Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: A Cold Wave Breaking
By Eleanor Joyce
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What was it the nurse had said? Something about atypical cells, and further testing required. Atypical cells. Again. My thoughts came in fragments now, swimming in this new sensation, this fear that I had not known before. I felt my lower lip turn downwards involuntarily, like a baby looking into a huddle of strangers. So, this is what it meant to be fearful, literally filled with fear.
It was not a panicked fear, a sudden fight-or-flight response to stimuli. I can best describe it as a slow wave breaking and spreading far, far up the beach. It was a fear that bordered on foreboding, and I realized that there would be no sudden turning of the tide. This was my new reality.
More atypical cells had been found, in yet another location. The doctor’s “worst case scenario” speech that I had dismissed a few years ago seemed to be coming true. For the first time that I could recall, I was truly fearful.
It was not a fear of death, or pain. It was a fear of loss. Would I lose my physical independence, and become a burden to my friends and family? Would I live to see my children become adults? I knew I wouldn’t accomplish all the goals that I had planned, nor see all the places that I had hoped to see.
To my surprise, this fear has not been a paralyzing dread. Underneath it there lies a sweet certainty that God lives, and knows, and cares. Psalm 56:3 has become real and relevant, “When I am afraid I will trust in You.” The fear is not removed, but it is put in perfect context, hemmed in by the hand of God.
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