Fear is Overrated
Annette De Modena
My father, paid great homage to his much older brother, and whatever Uncle John said was gospel. My mother was pregnant with me and my uncle told my father that he was too old and too poor to have another child thirteen years after his last one.
In 1944, there wasn’t much a woman could do, so she went to the back-street abortionist. She wanted me and prayed that the abortion wouldn’t take. Her prayers were answered, but not before I was skewered in my liver.
Even with that, God used it for good to see me through a huge healing of my liver when I was about 30. Jesus does redeem all that was meant for evil, when we let Him!
Obviously, this womb experience left me with great fears, and I never felt safe. I could never respond to situations and always reacted. I’d put myself through trauma, which subconsciously felt like someone was taking my life, albeit metaphorically. For years it was a challenge to look at things objectively and come to reasonable conclusions. I often wondered what was wrong with me. Chaos and confusion consistently dominated my thoughts. Why was I like this? Why couldn’t I be like other people? So many years I survived but didn’t live. But God…
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
-Psalm 139:16 NIV
As a child I learned to hide in plain sight. Additionally, I was raised in benign neglect, I had very little interaction with my family, because they were always struggling with each other. Socially, I did not learn to communicate or relate well to others. My parents would take me to adult functions where I would sit and be good. I stayed at home during the summers watching television and eating while my parents were at work. This began a pattern of behavior that stayed with me. I did receive Jesus at the age of nine, but never had the support to continue. Of course, it didn’t help that I didn’t communicate anything to my parents. God never forgot, however! When I was 29, two years after I married, I met Jesus again, and it was Kismet! It was shortly after that fateful day that Jesus healed the liver dysfunction that had been discovered when I was nineteen. While in Sacramento, where I really got saved, I made my ritual visit to my doctor who took another blood test. This time the count was 38, and a count of 40 meant surgery. So I looked up and said, “Well, Jesus, I guess you need to heal me.”
My marriage dissolved after nineteen years. Once again I was left in confusion. I tried so hard…. When two dysfunctional people marry, it’s one dysfunctional mess. The best thing was that I did find Jesus during this mess, and when my Father told me to leave my marriage with Scriptural grounds, I did. Just four years earlier, He had told me to return to teaching. With a full time position handed to me, God began to move. With the divorce being one of the first items on the agenda. He knew my husband’s heart is all I will say. God defended and provided for me in the physical, but the emotional/spiritual connection still needed help. He set me
up for success.
Being raised alone in a house of three precipitated the need to make one’s own decisions, regardless of your age or wisdom. It was difficult to understand why, when you try so hard to love God, why things turn out so badly. That would soon come to a head after my retirement.
Free to follow Him, I ran for County Supervisor at His request, and poured everything I had, including $50,000 of my own funds into the process. Talk about facing fears! I lost. In the three years leading up to this event, I had suffered severe emotional setbacks and had been hanging on by a thread. How many of you know that when that thread is Jesus, you’ll be okay eventually. However, I didn’t know it then and had put all my eggs
in one basket. What would it take to please God? Then, I didn’t realize it was nothing.
God is not a quid-pro-quo kind of Father.
That’s what happens when our identity is tied up in people and things. Jesus died for you so you could know your worth. I have come to understand that “letting go” is better than hanging on. I’ve learned to go beyond the intellect to know my Father, who is now “Papa”. He has shown me how subconscious vows and judgments, because of lies I’ve believed about myself and others, have robbed me of my relationship with Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and people.
Forgiveness is worth the sacrifice. Freedom is worth that price. Spending time at the feet of Jesus is worth the time. Letting go of fear is worth the relationship with Jesus and Papa. Trusting God and yourself to hear your Shepherd’s voice is worth the effort, because He will be there. Fear is far overrated. Love is the better choice.