Things that make you scared
This week's challenge is about what things make me scared. And to be truthful, the most prevalent of them are weaved together. After thinking on this topic for awhile, I have come to realize that I have five major fears and half of them encompass the same subject matter: being alone. I'm sure there are other small things that give me pause but when it comes to being scared (afraid/fearful/shaken/terrified, etc.) there are three that are recurrent.
Fear is a hinderance to growth
The one anxiety I have that does not match up to the others is the fear of going to hell. I've been a Christian for the majority, if not all, of my life. Baptized at seven without being prompted by an adult and proud of that. I state this because many go through this religious ceremony because their parent(s) or grandparent(s) made them. But I truly was led to do it solely by the Holy Spirit. Even with that being said, I have not lived up to all the things that are "expected" of a Christian. Although, no man is perfect so we shouldn't expect it or be surprised when we do mess up.
Considering I was baptized at a young age, there were certain things that I had not yet encountered which tempts people to sin. So, now that I am an adult and many of the sins that I had not faced before have been presented to me either with experience or watching someone else sinning, my concern has more reasoning behind it. I don't go out purposely to sin. However, some indulgences are easier to avoid than others. I try to live right and by the Word, but we all fall short. And the unconscious sinning is a huge dread of mine. Things that I've done or am doing but don't realize it can send me to a fiery eternity and it scares the living daylights out of me. I try to combat it with prayer and conscious obedience but it doesn't silence the worry of it not being good enough. That is why I have to continuously remind myself to repent for all my sins, both known and unknown, and have faith that I am doing the will of God.
Waste of Talent
My second fear is not succeeding in my career goals. I've discussed my career path and what I thought I'd be doing in my life in a previous post. The same topic popped up on one of my friend's Instagram stories a couple of days ago and I revealed something to her that she never knew. My first recollection of what I wanted to do when I grew up was to be a professional singer and actress. I quickly grew out of that career dream because I was/am shy and don't like the spotlight. (Weird that I'm telling all my business on the internet, right? lol) By the time I graduated from high school, the path I was headed was family therapy... Not going to be counseled, but to be a therapist myself. As I said in https://www.emotionallydesigned.com/no-filter/what-if, I changed my major almost immediately once I started taking my core classes. By the time I graduated from college, Computer Science was the trajectory. The only problem is, I was not interested in any of the front line jobs that CS delves into. The "ultimate" career path for me was Administrative/Executive Assistant. Some people thought I was selling myself short because I was too intelligent to be a secretary with a fancy name title. But people don't realize all the technical knowledge some secretaries have to garner in order to do their jobs. Especially at a higher level, like in the government. It isn't just about answering telephones, putting mail in inner office mailboxes and taking notes at the weekly meetings. But even that has waned in my desires for my career.
After ten years since I received my first degree, I think I've FINALLY figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I've been battling my mind for a few years now on what I REALLY wanted. I have all these degrees and didn't want to work where all of it would be a waste because my career isn't in any of those fields. My calling has been constantly brought to the forefront of my mind, (I literally can't sleep or will wake up in the middle of the night because of it) so I guess I should stop running from it. My love belongs to creating. I am a writer and a graphic designer. I get frustrated that the jobs, that I still love so much, sometimes do not allow the free space or time to just write when I want. And designing is even worse. For instance, a logo that should not have taken me no more than a day or two to perfect took me a month because I was either working (2 jobs) or too freaking tired to concentrate on it.
I have so many talents that I've been blessed with and I wish there was more time in the day to work on all of them. But we literally only have 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. And in the 1440 minutes a day that I am given, I wonder am I using mine wisely. While I'm working one job, I can't do either of my passion jobs and the other, it's limited to whether my attention is not being needed. When I'm off work and have the free time to do the projects I desire doing, I'm dog-tired and can't concentrate many times. These things would be stuck on my mind all day and when it's time to put in the action, I stall. It makes me question am I supposed to do what some do, which is abandon the jobs that I appreciate and actually like doing (for once) and go full throttle to pursue writing and designing full time? I'm already a published author and not making any money. Would that be a smart move? Do I stay with the employers that already pay me to stay afloat until my passion career takes off one day? Will it every take off? All of those what ifs and apprehension brings the same question that my mother asks me every time I doubt myself and/or the power of God: Where is your faith?
*****Queue Akon's "Lonely"*****
My ultimate fear, the fear of all fears for me, is being alone. Yes, that includes my current state of living. And this fear was metastasized back in 2016. The dread was already there though. It just made the reasoning more solidified. At the time, I was 28 years old and still had not ever been in a romantic relationship (still haven't at 32). I've had "friends" but no one took being in a relationship with me as something appeasing outside of the bedroom. Even the one person I was interested in who has admitted to wanting to date me was/is in a relationship already and stated that life had taken us too far in different directions for us to work out. So, they married someone else. But that's another sermon for another day. I've had a roommate, one of my best friends, and it almost ruined our friendship (In my opinion). And I'm not comfortable living with someone I don't know just to stack money. I did 4 years of random roommates in college and I'm not interested in doing it as an adult. Anyway, back to my fear.
On September 25, 2016, I suffered a stroke. Thankfully, it was minor. But when it happened, I was home, ALONE, because I live alone. And I did not realize that this was what was wrong with me. I just knew something didn't feel right. The only person I could think clearly to call was my mother, who lives 3 hours away from me. What the hell was she supposed to do from there? I'll tell you what she did though. She called my aunt to take me to the hospital. Mind you, my aunt was the last person that called me before I thought to call my mom and I couldn't even comprehend properly to call her back. What if my mother hadn't answered the phone? (Because she NEVER has her phone on her) What if I couldn't speak? I already wouldn't have been able to text because I couldn't think straight. That fear of being alone skyrocketed after that major health incident. I could have died in my house and no one would have known. My 11 month old puppy couldn't help me. Almost 4 years later, I still live alone and that fear of dying alone still haunts me.
My stupid (insane/delusional/crazy, etc.) rationale was that, if I was married like I wanted to be by that age, some of my fear would be dissipated. I know that there is no guarantee that he would be in the house with me if it were to happen again (God forbid), but this is where my head is at. Even if he weren't there at the time of an emergency, he'd find me faster than someone who doesn't live with me. And since I have no idea when the Lord is going to send this magical human being that I've been praying for, I try to silence the fear by remembering that delayed does not mean denied.
Along with being a single woman, I'm also in my thirties now... with health concerns. So, not only do I question God on if I will be alone all of my freaking life, but do I not get a family of my own either? Reiterating the previous blog post again, I know I'm not really alone. I have God, my parents, other family members and my best friends... And the dog (Who's really a human in animal fur). But if I were to ask any woman in my circle, and I have before, many of them would tell me that there is nothing like having a child of your own. I know adoption is an option or cryobanks exist... I've looked those up too. However, I still want the organically created husband and wife procreating form of a family. And even if I do have to go through IVF, I'd rather go through something that can be so emotionally and physically taxing with my husband at my side. I was told back in middle school that I may not be able to have children due to an illness I endured, so I have thought about other options than the normal process of childbirth. But I also don't look at the doctors' word as final say. That is why I still continue to ask the Lord, if it is His will, to honor my request. And that is where the anxiety sits. What if it's not His will for me to have a family? What if I never get married, or can't have a baby, or adoption processes don't work because of this, that or the third? Ultimately, I wonder if my plans and desires will ever line up to His when I know His will is what will be done either way. And will His will for me be the things I still desire?
As a writer, some of the characters that I have developed are fashioned after things I wish were true of my own life. But, even me, Lord? Do I get the blessings, ever? I'm not going to lie, I live vicariously through my words on paper... or computer screen, because those prayers have not been answered for me yet. And if they have, my discernment is trash because I don't see it anywhere near being fulfilled right now. People will say that you're not supposed to question God. However, I ask how am I supposed to have a fully open conversation with Him if I don't ask questions. How do I receive the answers to my questions if I don't ask them to the All Knowing?
Ask, and it shall be given you... (Matthew 7:7)
The Bible states "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Therefore, I will continue to ask, seek, and knock. I have been blessed with many things. Most of them are things that I probably did not deserve, or even ask for. And since the Lord has given me those that I did not ask for, I know that He can bless me with the ones that I do ask, seek, and knock for. This is the only thing that keeps me sane when it seems that my prayers are being unanswered. I pray that one day my fears no longer haunt me because my desires have become blessings that have been given to me.