scared2I’m doing some talks this weekend and, as usual, am feeling very nervous.

I’m an excellent worrier but rubbish with waiting. Even in dreams, when assassins are on my trail, I always stop running. Better dead, than this ridiculous pretense at escape. 

I take my stress for a walk. Rearrange some tins, purchase an unripe mango and make huffing noises.  None of this helps.  Maybe I should use words. 

 ‘BIUHUOHSUHDXJKssssjk talktomorrow jknfkj;fkjndkclksdmckddk,kkk;;;;…!’

Glen rolls his eyes.

‘You’ll be fine’  he says. ‘And you did this last time’.

I fix him with my most reproachful eye.  That, I say, was last time.  God came through on that coffee morning..but This.  THIS is Completely Different.   New coffee, new cups, new danger.

He’s tweeting so I rattle my spoons.

‘Glen. Glen! I’m nervous’.

‘What about?’, he snorts, laughing at a stranger’s joke.  ‘You know what you’re doing’.

(I don’t know what I’m doing but let this one slide).

‘And anyway, they’re a lovely group of Christians. What’s to be frightened of?’

He’s joking. He must be joking.

‘PEOPLE’.    Scarier than Werewolves.  Scarier than the ropebridge I refused to go on when I was nine.   Groups of more than one person.  Or less – if they’re tall or have big hair.

‘How can you be scared of people?  They’re GREAT.  There’s nothing better than a big group of folks all talking and laughing and -‘

‘Making loud noises.  Exactly!  Terrifying. What if they all hate you?  What if you bore everyone?  What if your pants fall down and there’s egg in your hair and your breath smells of cheese?’

‘Don’t be ridiculous.   It’s a brilliant opportunity.  You can meet lots of new folks and chat and you’ll go away buzzing and -‘

‘needing a darkened room and a lie down.’

‘It’ll give you energy’

‘It’ll make me tired’

‘You love people’

‘I love silence’.

This is how it always goes.

I do the talks. The people are lovely and my pants stay put.   God gives me exactly what I need – as He always does. I’m a little tired – but in a good way.  I’m encouraged and thankful and more blessed than anyone who’s had to listen.

In the car on the way back, Glen says, ‘See.  Not so bad.  Now, promise you’ll remember this next time’ 

I thump him and laugh. ‘Your problem is – you worry too much’.








9 thoughts on “Omnifear

  1. For what it’s worth, I find I much prefer listening to people who hate public speaking to those who love it and claim it to be their strength.

    I always walk away feeling more than a bit manipulated by the “naturals”.

    Slightly off subject: maybe cheese breath is the root of all that side hugging business.

  2. Thanks Emma! I read this tonight before heading out to something I was really anxious about (despite doing it a million times before) and it really helped so thank you!!!

    I have struggled with anxiety for the last seven years but when I look back I can see thousands and thousands and thousands of times when God has given me exactly when I need…He’s never left me…He’s always been in control…not once has He let me down…so why do I fear?!!!!

    I need to remember that He has given me exactly what I need every single day in the past and He will give me exactly what I need every single day for the rest of my life…I don’t need to fear!!!

  3. I like the people on the TV. I can watch them and they can’t see me, so it doesn’t matter if my pants full down. Or the fact that I’m still in my pyjamas at 4pm. They don’t care what I smell like. But they’re not so great at relationship, if feels very one sided for some reason. So you go Emma in all your weakness and remember that in that weakness God can and will be strong on your behalf. And that you are making a difference in the lives of people. Where as I’m hiding with my pretend TV friends. I know their characters well, they know nothing about me. And they never will. It leaves a strange sort of emptiness, but it’s more comfortable to me than the scary people in the real world. X

  4. Your kidding? I thought that pain aversion had to involve pain immersion to reduce the aversion, so as to increase the toleration. It sounds as if you can’t tolerate life. Maybe you are just making a strength out of your vulnerabilities or weaknesses precisely because you know he is our strength. If that is so, is there anything left to ‘broadcast’?

  5. cheese breath, eh? That would explain a lot…

    FHL: I get what you mean about the real world being scary. But it’s less without you in it. You’re a blessing: and we need you.

  6. Timo: I can’t tolerate life at the moment. That’s just the truth.

    I’m extremely ill mentally and physically.
    I’m starting to get the right diagnosis’ after years of pain, extreme anxiety, panic attacks and being bed ridden for most of it.

    What I have learnt more than anything is God loves me even in this state, in my mind and bodies utter weakness.

    But people are scary they don’t know what to say, they don’t know what to do. And I don’t know how to cope in the World anymore. I go to appoinemts and I cry and have panic attacks. I go put for a coffee with a friend and I shake all through it and cry.

    Sometimes Timo life is just to hard. And God becomes our refuge while we wait for things to change. Wait for God to change us. There is great strength in waiting for God when we are terrified of everything else in life.

  7. FHL: thank-you for your honesty and vulnerability – it’s a powerful reminder of the grace that shines in our weakness. 2 Cor 12:9 x

  8. FHL – I just wanted to say a quick thank you. I’m going through the storm a bit myself right now – so much of what you said resonated – and yeah. Your vulnerability has really helped. Thank you.

  9. Timo – not sure who your comment was for, but if it’s for other commenters, please be gentle: it takes a lot to open up.

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