I’m not here for the fear!

My getaway bag was packed. 

After 9/11, I got caught up in the hype about being prepared in case another terrorist act occurred.  Living near the capital of the free world–a most likely spot for terrorists to attack, again–I took the dire warnings to heart.  

So I got the recommended duffle bag ready:  

  • Underwear and sleepwear
  • Plastic plates, cups, and cutlery
  • A small transistor radio and flashlight
  • Rope and duct tape
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Cat bowl and food
  • And mommy jeans… and I ain’t no mommy! 🙂

You get the picture.

getaway bag and contents

The famous getaway bag and its contents

I bumped into the bag a while ago in the coat closet.  It was still at the ready for a grab-and-run in case a fresh group of terrorists decided to strike.  I dumped out its contents.  

  • I most definitely cannot fit in the mommy jeans. 
  • The toiletries are garbage-can ready.  
  • The toilet paper and paper towel seem to stare back at me, insisting that they still can be useful.  
  • The transistor will come in handy if/when there’s a storm.  Same for the first-aid kit.

I had to fess up to the underlying factor in this scenario:  fear.

Post 9/11, I lived in a state of hypervigilance, side-eyeing people, abandoned cars, bulky backpacks, the strange and the not-so-strange.  They all came under my intense surveillance.

It’s kinda crazy because, really, what could I do if I did run into a terrorist?  

I was in severe bondage to fear.

The trauma and terror instigated by the DC sniper, one year after 9/11, upped the fear ante.  Going to the gas station became an act of faith.  No one knew where or when the sniper would strike next. 

All the while, my getaway bag stayed put in the coat closet.  If ever there were a false security blanket, that black duffle was it, much like Linus’s blanket in the Charlie Brown cartoons.  

Can I let go of the getaway bag and grab hold of some peace of mind?

If I truly trust God, I know I can.  But it calls for a costly exchange: faith in place of fear.

F E A R

False Evidence Appearing Real:  Believing that the worst is yet to come and–even more deceptive–that I can really “prepare” for it fully.  I mean, what if terrorists strike while I’m at work in DC?  I have no getaway bag there!  

Here are my “fear options”:

Forget Everything And Run (with the duffle bag!)

OR

Face Everything And Rise (In God’s strength).

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

It’s time to let go of the bag and latch on to God.

I’m not here for the fear!

Do you have the equivalent of a “getaway bag”?  What’s your security blanket in fear-filled situations?  Isn’t it time for you to swap out fear for faith?

 

 

 


Comments

  1. Oh I can subscribe to all the fear right after 9/11 happened. So much so that I didn’t even want to go outside (but I had to because I had classes). Fear can make us do some really crazy and silly things (only after we look back at them), but at the moment it’s real. I think about the idea of fear and it’s usually when we think about something too much. We don’t usually face fear when we’re going through something scary, for me at least–autopilot kicks in.
    KalleyC recently posted..9/11 Never ForgetMy Profile

    • You’re right about that auto-pilot, Kalley! It’s the fight or flight response showing up as the desire to do something, anything, to get us out of that trapped feeling that fear brings to the surface. In hindsight we realize how nutty our reactions were, but at the time, all we’re thinking of is self-preservation. Grateful that God shows up in the midst of our fear and directs us to Himself.
      Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  2. Even now I sometimes am a member of the “fearing family” I am learning to “embrace the Struggles” of life knowing that those who are with me are more than those against me. My most vivid memories of 9/11 is the look on the face of an otherwise arrogant employee, the feeling of emptiness and quietness (as I drive home, I stayed back not wanting to be caught in traffic) and the fact that churches were full, everybody and their pet hamster was in church.

    • LOL re: the pet hamster. You’re right; churches were chock full after 9/11. I guess once folks felt that they were out of harm’s way, it became okay to not show up. SMH.
      And yes, the arrogant, know-it-all types were silenced, albeit for a short while in some of their cases.
      The struggle to replace fear with faith is a continuous one, at least for me. Sometimes I’m the pigeon, other times, I’m the statue. Life! Yet another struggle to embrace, but God truly does give us grace to make the leap from fear to faith, Fab.
      It’s always great to have you comment here. Don’t be a stranger!
      Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  3. Love your fear options. You are so right. It’s a constant and daily exchange of fear for faith. We gotta leaf it in God’s hands. I hate flying period. So post 9/11 you weren’t gonna catch me anywhere close to a plane. I think not flying was my security blanket…as if that’s the only place terrorist could attack. Eventually, I had to give it to Jesus. Every now and then I’m fearful for my children’s safety, for family sickness etc and I have to remember to trust God and exchange that fear for faith.

    Love that J Moss song. Think I’m gonna add it to my running playlist
    Hope recently posted..Master of No Terrain: Well, maybe just one (Race Recap)My Profile

    • Yeah girl. J Moss is the business. My gym playlist is chock full of his jams!

      Hope, the first time I flew after 9/11 was to go to Canada for Christmas that year. I remember there was a guy using a laptop in the row next to me. I swear he had some device attached to it that would blow us up. I was that paranoid! Truth is, the guy was probably just a businessman trying to get some work done while in the air.

      I wanted to go home to St. Kitts for Christmas but was too scared to fly that far, so I went by my desk mate from journalism school (they made us sit in twos, so she and I shared space. We’re still friends to this day!) up in Guelph, Ontario.

      Fear is truly of the devil. We have to pray it off of ourselves daily if we are going to make any progress spiritually.
      Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  4. It took me years to get on a plane again. Like Hope said, I think that was my security blanket. I couldn’t see anything happening as horribly on the ground. I didn’t often (if ever) go to high floors of skyscrapers. I didn’t frequent large cities.
    We’re never safe, anywhere, and yet mostly – we’re safer than we realize.
    Tamara recently posted..I’m Totally Off My Game This Week.My Profile

    • “We’re never safe, anywhere, and yet mostly – we’re safer than we realize.” That is so very true, Tamara. If we can make peace with ourselves that “security” and “safety” are nebulous concepts at best, then we then have a enjoy our lives without that sense of a cloud of fear hanging overhead.
      Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  5. Great post! We here in New Orleans get a little nervous when a big storm comes during hurricane season. I was living up north during Katrina, but the areas here are on high alert when they even THINK it could happen again. Schools close and people evacuate with little hesitation. I struggle with faith over fear, but I’m getting better. I like Face Everything And Rise. I should embrace that. Thank you for sharing and linking up, Alison.
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted..It’s My Birthday Complete With Giveaway, Flashback, and Surprise!My Profile

    • I can understand the high alerts, given the horrors of Katrina. I lived through a hurricane when I was back home in St. Kitts, Hurricane Hugo in 1989, I think. It was NOT fun.

      I love Face Everything And Rise. My cousin posted it on her FB page a few days ago and I thought, how apropos, given the post I was working on! Love it. And it IS a struggle to not give in to fear. I feel sometimes that I’ve lived too much of my life in fear. Hence J Moss’s song at the end of the post.
      Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  6. This was awesome because we all fight with fear constantly. I heard the first acronym of FEAR from my old pastor, he preached on that several times. I just added it to a post it on my computer. It’s something I look at everyday for encouragement. I work everyday replacing Faith with Fear.
    Whitney recently posted..Pinterest WednesdayMy Profile

  7. Yes, it’s a daily challenge, Whitney. Some days we are victorious; other day, not so much! But we keep embracing that struggle, believing we will be fully victorious one day.
    Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  8. Hey Ali! Too funny about the mom jeans girl!! As much as we say we don’t, I think in the back of all of our minds, we have some fear we hold on to. That’s where His grace comes in. He loves us just that much…to give us scenarios to walk out our faith in Him. Why, because He truly wants us to “get it”. My husband touched on this a little bit last night during our mid-week service. He said that ” faith is us putting the FULL-FORCE of our confidence and trust in WHAT GOD HAS SAID”! Have a wonderful weekend lady! 😉
    Michell recently posted..“Michell’s Weekly Pearl”My Profile

    • You too, Michell. I wrote to a friend yesterday that waiting, trust, and obeying are so intricately tied together. Our fear surfaces because we aren’t trusting fully. Even in the midst of fear. It’s a daily work, girlfriend, but God is ever present on this journey.

      Hugs,

      Ali
      Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  9. Excellent post Alison. “Going to the gas station became an act of faith” explains your fear in volumes. I’ve never experienced a tornado (in my neighborhood) but I’ve seen the aftermath of one not very far away. We’ve been through several hurricanes but nothing so serious where we had to evacuate. Storms in general scare me and I can not sleep if anything is going on at night. I have to watch, listen and wait. I’m the storm watch dog. If I am home alone, I am quick to pull the suitcases out of the bottom of the hall closet and get in there until it’s over. Not getting in the closet when everyone is home is an act of faith.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted..Awards & Challenges…My Profile

  10. I know what you mean about storms being scary. I lived through Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and it was no joke. A hurricane can really shake your faith and your nerves! It felt like it would never end, and the cleanup afterwards was not for the faint of heart. Hoping that this hurricane season will remain calm.
    Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  11. Oh man, I love this song! Thank you for sharing! It is perfect for this post. You are a strong woman. God places us in certain situations and you live in a pretty scary place based off reading this post. It would be easy for you to get dependent on the duffle bag. I am so glad you are grounded in your faith. I am really digging this song while I type!!! 🙂
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted..Old Skool Harmony: A Review of BODYCOMBAT 37My Profile

  12. Yeah, I’m a big J Moss fan. I have many of his songs on my gym playlist. Did a post on him in my Monday Melody series too.
    The DMV is special… in many ways. I always think that if I were a terrorist, I’d try to hit where it really hurts, and DC would fit that description for sure. So it’s either you succumb to daily fear (the duffle bag) or you hand it over to God daily and believe that He’s got your back. Tough, but it is doable!
    Alison recently posted..I’m not here for the fear!My Profile

  13. It’s out of our hands. All we can do is be alert and be smart if something does happen. But there is no point in dwelling on it, because as you said, we’re not in control of it. I do think it’s good to have emergency supplies though, just to be prepared, whether for a major storm, or terrorist attack. That said, of course I do not have any put together myself.
    Michelle recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Dana from Kiss My ListMy Profile

    • I agree that preparation is important, Michelle, else we’ll be in far worse shape in a crisis. Faith is the bridge to a more balanced approach, in my mind. And like you, I’ve fallen behind in keeping some items on hand. We are in hurricane season, after all! I did buy two lanterns, in addition to my flashlights, but I need to flesh out my supplies some more.
      Alison recently posted..The God who providesMy Profile

  14. Alison I love the way you flip the FEAR options into something positive. Yes we can face everything and arise in strength through God. I think watchfulness and preparedness has it place but it shouldn’t become our sole reliance.
    Wanda recently posted..Weekend Reads | The Friday FiveMy Profile

  15. Beautifully said. I’ll be chewing on this one for a while. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Sharefest.
    misssrobin recently posted..He Got a Job — Why Am I Not Happy?My Profile

  16. catherine gacad says:

    this message has been really hard for me to swallow as i have trusted in God wholeheartedly my whole life. absolute trust. then i lost 2 of my babies and cannot enjoy my current pregnancy for fear that i will miscarry again. i’m in constant fear that every time i go to the bathroom that i’ll be bleeding. i am trying so very hard, but i would be lying if i said it was easy.
    catherine gacad recently posted..40 by 40My Profile

    • Oh Catherine! I know it isn’t be easy, but the alternative is to live in fear. That is harder than living by faith. Believe me, I’ve lived in fear for most of my life, and it is debilitating. I will be praying for you to overcome the fear and to fully enjoy your current pregnancy.

      • thank you alison. this means so much to me. i am going to think of my baby as a blessing. i must be thankful and have faith.
        catherine gacad recently posted..40 by 40My Profile

        • Don’t mention, Catherine!

          I always remember the horrible time my aunt (my dad’s youngest sister) went through as a result of multiple miscarriages. She has a beautiful daughter now, who is her heart and soul. By much prayer and faith, she made it and has a great testimony.

          I also think of Christy Nockels, formerly of the group Watermark. She’s one of my favorite singers! She and her husband Nate went through miscarriages but now have kids. They believed God to heal their pain (physical and emotional), and He met them at their point of need. I’m believing the very same for you, my dear.

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