Today, on Halloween, we celebrate “things that go bump in the night.” If you’re like me, though, every day is a battle with fears.

I’ve been anxious since I can remember. As a child, I thought it was how everyone felt. I thought that everyone lay awake at night, gripped with a sick cold fear, tugging at the corners. A whisper that got louder as the lights got dimmer, “There’s a bad thing about to happen and it’s going to get you and everyone you love.”

Sometimes I knew what it was:

My parents dying and not knowing Jesus.

Bullies at school.


Safety advertisements about children being electrocuted.

Bombs and armoured checkpoints.

Needing to grow up and not knowing how.



Most often, though, I had no idea where my fears came from. They seemed to rise up before any reasons could be found. But I soon found words to fill the gaps: This is too much. X hates me. I’ve done it wrong. I should never have said ‘Yes.’ I’m dull. I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m useless.

I thought I’d grow out of it. Adults weren’t scared of anything. Then I became one – and the fear remained. I had more sophisticated labels for it. But underneath, it was just the same.

We act like we’re strong and safe and civilised. Inside, we’re full of the same fear, anger, loneliness and pain. Today we may dress up like ghouls carrying axes; but the real horror is what we do in our pinstripes and platforms. What’s scary are the fears that remain long after October 31st ends.

I’m not scared of Halloween or clowns. I’m scared of what’s in me – and you. A world where bad things happen to good people. A world where even good people are bad.

But fear does not have the last word. It’s Halloween; but today is also Reformation Day. On this day in 1517 Martin Luther nailed the truths of the gospel to a church door, truths that say: Jesus paid it all; grace does everything; and faint-hearted desperation (aka “faith”) is all you need. As this reformation took hold of the medieval church, transformation happened. For instance the city of Geneva changed its motto from “After the darkness I hope for light” to “After the darkness there is light.” The Christian hope is certain and sure: and the gospel guarantees it.

Because the Light of the world has risen, and because He is given to us for free, death does not have the last word. Fear and guilt are defeated. Life, love and light wins. This is the ultimate truth and as we allow it to be true in our own lives, fears – like shadows – begin to be chased away.

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7 thoughts on “Fearless

  1. “What’s scary are the fears that remain long after October 31st ends.”

    Haha this November 1st, I discovered that the phobia of therapy can be Real, because therapy Can be really Scary when your therapist decides on a new thing to try, & that new thing is imagery rescripting (Google it, but its basically revisiting & intervening into traumatic past memories. It’s hard to realise that as a child I had plenty of unmet emotional needs that were not my fault at all .. it made me cry so badly, I was so embarrassed. Didn’t help that post-crying it was hard to breathe ..) – I’m realising that having to do imagery rescripting as part of therapy redefines Scary Things heh. I actually said it was plausibly easier to go through a physical operation than to do this for 5 minutes (every 5 minutes is so scary already + it feels like 5hours)

    It is intense, & it terrifies me – after two tries at it I think the phobia is growing .. I never thought that I’d reach Such a toughie in therapy :-(

    And .. yes- after the darkness, there is light. This too my therapist promises, she says that this will help us find some light, & childhood memories won’t be so dark & scary anymore. But for now, I’m realising that trudging through this emotional darkness is superbly wayyy too scary, even as I know (& she promises) to trudge alongside me. And that we will find light in the end.

    More than light at the end of this therapeutic journey, I know that light exists in Christ – but for now in relation to mental health, I see light in neither. Sigh.

    Virtual hug x

  2. As I sit here replying this (solely cos the Fear is Real, & Anxiety decides I should start worrying Now even though my next appt isn’t until Tuesday afternoon – it’s the wee hours of Monday now haha.) .. all that comes to mind are things too ugly to name. Too ugly, not because they are vulgar, but because .. they are things I’ve been working hard to keep away from, things which would break God’s heart if I decided on them.

    But .. just thinking of how I anticipate the upcoming appointment to go – reminds me of your “(no) excuses for relapse” post – ITS TRUE. I’ve been working so darn hard at being good & not turning to Behaviours & it’s been so long and at this point therapy is Too Hard. & I’m too scared. Too scared of tears & emotions & vulnerability, & having to do Scary Things without a safety blanket (“I know it’s hard, and that’s okay- but put that pillow down ..” I’m like – noooo) & it doesn’t help that while I already have sufficient things that my brain decides will be fun to Be Anxious about, now therapy (which is supposed to help ..) joins the list of Things To Be Anxious About as well :-/

    And and and and .. from experience(!!!), once I pull a Behaviour – the fuzzy overwhelming mental noise of anxiety shuts up. Immediately. Really!! It’s like, very nearly almost magic. :p

    Like I used to tell my cell group leader (who also happens to be my pastor’s wife) – now that I’ve put these thoughts openly now, all the more I can’t do them now .. oh. :-(

    *goes to hide under quilt with pillow over my face, because I’m an embarrassing, anxious, naughty, disobedient mess that would rather break God’s heart when life gets intense, because it feels much easier to deal with emotionally that way. But for now, to prevent myself from that, I’m STAYING UNDER THIS QUILT. With a pillow on my face.*


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