Disguised as fear

My youngest son was having a literal panic attack the morning on which he and a few other children were to read a passage of scripture up front at church for Palm Sunday. He was shaking and could hardly talk.

He takes after his mother.

For me, the fear response to public speaking – or public anything – is not even a fraction as bad as it used to be. No, I don’t medicate myself, which actually used to help me through. What changed? What changed was that something occurred to me: A truth moment about myself.

Fear is a giant beast with shifting contours, a slippery menace that grows and crushes. It sucks the air from the room, leaving one gasping.

Or is it?

Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, somehow I found the secret room behind the platform. I stumbled there, I wasn’t looking for it; I was just trying to escape from Fear. I pulled the curtain back and found him.


But it wasn’t Fear……….it was Pride.

Pride was disguised as Fear. He had been there the whole time. All those years, and he was exposed as a sham. He wasn’t scary. He was a joke. He was a little man with a big microphone and a projection screen.

Simply put, all this time I was afraid of looking bad. Would people like me? Would I say something foolish? 

I turned to my son and told him about my discovery.

“Mom, I’m not afraid anymore. I’m going to do it.”

“Son, I wish it hadn’t taken me 40 years to find this out.”

He got up at church and read wonderfully. He really is just like his mother.


5 thoughts on “Disguised as fear

  1. OH MY GOODNESS!! I LOVE LOVE this!! I just read this the other day from Ann Voskamp: “All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends. Do you think I end, that I will not be enough? I am INFINITE.” But yes, the root being pride…that we think He isn’t enough so therefore WE have to worry and fret because THAT will be what makes things better.

    And I had heard from my kids that they were so impressed at the fact that he stood up there and read and did a GREAT job!

  2. Awesome Word!!! Wow! As wild as I am and “out there” most would think I never dealt with fear, but let me tell you, it is there all the time – mostly how stupid I feel after a presentation or conversation. Beautifully written Gwen. You are a treasure!

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