This post will take a bit to read. Plan accordingly.
Earlier this week a friend sent me an excerpt from a book. She wrote, “Hey M: God asked me to send the excerpt below to you!” and later, after I had thanked her, “This article popped up and I immediately got the strong feeling that I must send it to you!”
The kicker, though, is the one line that leapt out at me, where it was discussing how to “dismantle a thought system based on fear and replace it with a thought system based on love.” With all the political conversation swirling around and all of the sales marketing that precedes the whirlwind of HalloweenThanksgivingChristmasNewYears, I’ve become fed up with fear.
As a child I read a book called Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard: the main character was Much Afraid (okay, disclaimer, the book was an allegory stylistically similar to Pilgrim’s Progress.) Much Afraid’s family in the valley, the Fearings, has decided that she will marry her cousin, Craven Fear, and an encounter with him finally motivates her to action. While I loved the book, I never quite saw how it strongly paralleled my life.
It permeated my high school years: in JROTC, the motivator for memorization was fear of embarrassment, fear of disappointing Sgt. Miles; in Wind Ensemble, I practiced because I loved music, but really, it was for those same 2 reasons with Mr. Griffin, a retired Marine Corps Band trumpeter. I cut articles from Self and Women’s Health and any magazine with exercises in them: the articles were pasted into a “journal” and I’d create routines from them, exercising for hours into the night—my room was in the basement, and so my family didn’t know. I was afraid. Afraid of what would happen if I stopped, if I just was, if I let go of control for even a moment. I took 8 classes each year, with no break for lunch, and I filled my hours after school with church activities, jobs, and homework. Continue reading