afraid of spiders, dogs, clowns or speaking in public or being mocked by your friends, unless you decided to face your fears, you will never be able to live the full life that God destined you to have.


Some of my favourite verses in the Bible that relate to fears...

Jesus said, "I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)


My motto lately is, if all else fails, do it afraid!  I'd rather be facing my fears afraid, that trapped and limited by fear.






14 comments:

  1. oh yes! I never thought of it like that. going to start trying to do it afraid!

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  2. Oh then I prob won't be popular telling you this but Daddy Long Legs are apparently the most poisonous spiders in the world BUT their teeth are too small to bite us - so to us they are completely harmless!

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  3. ha I was just thinking what Ana said ;)
    I have a serious white tail phob and used to get the paralysed feeling whenever I saw one. Would almost make me sick. I had to pray one day and then just BELIEVE in faith that one would never harm me or my kids (I was always scared one might find it's way into one of my babies cots or something).
    So yeah, that just had to work for me else I would maybe have gone nuts worrying about it.

    Love this post P.J, it's got me thinking about the less obvious fears I have and how they are holding me back.

    one thing for sure I'm totally opposite about people laughing at me.... I love it ;)
    xx

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  4. Great post Kristy. I think we all have stuff that can paralyze us with fear it's just to us ours seem harder to conquer than anyone else's. Good on you from bringing it to light. x

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  5. ♥♥
    love this post PJ

    it is good to reflect on such things

    love and light

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  6. Is that the Pataua footbridge?

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    2. Love that place! My other halfs family grew up over the back of the campground and a place we go for summer! I remember the first time I jumped off that bridge! Fear faced!

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    3. I grew up there too! Jumping off the bridge was amazing and scary. My mum grew up staying at frog town back in the day as well. Awesome place.

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  7. Brilliant post. I'm in awe of how you turned your feelings around and love your motto, 'If all else fails, do it afraid'!

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  8. Love that motto - If all else fails, do it afraid! It deserves to be shared. Vix @Vegemitevix

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  9. This post struck a chord with me. I was afraid of the dark when I was a kid - more felt like it was crushing in on me and swallowing me whole - and ended up with some severe anxiety disorders in my early 20s. I did CBT for a number of years and I'm happy to say that I can now put anxiety in it's place. I still totally feel it sometimes, but I know that it's not worth taking seriously, and just get on with things. Your motto reminds me of how parenting feels sometimes, how we (especially mums) just have to push on through whatever we are going through, because there are so many needs that must be met. I think it makes for strong women in the end. Each time we push through the pain (illness/anxiety/etc) and get on with things, it's a reminder to us next time - that we CAN do this, as we have proven so many times before... If that makes any sense. Anyway, you are amazing! x

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  10. Thanks so much for sharing! Love!!!! Your motto and blog :)

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