By Marji Laine
I have a confession to make. I used to hide under the bed whenever a plane flew over my house—which was a lot since we lived on the approach for Dallas Love Field as I grew up. See, I’d had a dream about the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. She hung on a rope that dangled from a plane and peeked in windows as she past. If I was alone, and she saw me, she’d turn me to stone.
My dreams have always been pretty vivid! For at least a solid year (maybe 2nd grade?), I ducked, hid, or ran to grab the legs of my mom. I don’t think she ever knew why.
With an imagination like mine, I didn’t need much impetus to start down the scary trail. My dad sat me and my brother in front of an old movie called The Blob. Mid-plot, the alien squeezed through the vent slats at a theater. There was a vent that looked just like the one in the movie right over the toilet in my bathroom. Never got in a habit of dawdling there, I guarantee!
I know, they’re ridiculous, but even now at my *mm-hmm* years of age, when the night becomes wee hours, and the house sleeps. When the earth holds its breath, and I alone am awake to hear the silence. Those are the times when my fears revisit. They tingle up my neckline and make me dash out of the light so I can’t be seen through a window. Or they make me shut the door too quickly to make sure whatever is out there, stays out there.
Let me guess: I’m not the only one around who still gets the heebi-jeebies?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
- Worry: This type of fear is a real issue, spurred on by imagination attempting to plan for and control the possible future.
- Anxiety: Different from worry in that this constant tension doesn’t hinge on an event or circumstance. It is the doubt that anything good will happen.
- Foreboding: Intensified anxiety, this threatens faith. In fact, this feels like the anti-faith. Instead of confidence of things hoped for, it’s more the conviction of failure.
- Panic: These three lead to the paralysis that comes with letting fear win. This assumes the worst when someone doesn’t answer her phone or takes too long to get home. It feeds on the other three, waiting for the most devastating time to erupt.
But faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen. (Gleaned from Hebrews 11:1)
The words used in the verse, depending on the version, include assurance, evidence, conviction, confidence, and expectation. All of these stem from our brains.
Paul implies the need to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV. When I find my mind drifting to the negative what ifs (as opposed to the positive ones that stir up my writer’s creativity) my job is to force my thoughts to go elsewhere, like to the words that define faith. To not allow the wandering of my mind into a zone where I’m going to be hurt—and fear does hurt!
Worry can build dark fantasies that lead to irrational reactions. Anxiety causes physical problems like high blood pressure and digestive issues. Foreboding covers a personality like dark clouds thicken over a blue sky. Who wants to go around with their head hanging down like Eyore all the time? And panic interrupts everything. Overwhelmed with fear, a person acts without logic or even control.
But “Perfect love casts out fear.” 1John 4:18 ESV When we’re abiding close to the Lord, His perfect love won’t let fear take any ground.
While this song was great when my kids were little, there’s a deeper message to it when applying grown up fears. God’s still bigger. He’s still watching out for us. His work may not look like we expect it to, but we can be sure that His plan moves forward and our ultimate success is already guaranteed by His Son’s blood on the cross.
Marji Laine is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. Having just released her debut novella Grime Beat, she spends her non-writing transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.
Here’s more about Grime Beat:
From the back cover:
Great dialogue and characters leap off every page in this fast-paced story-line.
—Elizabeth Goddard, author of Buried, Untraceable and Backfire
Her best friend missing, every cell in Dani Foster’s body screams something is wrong.
Crime scene cleaning is the perfect job for neat-nick Dani Foster. But her orders to maintain a low profile and stay out of trouble mean little when her friend goes missing. Suspicions point to the handsome crime scene specialist, Jay Hunter, but he’s also the only person willing to help Dani. Dare she trust him even when lies seem to surround him?
Dani amuses Jay. Her penchant for speaking and acting without regard to the consequences land her in the funniest situations. But her latest moves have thrust her into serious danger. As he learns more about her circumstances, her risk rises until her very life is on the line. He has no time or inclination for romance, but this girl needs him and she seems to have no one else. How can he turn his back?
This is the first episode of the Grime Fighters series set in Dallas, Texas. Dani’s trouble and Jay’s attraction are only just beginning!
Dani couldn’t go home, now. She’d never sleep with her friend maybe hurt or sick. She walled against worse scenarios. Something had happened. That much was clear.
A little dog from the apartment under Tasha’s started yapping. Sounded like a terrier. A sliding patio door opened, and Dani froze. The barking volume increased, and the door slid into place with a click, leaving the dog scratching at the high patio fence.
She backed away, eyeing the enclosure. That really was a high wooden fence. Looked sturdy. She glanced to the top floor. The upper level held more of a balcony with a waist-high rail and pickets. And she could reach the bottom of them from the top of the lower porch.
This was worth a try.
Backing up several feet, she took a running jump to the top edge of the wooden fence.