I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Fear

(By Gary Roe)

One of the most prevalent internal demons that I struggle with is fear. My fear equals a lack of safety. Most of the time, I simply do not feel safe. There are many nights when I wake up shaking, sweating, and terrified. I have to breathe deeply and pray, asking God to reassure me that it is not happening again.

I am tired of living in fear. I am tired of worrying about everything. If I really track all the things I worry about, I begin to get a sobering picture about where my mind can run off to. Sometimes I just talk to myself out loud, expressing what I am worried or fearful of. Thankfully, I often smile afterward, because it sounds so ridiculous. And sometimes there comes the nagging thought, Yeah, but it happened before, lots of times. And it could happen again.

It is ugly, and I am tired of it. The feelings are real, and I cannot stop them from coming. I must acknowledge them, because they are already there. I do not have to let them rule. At any point, I have a choice: I can cry out to God and trust Him (and ask for the ability to trust Him) or I can choose to continue down the endless road of fear.

I am learning that when I live in fear, I am not fully present to the ones I love. I am living inside my head. Things have become about me and about my survival. And it does feel like survival. I want to break out of that and really love those around me at any given moment.

I'm reminded that on the night before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid" (John 14:27). The goal is not to not be afraid. The goal is, when I find myself in fear, to look to Him and trust Him that, over time, I will experience His peace, His safety.

1 comment:

Shen said...

I can relate to so much of what you wrote here. I want to thank you for this part:

(and ask for the ability to trust Him)

because that's what I forget. I try to trust God, to find that connection, and so often I can't. When I can't, it feels hopeless.

I need to remember to ask for that ability and not expect it to just be there all the time.

thank you for that.