Write an article about anything I want? What on Earth could I possibly write about that people will not judge me too much for? So nothing has been written yet; cannot think of how to start, continue, and finish.
What is the problem here?! What is that human emotion again? Oh yeah, fear.
After a quick look in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, fear is defined as, “to be afraid or apprehensive.” Who am I to argue with Merriam, let alone Webster? Fear takes all shapes and forms, we all experience fear differently.
Say you had verbophobia, the fear of words. This article may very well be your nightmares coming into fruition! Or for those of us who fear sudden loud noises, thunderstorms can be very unsettling.
As if beckoned, the weather just announced flash flooding as lightning just struck from the sight of my window. I have somehow managed to maintain composure during a time usually consumed with girly shrieks, as I do not want to wake anybody.
It is hard to imagine that one of the biggest fears we face daily is the fear of our own kind. We rely more so on one of our greatest fears. We share so much in common with each other, yet we’re our own worst enemy.
The media is constantly reminding us of how the world is a wretched hive of crime and villainy. The survival of the human race completely relies on some form of collaboration with each other.
We have come to expect the worst out of our neighbors and never really get to know the people we live close to.
Fear can hold back someone from establishing relationships, possible job opportunities, and experiencing new things. But for Christians, fear can be a real detriment to spiritual growth and if allowed, may ruin an opportunity to witness to others.
Let me share a story concerning the last part of the previous sentence. The day before being asked to write an article of my choosing for the opinions section of The Collegian, I had been spending a few days at a friend’s apartment.
While she was using the old “beat the dirt out the rug” trick, one of the tenants hanging outside called up to her and asked could she come up to talk to her.
Reluctantly she agreed, being weary of other people since moving back to Jackson, Miss. A little while later we were startled to see the young woman standing inside the apartment, and she immediately began asking random personal questions. We did not want to be rude despite her little intrusion.
While inviting her to have a seat, I sat at the edge of mine, paranoid with thoughts of her doing harmful things because she seemed a little off. She began telling me of her life and how after receiving a flu shot, she suffered a great deal of damage to her brain.
I was being polite and trying to be conversational but on the inside, fear was becoming a problem. Mind you, this is the middle of Jackson, Miss, so you can imagine the reason I was afraid.
Nothing has ever really happened to me personally being from Jackson, but too often on the news people are killed.
While she continued talking, I realized I was being too paranoid, and perhaps it would be a good opportunity to share the gospel. Bible verses that I have read-probably a million (ok, maybe not that many) times came to my head.
One specifically that we taught the boys in Vacation Bible School a month ago rang in my mind: 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.”
This turned out to be wishful thinking of course because barely anything came out of my mouth.
Eventually, her boyfriend came to get her, and he, too, seemed off and began asking me strange questions. The stress was beginning to be too much to bear, and I just wanted them out of the house so the possibility of danger was less probable.
For several hours afterwards, I felt greatly ashamed of my actions. How could I possibly go out into the world to teach of Jesus if this one woman was too much? Why was I even afraid to begin with? Why could not I stop judging her and show Christ’s love?
After talking it over with someone, I realized why I was so afraid: because of different events from my childhood, I have not been able to let go of that fear.
The fear seemed to have grown within me, making me afraid to take chances, pass up opportunities, and to excel in anything that came my way. No one taught me how to let go of it.
I have learned in my life that God can take our foolish actions and turn them around into something we never expected. I was able to learn from that experience and realize the truth concerning how prevalent fear was in my life.
The experience with the woman also taught me that the next time someone is practically served on a silver platter, take the opportunity and witness to them. Those kinds of opportunities do not come too often.
Do not mistake that I have conquered fear. No, realizing and admitting was only the first step. There is a long road ahead, but now I know the only thing that ever really stopped me was myself.
– Daitandris Hatcher, Contributing Writer