A big thank you to my mum who has written today’s very relevant guest blog. Enjoy!
Fear is something that can creep up on you as you grow older, or alternatively it can manifest itself at any age I suppose. I remember being young and fearless, feeling that life was an adventure, to be lived and enjoyed, with something new just around the corner.
I fearlessly flew to Australia at the age of 21, not long after the death of my parents. I returned to the UK 8 years later, as a single parent, with my sense of adventure still intact, ready to start all over again. I had always been fit and well, able to cope with the difficulties of life which presented themselves in different ways at different times. However, a new challenge arose when I was in my early thirties.
For the first time in my life, I was faced with the sense of my own mortality. I developed some medical symptoms which may or may not have been life threatening. Suddenly I didn’t know whether I had a future or not. I became terribly afraid. This fear, which was irrational, and I knew it, would suddenly strike me, out of the blue, at any time and anywhere. Sometimes I would shake and would feel completely overwhelmed . The only antidote I had then was a basic belief in a God who was good, which impelled me to reach for a bible and hold on to it until the shaking had passed.
I subsequently had to have an operation for a benign condition and I was completely cured of what was wrong with me. However this feeling of fear persisted from time to time and I became a hypochondriac.
Any symptoms that I had of anything in the way of illness, often became magnified in my mind. This was a difficulty that I have had to battle with over many years. I can remember just a few years ago, the day before I was due to go to Norway on holiday, I received a letter from the hospital telling me that I needed to have another scan. This played on my mind for the whole of what should have been a relaxing and enjoyable holiday, as I was fearful as to what the further scan might reveal on my return.
Again all was well and my fears were unfounded.
On another occasion I was on holiday in France and I became terrified that like Ronald Reagan, I was developing the symptoms of Alzheimers, and I would probably descend into a gibbering wreck of incomprehension of the world around me. However I will say that I had advanced somewhat in my faith, as by this time I would actually read my bible, instead of just holding on to it. There are some verses in there which were very helpful to me whenever I experienced a particular sensation of overwhelming and irrational fear.
Today I feel more secure in believing what the bible teaches about perfect love driving out fear. My own interpretation of this is that Jesus is that perfect love. I no longer have that sense of hopelessness within me. To a great extent, I have managed to overcome my fear and it no longer has mastery over me. Isn’t that wonderful!