We have been watching Little House on the Prairie videos this winter. We borrow them from the library every year around this time and they have kind of become our winter tradition. Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and baby Carrie feel like part of the family now. I love watching them. They transport you back to a simpler way of life and they often have some kind of message or morale to their stories.
You can always tell when something scary or risky or uncertain is going to happen though because the music starts to crescendo. Sarah will often freak out and hide her head under a blanket. I too can feel the anxiety, "What's going to happen to Pa!!!!". Most times the scary music is just for the fear factor. A deer jumps out behind the bush. You think Laura is going to die from a raccoon bite only to find out she doesn't really have rabies. Something you thought was scary is really just a shadow. Even though I know in my head that one, it is just a show, and two, they have to live because there is eight more seasons, I still find myself getting anxious. What is that?
Fear is like the music from Little House. A song in the background that tries to scare you into believing the worst is about to happen. Fear is a stealer of joy.
I have said it before but it was like a fear gene got awoken in me when I became a mother. It is something I have wrestled with even more the older I get. I think part of it is seeing all that I have to loose and also I tend to see "all" the bad things that could happen. The possibilities are endless and when I am in a fearful place I can drive myself crazy.
Last night we watched Will Smith's movie, "After Earth". It was recommended for me to watch after I was describing to some friends my battle with fear. It has one of the best visual pictures of how fear opens the door to the enemy. In the movie the enemy is blind and the only way he can find people is through the hormones their bodies release when they are afraid. The enemy smells fear. But if the people are not afraid the enemy cannot find them. Literally. It is like they are ghosts to him.
The parallels are huge. When I open the door to fear the enemy comes in like a flood. But when I chose to not be afraid He can't mess with me. And I am free.
Will Smith says this to his son in the movie, and it reminds me of the voice of my Father,
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”
And as the son stays focused on the present and what he sees, smells and perceives in the moment, fear flees and the enemy leaves him alone. It reminds me of what Ann Voskamp says as well,
Fear is always the flee ahead. God is I AM and His presence fills the present moment.
And also what David says,
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with his feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by day. .."
If fear is really a choice that means it doesn't have to continue its grip on my life. I have a choice.
I want to be free.
"All fear is but the notion that God's love ends."
" All those voices that fill my head are gone when you speak....you got this way of chasing away those shadows that hang around."