Facing Fears


Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? I fully expected at this age to not be afraid of anything. I mean, why should I be? I’ve lived a long time, I’ve had a lot of great experiences. I’ve probably had more than my share of hardships but that just goes with the territory of raising two boys alone for 20 years. Raising boys could be another blog subject altogether. I’ll have to give that some serious thought. But for now, I want to face fears that are in the here and now.

Take dentist appointments, for example. This morning I read a good post by Mike Lince (Applecore) about his dental experience in Mexico. It’s amazing the differences in cost between the Land of the Free and South of the Border. Unbelievable. I wonder why that is? Anyway, I included the link to his post here http://globalexplorerclub.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/visiting-the-dentist-or-if-the-tooth-hurts/comment-page-1/#comment-1339. I commented on his blog that I have a very unhealthy aversion to dentist visits. Who knew? I was 57 years old before I had my first cavity. Can you believe that? It was a harrowing experience for me, but thankfully, that was only the finding out part, not the actual filling the cavities part. Filling the cavity wasn’t nearly as traumatic as actually hearing the words “you have a cavity”. I mean, who do you know that exudes blood, sweat, and tears simply for having their teeth cleaned?? Me. That’s who. It’s awful. And for no good reason.

There are other fears in my life I must face. Right now, the one concerning me is fear of success. Yes, you heard me right. Fear of success. Who has that? Again, me. I discovered this truth after my second book signing. Several of my peeps accompanied me to the book signing knowing that I was fairly quaking in my boots and they, being the good friends they are, knew that I needed their encouragement to face whatever was, or wasn’t, waiting for me. As it turned out, everything went well and we had a ball. Now don’t ask me why, but later on I was besieged with the thought that I was probably going to let all of the accolades over my book go straight to my head and I would from that moment on, be conceited and vain and that I wouldn’t have room in my heart all the other good things in my life. I even went so far as to concern myself that perhaps I made Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club my god. And get this: I actually even gave credence to the notion that “I must decrease so He can increase”. What? Really? Did I really think *I* was that good? What a pompous ass I can be! Once that little nugget was out, a friend kindly pointed out that my real problem was fear of success.

My immediate thought was I just spent most of my life trying to get over my fear of failure, now I have to get through my fear of success?? What the heck?

Sometimes it just takes a mountain of truth to get anywhere these days. And truth is the one thing that can conquer fear. I have learned that there is no need to fear failure, no need to fear success, and no need to fear dentist appointments. It’s a hard, hard lesson and if you were a whimp before facing your fears, chances are the word ‘whimp’ won’t even be on your radar after embarking into the land of lessons. Check this out. There is no need for me to fear failure because I have proven that although I have already failed at many things, I am still here. I lived through it and no doubt I’ll fail at something else as well. It happens. It’s normal. Failure does not mean condemnation. It simply means try again. There is no need to fear success. Success should be enjoyed, not in a big-headed sort of way, but in a way that gives appreciation and glory to God. After all, if it weren’t for the blessed Trinity, success wouldn’t mean a thing to me. And fear of dentists? Let me say this: A dental assistant straightened me out during a particularly difficult panic attack laden appointment. At the apex of my gripping fear (no kidding), she very calmly asserted this capable message: “The Lord did not give you a spirit of fear”. Those words were like a soothing balm over my body and soul. What a gift! This assistant was a tiny little thing of a precious young age, but when she said those words, in my mind’s eye, her stature grew into that of a guardian angel and my fear was put to rest. At least that one time. That is not to say I haven’t battled anxiety over each dental appointment since. I do, but I think I must because out of that fear comes the word of God in my ear. The Lord does not give a spirit of fear, but a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear (holy respect) of the Lord. To put it in another context, fear can be a good thing when it reminds us where to put our trust.

What an awesome God we have! Don’t you just love Him? I’d like to just throw my spiritual arms around him and give him a big ol’ spiritual kiss of gratitude!

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Ya’ll don’t for get to pray for peace, ya hear?

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BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION ~ EASTER IS ON THE WAY


IT’S ALMOST EASTER! I love this time of the year. For many, it is the season of new beginnings and a very special time to fully explore, acknowledge, and embrace the very core of our soul. Personally, it is a time for a close examination of conscience and repentance. It’s kind of hard to get through, not because I see myself as a monumental sinner, but because I might possibly take advantage of the fact that my God will forgive me if I ask Him to. When I ask, is it basically just lip service? “Therein lies the rub.” Our Father is kind. He is loving. His mercy is so awesome that He worked up a solution to keep His children from ever having to live without Him. He offers total forgiveness from those wrongs with which we have hurt ourselves and others. Imagine that. Don’t you think He made it a little too easy for us? Jesus would disagree. He, after all, is the sacrificial lamb, the new covenant, the One who made it right for us. That kinda makes a person delve more deeply into the season of Lent, uncover the meaning and purpose, and then decide what to do about it. And that, in itself, opens something like a zip file full of insight into what Lent means and why we should use this season to examine our conscience with open eyes and a truthful, tender heart.
Speaking of hearts, this is also the time of year that young, fertile hearts are cultivated and encouraged in the faith. Typically, converts, first time communicants, and those requesting confirmation are welcomed into the Catholic faith at or around this time of year. It’s a beautiful thing. My prayer is for all of us who profess faith that we not take this opportunity lightly, that we honor God by seeking Him with open hearts, that we celebrate Him with all that we are. No lip service allowed, people.

Now for a shameless plug:
I’ve been making First Communion and Confirmation rosaries!

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Feel free to visit my etsy shop, ToLoveAlways
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ToLoveAlways

Please don’t forget to pray for peace.