02 June 2008

Oppositional Fears

I am going to start this post by sharing something that I was thinking about today - and ending it with a question, to you. It is for research in my writing, although I can't really tell you how it will weave into the fabric, because I don't yet know.
Travis was off of work today because the alternator went out on his truck. We went early this morning to try and find a shop where they could test the old one just to be sure that was the problem, and then to a junk yard to buy a new.to.us one. On one of our stops along the way, I stood just outside of the bay where a few greasy fingered mechanics were working, pulling rags out of their back pockets and wiping sweat off of their brows to keep it out of their eyes. The raw smell, a mix of axle grease, motor oil, and heat makes something deep in my stomach get a gnawing feeling. I was standing there wondering at their lives, the day after day of it all, when I was taken off guard by a woman in her late 20s, stringy hair pulled up underneath a baseball cap, and teeth that looked as if they must hurt for all the dark stains. She came around the corner abruptly and thrust her thin hand in mine, saying, "Hi, I'm Kim." There was nothing to do but reciprocate the introduction, and I was, before it even occurred to me to do so. As my husband talked to the mechanics, Kim told me that she wasn't a mechanic, but did maintenance work - putting tools away, maintaining the flower beds and other simple but steady and necessary tasks. She proceeded to tell me that they were open from 8 to 6, Monday through Friday and on Saturdays they were opened from 8 to 12. She said she was "priveleged". I carried that with me as I walked off.
Later we found ourselves in the offices at several salvage yards, trying to procure the right sized alternator for Travis truck. The first one was so full of smoke, I had to excuse myself and six hours later am still fighting a lingering headache from the 30 seconds of secondhand exposure. I stayed in the van at the last stop, where they found the right sized alternator stored in the bathroom. (I don't even want to know.)
All of these interactions today had me thinking about some of the people I've met that are born and raised, live and die in the same spot, and from the perspective of an outsider never seem to want for more. They are happy. If you talk with them, they say things that unhinge you, such as that they feel priveleged. I have these two opposing fears that are at work within me. One is that I will be lulled into the steady rhythm of this contented life that seems to work so well for them, but to me seems more like being stuck. The other is that I never would - and miss out on knowing what that feels like - the wanting nothing else but right here, right now.
So goes my question to you - what is your biggest fear for your life. I am not talking about something that scares you like bad weather or flying in an airplane or bad weather while flying in an airplane - but what at the end of your life you would regret most having never done, or missed out on, or participated in, or seen. I have a friend who I promised to take to see whales swimming should she ever be diagnosed with an incurable illness - but knowing her I am sure that she has moved on to something else by now and while that likely remains on the list, we'll have to reevaluate it should that time comes when one of us reaches the end of our natural lives. Please don't answer to impress me or anyone else who may stumble upon this humble blog of mine - just be real.

18 comments:

  1. I fear that my kids will say I was not a good enough Mom.

    I fear my husband will say I was not a good enough wife.

    I fear that I’ll get to the end of my life without ever really figuring out who God created me to be.

    I think the only antidote to these fears is to grab on to, and choose to believe what GOD tells me is true.

    I am His child, fearfully and wonderfully made. I am created in His image. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

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  2. I think for me it has to do with my husband. He is only 5 years older than I am but I wonder if he will die before me? I know that sounds so incredibly morbid but the thought overtakes me from time to time. I can't imagine a life that isn't filled with his smiles, laughter and warmth! I know that God will give me the strength to face anything that occurs because He has done so in other things. Still, I think of the "what if" and it makes me sad to think of the 2 of us being apart.

    Of course, I could go first which in that case I have firmly told hime that if he ever remarries, I will "haunt him from the grave so intently that he will wish that he was dead too!"

    He is MY man and I don't like to share! Ha Ha!
    Connie

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  3. Gosh Julie, I was hoping for a little light reading, and you had to drag me into the DEEP side of the pool. :)

    I think I would most regret not connecting deeply with my kids, not being authentically me (instead of what everyone else wants me to be), not leaving an impacting legacy for those who come behind me, and living a "just getting by kind of life".

    There I did it. Are you happy? Geesh!

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  4. Oops, I think I misunderstood. I told you what I was afraid of.

    My "bucket list" mostly has to do with travel. I want to go to Alaska, helicoptor over a glacier, drive a dog sled team and ride a train through the interior! We're trying to put that into action for our 25th anniversary.
    Connie

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  5. My fear, is this right now who God made me to be. Not knowing if there is more to what I am supposed to be. A part of me is content in not knowing because what if it's more than I could handle? What if I can't live up to His expectations? What are those expectations?

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  6. The first thing that came to my mind was: I fear never being able to fufill the destiny God has for me. I feel like he has GREAT things for me if I can just grab them! I want my life to be a living testimony for God. I feel like I have something to share with the world and I believe that. I may not see how rightnow, but I feel it and I believe it.

    I think that's why I've had to go thru some of the things I've been through...to help others.

    That sounds more glamorous than it is! I've had some very low years and I've prayed for an annointing from Christ...but it comes with a price.

    So, that's my fear: not reaching my destiny.

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  7. That I'll reach old age and look back and see that my life didn't have a point. That I was ineffective or useless. THAT scares me into action I hope!

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  8. i think i have a fear of loneliness - not being alone, as we all know i am quite comfortable in solitude. more a fear of not being understood, not having someone to catch me or support during a time of need.

    as for a bucket list, i would like to own a monkey and train it to be a butler and smoke cigars. that is something i would like to do before i die. otherwise, i am pretty content.

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  9. I most fear coming to a time in my early Heaven experience and having to FACE all of the blessings I've missed & and see all the 'extra' pain I've had to endure due to CHOICES BASED IN FEAR. I've handed too much of my life over to fear already, and it hurts when I see my kids do the same thing. For example, my oldest Munchkin really wants to run for ASB, but she's too afraid of making the speech - - so she's handing this opportunity over to fear. That's a relatively small example, but there are LOTS of bigger things at stake.

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  10. Honestly, my fear is that I will die with the security of going to heaven (that is not the scary part) BUT without allowing God to use me to tell others about it too. Too die selfish and fearing man more- how am i going to explain that one to the God who told me to go show others the way to eternal life if I didn't 'cause I made it about my discomfort, or my fear of rejection???

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  11. You ARE already exactly who God made you to be!!!! God does not expect anything from you. He just wants to love you and walk with you. This is your calling, your destiny and in this you will find yourself reflecting His love for others.

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  12. Wow, I dunno....

    I see your point and I've met people like you describe.

    I just really want to live with my kids and be the best I can be. I don't want to sweat the small stuff and I really want to feel better.

    As far as places to go things to do, I really would love to go to Italy someday and I really want an elephant.
    I realize having an elephant may not be realistic but maybe I'll have the $$$ to sponsor one and visit it.

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  13. I went through a cancer scare a few years ago. That put in me a fear that can still keep me awake at night if I let it! I HATE the thought of dying and leaving my kids crying for me and not being able to go to them and comfort them. We are so close and I have always been there for them. I can't imagine the pain in their hearts if they were crying for me knowing that they would never see me again! Irrational I know, but there is it!

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  14. Hey, Julie.

    First, I have for a very long time envied those people you fear becoming. How wonderful to be able to live a "normal" life, simple, unconfused, filled with simple pleasures and no deep thoughts. The What If's and Why's in my head make life complicated and keep me restless.

    Aside from claustrophobia and the dreadful thought of dying in a hospital, I have no "fears." Nothing grips my innards with a twisting pain when I think of it. I never actually knew what fear felt like until a couple years ago when my world fell apart and I lost faith for a short while. THEN I feared for my soul. I was motivated to find Truth to solve that problem.
    Many people live with fear. I just can't. When something bothers me I have to deal with it. Fear is the end of worry and worry is very destructive. Worry is the result of a lack of faith and confidence. Lack of faith is the result of not understanding Truth. Everyone can find Truth. But they must seek it within themselves and without "seven steps to a better blah, blah" from Mr. Expert. Know Truth, loose fear. Simple. Never, never easy.

    Ted

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  15. Just yesterday, over something as hubby put in You're overreacting, I lost it and chewed out DD#1. We were going to the park but plan canceled as a result. Her hurtful response was MOM, YOU'RE SO MEAN. My fear is that all that I've done for my children not being appreciated and that they resent me growing up...I am a bad mother! YUKE!

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  16. I fear that I will lose my salvation becaus of the things that I do that I don't want to do but I do anyway because I want to do them.

    I fear that I am too self-centered to do God's will for my life and be the hands and feet of Jesus to others.

    I fear that my best is just not good enough and my kids and marriage are gonna pay because of it.

    I fear that my marriage will never change because of my own stubborness and resistance to change myself.

    I fear I will still be in this same spot year after year, no growth.

    I fear that my perfectionism or busyness will stop me from trying things I want to do.

    I fear I will never let go of unforgiveness.

    I fear I will have lots of things I wanted to do or say, but never did.

    Wow...didn't know I had all that.

    And I think there's more?!

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  17. Wow - I can't think of anything. I'm sure there's something, but I'm living so much in the present that my focus is on everything happening right now in my life. I am being the best that I can be and for that I've got no regrets or fears. I'm so happy being a wife and mother that I could die right now and be happy with my life so far. I'm content.

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  18. I fear what my kids will think of me when they're older. Will they look at me with respect and pride-- that's my mom! Or will they look at me with pity like I'm an idiot or just don't understand things... treating me like a child.

    Personally, I have snapshot memories of my childhood. I know I don't see what REALLY happened at certain points in my life-- not the whole picture. But just bits and pieces from a child's flawed point of view.

    What moments will my children remember? Will it be me on the computer (again)? Losing my temper? Being selfish? Or will it be reading to them, laughing together or high-fiving when we go bowling?

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Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥