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.

Wizard-of-Oz-w24

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.

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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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