Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Living...really living (with phobias)

I am going to be brutally honest and share something that is hard for me to admit.  This is in all honesty.  I have many phobias.  Phobia is a specific fear of one particular thing.  And, if it wasn't for God's strength I would not leave my house very often, if at all.  I am a germaphobe, and it seems to increase during the winter months when flu and stomach bugs run rampant.   Germaphobia is more technically known as mysophobia, and I can honestly say I don't know how my case has progressed the way it has.  It is a fear of contact with germs, and if I let Satan get the best of me, I could easily become an agoraphobe, or someone who has a fear of leaving their house.

We just in recent years started to hear the word germs.  It was never talked about when I was younger.  We did wash our hands before we ate, but we didn't carry around hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes.  The constant talk of protecting yourself and your little ones from becoming sick is in the news.  Germs and super bugs and flu outbreaks are in the headlines.  I never got a flu shot until my doctor kept encouraging me to do so when I was pregnant with my first child.  Now, "everyone get your flu shot" is all we hear during these months.

It is not that I just fear germs, but I fear getting food poison when eating  out, and I really struggle with staying in hotels and traveling.  I have had panic attacks and break downs, and I have to keep my guard up with these fears.  When these nagging worries of my children getting sick and myself getting sick and not being able to take care of them occur, I had to start viewing my favorite verse (Phil 4:13) in a new light.  It has become a constant struggle, one I don't dare talk about.  I just simply prefer to be home.

This was all the more reason why traveling and especially traveling alone was such a struggle.  I was not only scared for my girls being without me, but just the fear of staying away from home was so hard.  I have never elaborated on my struggles but my with husband.   The only other time I have had to fly by myself a few years ago, I had a panic attack.  I had a connecting flight in DC.  I had to get on a bus when getting off the plane to get to the terminal.  It smelled funny and it was so hot.  Then the small terminal was so crowded.  There was no where to sit and we could hardly move; I just panicked.  I couldn't breath.  I couldn't move.  I desperately wanted out!  I made it to my destination, obviously, but not without much prayer along with counseling and support from my husband via the phone.

I say all this not for sympathy.  Some might be thinking, "Wow, I know how you feel."  Some might be thinking, "Wow, you are strange.  Get over it."  But I am simply saying that I have these struggles, and by God's grace and mercy and strength, I am able to walk out my door and live everyday knowing He is in control.  I have His peace that can calm my fears.  Yes I have to call on Him many times and day and ask Him to calm my fears and anxieties, but without fail He always does.

Today's Verse
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."  John 10:10b

I am able to have a more abundant life because of Jesus' salvation and His strength that helps me live.  I can move past my fears and look for His guidance to get me through the tough days.  I depend on Him to help me live and really live live, not just exist.

I would like to end with two quotes that I ran across last week with the help of my husband.  First, he was able to meet Richard Marcinko, the founder of Seal Team 6.  On his picture he has this quote, "If you only did what you wanted to do, you'd be missing out on life itself: because life is part pain and part pleasure, the person who tries to live only the 'good' parts of life is the one who ends up not living at all..." 

Of course we may fear pain.  Nobody really likes pain.  But we don't want to not live because of the fear of pain.  Pain and disappointments are a part of life.  We can't avoid them.  We have to lean on God to get us through the pain and help us really live through the good and the bad.  I don't want to miss out on life and all God has in store for me because of fear.

Second, my husband is reading a book on Abraham Lincoln right now.  President Lincoln said, "I know I am in danger, but I am not going to worry over little things like these.  If I am killed I can die but once but   to live in constant dread is to die over and over again."

I like this quote from our 16th president.  If I were to live in constant dread of leaving our house, I would simply never leave.  And it would be like dying if I am not out really living.  We have to step out and really live for Christ.  If we don't, think of everything we will miss (like what we talked about yesterday.)  Everytime I saw a new site or a magnificent creation of God that my eyes had never seen, I would think to myself, "If I had given in to my fear, I would have missed this."  I don't want to miss life; I want to live it and I mean really LIVE it.

1 comment:

  1. Great post... I really need this lesson too. Your are a great wife and my best friend. I am so thankful I get to LIVE life with you! I love you - Gerrad