Conquering the Bathtub and Other Scary Stuff

This is the year to conquer fear. In keeping with my 2013 New Year’s resolution, I plan to do at least one thing that I’m afraid to do each month this year. January’s scary thing was asking for a job.February’s was getting a biopsy on that weird thing on my tongue. March’s scary thing was getting back up. April’s, Public Speaking. May was the dreaded colonoscopy. June brought some scary stuff, but I can’t tell you about it just yet, because it involves someone else that doesn’t want me to share just now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can’t share June’s scary thing now, because it involves someone else. God willing, I’ll tell you about it before the next New Year. In the meantime, I thought we could talk about this issue of fear.

People tell me that the Bible says some variation of “Do not fear,” 365 times. I don’t know if that number is correct, but it’s in there a lot. People also tell me that God commands us not to fear. So stop it. Don’t fear. Fear is sin. I don’t believe it.

When my oldest son was little, I bathed him in the kitchen sink. When I transitioned him to the bathtub, he felt afraid. I knelt down as he stood next to the tub, and I encouraged him feel the water with his fingers. I reassured him that I would stay right with him, and not let him slip. I reminded him that his big sisters took their baths in the tub. I still remember him shrieking and pulling up his legs as I lowered him into the warm water. He tried to get out a couple of times, but I gently sat him back down and said, “Don’t be afraid.” I wasn’t commanding him. I was letting him know he was safe. That’s what God does. Anyone who uses the Father’s words of comfort to belittle a fearful brother or sister misses the whole point.

The feeling of fear is just that. It’s a feeling–a part of my physical body. It’s driven as much by hormones, blood sugar levels and sleep patterns as reality. My reality is in Christ. If I feel afraid, that does not change the situation. Like Queen Esther, who approached the king, knowing her life was at stake, but also knowing it was the right thing to do, I will choose to act on reality, not feelings. That’s the decision that led to my New Year’s Resolution.

As I face each new scary situation, I imagine God holding me firmly as I once held my son, gently moving me along with amused affection, saying, “Don’t be afraid.”

4 Comments on “Conquering the Bathtub and Other Scary Stuff

  1. I enjoyed reading your posts about facing your fears. I’ve got a few similar fears of my own that need to be faced down.

    Your comments about your son’s fear of the bathtub remind my of my youngest brothers tantrums when he had to take a bath in our new tub. I never thought of it as a real fear and we all laughed, but for him it must have been pure fear. All he could have remembered about baths at that young age, was the metal washtub that we had used prior to adding the bathroom to our home along with plumbing to the kitchen. He doesn’t even remember it now.

  2. Speaking of fears, let’s talk about those “PANIC ATTACKS”!
    You are right about fear being a PHYSICAL phenomenon. I experienced a panic attack in church one day, while calmly listening to the sermon. I wasn’t upset about anything, the service had been
    good, no exciting music/worship going on at the time….when all of a sudden, my heart
    began racing and I felt that “fight-or-flight” sense of alarm, the response your body feels
    when you are confronted with danger. I was puzzled because I didn’t detect anything demonic
    or weird about the service or anyone around me. A few days later the Good Lord dropped
    it into my finite little brain that this was purely a BIOLOGICAL phenomenon, rooted in the
    body’s response to prolonged STRESS. At that time (late 1990’s) I was in a SEVERELY
    stressful position at work, and the stress continued for THREE YEARS until I left the job.
    When you experience prolonged periods of stress (over days, weeks or months), your body
    can respond by pumping adrenaline at odd/inopportune times, and you have a physical
    experience that may not correspond to the peaceful mind/soul/spirit you have at the moment!
    You are not panicking, but your BODY is “panicking”, so it fires hormones in response to
    the “danger” it thinks you’re in. I’ve also experienced this just prior to an F0 tornado that
    approached up the highway a few years ago in New Jersey. I literally felt the atmospheric
    pressure change inside the car, and my body had an almost “electric” response which triggered similar physical effects. So NO, it’s NOT “in your mind” and you are NOT imagining things…if you are having panic attacks “out of the blue”, it’s probably NOT demonic–it’s biologically based and your body’s response to PROLONGED STRESS. Pass the word to all who suffer! 🙂

    • Charity- Absolutely! Another great reason to take a Sabbath break every week. When I get overtired, I get panicky and weepy, like a toddler who missed her nap. Speaking of your reaction to the tornado: I get migraines when we have thunderstorms because of the drop in barometric pressure. My neurologist says it’s very common to react to the weather like that. And we women know that our bodies are ever-changing anyway.

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