The dagger of the mind

I have two kinds of fear. The kind of fear that whispers what time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (Ps. 56:3). This kind comes when I have to hand over someone I love to Christ's care.
I remember the many times I've wept for my third daughter. Through her brain infection, as we watched her fade away, and so many, many times as we've watched her creep back. Who knew a mom could feel fear teaching her baby the alphabet? But what if I can't?
Throwing flowers on Teddy's grave in November, 2009
There's a different kind of fear that attacks me out of the dark shadows. Fear of being swallowed up. Fear of fading away myself. Grief is a gaping pit into which one slips slowly, the light at the top fading quickly as we lose footing on the hard-scrabble walls packed down by guilt and shame. There is only one way back out - hitched up to the rope of rescue He throws down.
For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. (Ezekiel 34:11-12)
Vergil described fear this way: Obstupui, steteruntque comae, et vox faucibus haesit. (I was stupefied, and my hair stood on end, and my voice stuck to my throat.) Macbeth famously quotes that fear is "a dagger of the mind." Time to put on the helmet of my salvation. No more daggers. I'm allowing myself to be dragged out of this pit.

My manual of skills from therapy tells me that the opposite of fear is courage. I am going to try. One act of bravery every day. I already have tomorrow's plan: going to a water park with friends without shaving. Yes, I'm going full on hippie in public. Simple. But I think it just might work.

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