This week I learned something about conquering fear. Fear grows best in the musty corners of our imagination when we face uncertainty and the unknown. On Monday as I sat in a chair at the imaging center waiting to be called in for my annual mammogram, I felt the usual wave of uncertainty but it never blossomed into the robust fear I usually have to deal with.
I’m guessing that one of the reasons it didn’t – is Covid.
I actually think that the past few months of extreme uncertainty and lockdown have exposed the full magnitude of the dark nooks and crannies in my mind that are perfectly customized for breeding fear. “Phased re-opening” is literally what I would call what is happening in my life as I bust through the walls I built for my protection and step out into freedom again. My first trip to the grocery store, followed by other stores, the hairdresser, doctor visits, a walk on the beach, a restaurant or two..every single one of these events has allowed more light to flood in to the shadowy places where I routinely stored visions of disaster and impending doom.
Uncertainty is prime soil for growing fear. Separation and isolation are perfect fertilizers.
Every single one of these recent (masked and socially distanced) trips and errands has provided me with an opportunity (however small) to triumph over fear and to be around others who are doing the same. Every single one of these events was a moment to place my trust in God who says He is with me and will never leave me. Most importantly, every single one of these events presented itself as a chance to reclaim and rebuild my life into something more deeply appreciated and valued- a life that has made peace with uncertainty. This is nothing short of a personal “whole-house renovation” and by golly, I don’t want any dark corners in my new place.. because I know what can grow there.