I am an expert at covering up my fears.  From an early age (my childhood was filled with brothers and male cousins), I learned you never show fear.  If there is even a hint that something might frighten you, it can lead to endless hours of torment for the amusement of others.  Then there was Momma and my Grandmother James and my Girl Scout Leader and ... all those strong women who did not tolerate you squealing, crying, or pretty much any form of appearing fearful.  The message was clear and concise ~ fear is a form of weakness.

I learned to not be afraid of snakes---hoes, shovels, and rifles could take care of that, but leave those good snakes alone.   My Girl Scout leader would verbally assault you if you squealed over a granddaddy long legs---I learned to pick them up and toss them aside.  NEVER run from the pack of wild dogs, who once claimed our neighborhood as home, that encouraged them to chase you.  Drag those 1000 + pound steers for a daily haltered walk, keep your eye out for the ram who loved to sneak up on you and give you a good head butt, and try to stay out of eyesight of Mama James's rooster.  Keep a watchful eye out for any signs of potential danger, but keep fearless plastered on your face.

I might be afraid, but to survive you put on a straight face, learned how to warn off those who might come after me with a deep strong yell, and, above all, never allow fear to show on my face.  It became second nature to appear stoic and calm in the midst of the worst storms.  There was nothing my daddy liked more than riding around in the midst of a hurricane or storm so fierce you could not see a foot in front of the car.  If I showed fear, the next storm would find me at home and not riding in the car with daddy.  We girls always wanted to be in the protection of our daddy's.

Those early lessons were well learned.  As an adult, I learned to stifle any fear with that same stoic expression of calm.  Underneath my insides might be shaking, the primal scream might be stuck in my throat, and my instinct to run would be stifled by the years of training to keep your feet planted.  

Suppressed emotions always find a way  out~ sooner or later they will bubble to the surface in some shape or form.  When my children had scares (as they all do), I always kept it together until the crisis had passed and then I shook and became teary.  A hard aggravating day at work would be taken out on someone close who did some small infraction of no consequence.  I would find myself unglued and foaming at the mouth over nothing.  My anger from the day boiled over on the innocent without me realizing where my wrath originated.  To this day, I have a high startle reaction when surprised--years of ducking the next scare tactic from the boys.

Lately I have been thinking about the threat of danger I feel times..  Past experience has me gun shy and wary . The threat of danger sets off warning signals when someone feels like a potential threat.  So ~ I put on my mask of having it together, being strong, and never fearful.  I am NOT afraid - I am not fearful - I have it under control - I can do this - my daily pep talk on  conquering the fears which sometimes accompany being alone.  

What is the common thread through out all of this.  ME  ~ I am under the illusion I am in control.  I forget my source of strength, my protector, my provider, the lover of my soul.  I forget in the worst of danger ~ I am never alone.  He is my shield and defender in the most dangerous of life's storms.  He does not want me to live in the spirit of fear, but in the surety of His faithful presence.  Allow Him to be the driver as I travel through the blinding fury of the greatest of storms.  Give up control and trust Him to lead.

"Fear not,

For I am with you;

Be not dismayed,

For I am your God,

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:10

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  1. When our feelings are denied a healthy outlet, they will rear their ugly heads at the least opportune times, Lulu, that's for sure. But there is no need to fear when we trust in God, who is the only one in control.


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