Eight months pregnant with my first, I found myself paralyzed with fear. I had never seen anything so huge or gruesome in all of my 21 years of life. Huge pinchers on a long tail that extended over its head, legs everywhere, creepy beyond belief! The thing looked like it came straight from a horror movie and was sitting on my bathtub ledge, about a foot in length and 6 inches in height. My 5th bathroom visit of the night left me frozen in fear. Gathering enough courage to move again, lest the creature see me and attack, I slowly reached for the bathroom light. After illuminating the entire room, my eyes saw what my mind had perceived…..in reality, a 2 inch brown scorpion sitting on the bathtub ledge, with pinchers smaller than his little brown ugly body.
I developed the habit of taking a flashlight to the bathroom with me at night so I didn’t trip and fall or wake up hubby on my many toilet visits as a large pregnant soon-to-be-mom. This night I didn’t even turn on the bathroom light. I just laid the flash light on the bathtub beside me, leaving its light on. The light shined on a tiny scorpion that was sleeping on the tub ledge and cast its shadow on the wall right in front of me. In my still-sleepy state of mind, I saw a huge creature before my eyes that was going to kill me and my baby. Needless to say, after several minutes of paralyzing, mind-numbing fear, I turned on the overhead light and saw how tiny the scorpion really was. I still didn’t want to get stung by it, though much smaller than I originally perceived, so I killed it with a shoe and went back to bed, fighting images of larger-than-life insects.
Shadows…..little, tiny, bugs…..distorted perceptions…..
It’s the little things that can be the biggest giants and the most formidable creatures that unnecessarily paralyze us with fear, stopping us in a cold sweat in our tracks.
Maybe it’s something that has happened in our past. A careless, thoughtless word spoken…..feelings of being too young or too old or inadequate…..that “look” from someone that sends you a message that you don’t measure up…..the quiet whisper of “What will they think?” or “I can’t do that.”…..
Maybe it’s something we need to do. Making that one little phone call…..writing a resume……asking for help…… a simple “hello” or smile directed at a new person……apologizing to someone…..
Even the smallest things can appear to be giants striking colossal-sized fear in us. Turn on the overhead light and eliminate the shadows and distortions. Shine the bigger light on those little things and see what they REALLY are! Not the big, formidable, scary, larger-than-life creature, but a tiny, yet ugly, thing that can possibly leave a sting. Just something that you can smack with a shoe and be done with!
Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike. ~Arthur Ashe
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