Maybe it’s because school is going to start soon, or because we’re getting ready to move into yet another place up here, or because my freelance work is piling up and when we move I might be without internet for a couple weeks. Needless to say, the list-making has begun. The Stickies app on my computer is cluttering up my desktop and it makes me feel like I’m living in chaos.

Since I’m in the list-making mood, I’ve started mentally making other lists lately…personal lists. While I’m running or driving, I’ll start categorizing and listing things in my mind – things I want to change about myself, things I’m okay with about myself (to counter the depression that would come from dwelling on the former), things I’m fearful of. The fear list started getting quite extensive and started making my blood pressure rise a little bit. The good news was that this list was one I was putting together while on a run, and it made me zone out and run faster, and before I knew it the run was over.

As I was dwelling on my list of fears, I remembered a mentor once told me that if you verbalize your fears and secrets, they lose their power. So I’ve decided to put my list of fears here, for all three of you to read, in hopes that they will stop haunting me. Some of these border on ridiculous, I’m soooo aware. And some are very deep-rooted, but I’m going to make light of them anyway. If I don’t they’ll consume me like a flesh-eating disease. So grab a drink and a few snacks…here we go!

  1. Something bad will happen to Greg.
  1. Greg will realize I’m a pitiful example of a wife and could do better elsewhere. (Y’all know I’m not great at most domestic things, right?)
  1. I’ll wake up one morning and realize something terrible has happened to one of my children (which is why I sped through the first half of The Shack and can’t watch movies like “Taken.”).
  1. All my teeth will fall out and I’ll need dentures. (I have a lot of weird dreams about teeth, too. I’m sure a Psych 101 student would have a field day with this.)
  1. I’ll fall so short of becoming the person God intended that when I’ll get to heaven he’ll “tsk…tsk” at me for awhile and wave His heavenly finger at me. Then He’ll show me a movie of what my life was supposed to look like. And I’ll get kicked out of heaven for mourning when there isn’t any mourning allowed.
  1. If I ever actually pursue and accomplish what I believe I’m should be doing, people will discover I’m a total fraud and don’t deserve to have said achievement.
  1. Insecurity will win every single time. Every single blasted time! And that I’ll always allow other people’s opinions outweigh my own, and continue to assume I’m the one who’s wrong.
  1. Dogs. I love all my friends’ dogs, and have had my own dogs and adored them. But sometimes I feel they are looking at me like they may decide to suddenly go berserk and attack. And when a dog I have never seen before comes out of nowhere and starts barking and charging, I totally freak out. Then I get ticked off. I mean, really. Fences and leashes were created for a reason, people! YOU may know your dog isn’t vicious, but I don’t. (There’s obviously a history here.)
  1. I’m afraid that I’ll never be able to dispose of most of the clothes in my closet for the ones I really want, because the stinkin’ scale will. not. budge.
I could go on…but I’ll spare you.

The point is, irrational or rational, valid or invalid, I can tend to be fearful. Sometimes I’m able to take those thoughts captive and submit them to the authority of Christ in my life (where perfect love casts out fear, and where the whole concept of Elevate Ideas originated in the first place). Then other times I can invite them over for dinner, let them stay for dessert and coffee, and what the heck? Spend the night or 30.

The day I was thinking about all these fears, I heard a snippet of a devotion on the radio from Mary Whelchel, (coincidence? I think not.) She was talking about how we can tend to have “pockets of fear.” Here is what she said about said fear pockets:

“Any area of fear is an area where we are not trusting God,
and without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Well that’s just lovely. Thanks, Mary.

After recovering from the sucker-punch, I’m trying to take these fears as they arise, and remember the words of the psalmist:

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
(Psalm 34:4)

That’s the goal. Will I succeed every time? No. Will I idolize my fears over the truth? Often, probably. But If I can remember that my fear is not just a fear, but an area I’m not trusting God…that gives me more of an incentive to get victory over it.

So, all three readers, now that I’ve spilled my guts, humor me. What are some of your fears? Let’s get them out in the open so they lose their hold on you, and then we can pray for one another!

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(Isaiah 41:10)

6 thoughts on “Lists

  1. God's timing is perfect. Today's sermon was on being Fearless based on Max Lucado's work. Now this, hmmm.Easy for you to say Mr. Lucado and your book writing, successful, happy self! (woops, did I just type that?)I like what your mentor said, if you verbalize your fears and secrets, they lose their power, so here goes nothing:1. Death2. Being "punished" for not having enough faith to get over fear #1. We shouldn't fear death as God has us in His hands. But I am so afraid to let go of it.3. Flying – I HATE that I fear flying because there are so many places I have yet to go to but fear keeps me in my little house watching the travel channel instead.Those are the big ones.Love you girl – you ROCK and are SO incredibly blessed. I learn so much from you all of the time and truly value our friendship. Keep up the wonderful writings and musings, you bless more people than you know on a daily basis. Jesus is proud as am I.

  2. Girl – you've got so much and Greg ADORES you. I get jealous sometimes reading about your family and adventures, even you having freelance jobs ;) Many of my fears have come true – who wants to hear they're having brain surgery then turn around in less than 5 months to hear they need a hysterectomy and can't have any more babies? But having them come true doesn't mean they scared me to death, but they pushed me towards Jesus at an alarming speed. I think I sometimes feel like I've been shoved into his arms and we're spinning from the impact. They also made me mature and realize I can't take anything for granted and that so many things were taken away for a season, but they'll come back in time. Like Randy buying me a new computer and CS5 for Christmas this year :)As for the list making – that's me too! Get it out of the head and onto the paper as my mom would say. Look at your own logo – it's got growth built into it – the branches show the nuances of your life and it wouldn't be the same without them. It's okay to let fear in your life, but you have to drive it and not let it drive you. We're not in a perfect world and there's scary stuff out there, but God is bigger and more powerful.HUGS!!

  3. Am I the lucky third person? I would be privileged to be in your top 3. You're an incredible writer and I will make a list other wonderfulnesses' of yours in a minute.Just last night a wound was opened and I confessed I am afraid I will make the wrong choice one day and put my children in a situation where they can be sexually abused. It may seem silly, but it seems to happen so often and I don't know how I'd live with myself after that happen.Fear is something Charles seems to rarely struggle with and he has helped me greatly in this department, but I suppose I struggle with all the common fears of something happening to those I love or that I wouldn't experience/become all that God had intended for me as well.Mary was right—I often remind myself that every time I fear I open up a door of access to the enemy to do exactly what I was afraid he would. I try to choose to ignore and denounce his whispers of "what if's". Remembering that none of it is God's will and we win and he's a liar.Thank you for your post.Things I love about Monica:1. She's one of the most beautiful women I know [hair,face,smile…]2. She's warm & friendly & funny3. She's honest & transparent4. She's creative5. She's loyal & steadfast6. She took one for the team & puts up with Greg [I kid I kid, but seriously we all appreciate the wonderful work you've done in him, he he Love you Greg]

  4. Thanks Monica this really has helped me…..going through a fear thing myself right now. Realizing that he has it all under control! Ugh when will I learn that truth. :) Love you and praying for you guys!!!

  5. I definitely identify with your first fear. When I receive a call from Susan at a random time my first thought is often, "Is this a police officer telling me something happened?" It is always a relief when I hear her voice. Reminding myself that God is ultimately in control of everything is what I fall back on, but it is still difficult.

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