On being scared

Before I came into hospital this time someone asked me if I was scared. My fairly unhelpful response was to burst into tears and abandon the phone. But it was a good question.

I’m not scared of death. Why would I be? I firmly believe in an eternity of glory. Bring it on.

Dying, however, is a different thing.
I’m scared of a long and painful dying.
I’m scared of years of watching life go by, as I’m able to do less.
I’m scared of the pain things cause my family.
I’m scared of leaving my husband alone.
So, yes, I’m scared.

At times I think that I’ve lost my faith. After all, how could someone who is so scared and worried be truly trusting in God’s plan? A friend said this to me: ‘Faith is still faith even when you are holding on by your fingertips.’ And it’s so true.

Every day I find something hard. It’s usually health related. And often I can’t find the words when it comes speaking to God about it. In my latest really not great spell, I could hardly make sense of anything. I went in and out of consciousness. But all the time two words echoed round my head: ‘Please Lord.’ I didn’t know what I was asking. I was scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen. But in my fear, I went to the one safe place. I ran to my Father. And that was enough.

God doesn’t demand total and perfect faith and hold it against me when I don’t deliver.
He doesn’t lose his temper when I don’t learn my lessons first time.
And He listens to my prayers when I cry out to Him. Even if those cries are just two words spoken into silence.

In my life, fear isn’t a barrier to faith. It’s a bridge. When I’m scared, I need somewhere to run. And my Father has shown me that in those times He’s the kindest, He’s the best and He’s the safest place to run.

7 thoughts on “On being scared

  1. I think it's entirely normal and human to be scared, though it doesn't make it any easier. Do remember as well that there are others of us praying for you and your family too. When you can't pray the Holy Spirit helps you (Romans 8?) and we do too.
    Thank you for the reminder always to run to God x

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  2. Psalm 56:2-4 captures what you are saying well:

    When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise –
    in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

    It says “_when_” I am afraid; fear is the starting point that many experience, not the end of a wrongly-taken path trod only by the faithless. Fear -> trust in God -> fear subsiding. “Fear isn't a barrier to faith. It's a bridge” is well put.

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  3. I too am in and out of hospital, and when times get tough I don't pray good prayers, I just cling like you. I imagine God as a huge eagle and I snuggle under his wings. I am not afraid of dying either, but I know how it feels to live feeling very unwell and scared at times. God KNOWs, he will not let us go and he has suffered and knows exactly how we feel. I am thinking of you.

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  4. Hi Ruth, just come across your blog. I have bronchiectasis with pseudomonas so a lot of similar issues with CF, in and out of hospital too. It's so encouraging to read your blog and see your obvious faith and trust in God. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning and God is all that is left. Keep on leaning on him. Would love to talk more, my blog is http://greatadventure-liz.blogspot.co.uk/ – I identify with much of what you say. God bless you.

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