Metal Spears; Boogeyman; and The Veil of Lies
Before dawn even spattered the sky, I was completely conscious. Truth be told, I did not really fall into anything remotely like sleep last night. For you see, one thought poked its ugly head through the membrane of my consciousness and implanted itself in the place where my thoughts reside. It wasn't a foreign thought, for I knew this was going to have to happen. In fact, I have known that this day was coming for over three months. It's just that I'm a scaredy cat and I fear intense pain.
You know those things that scare you? The ones that make you bite your lip and plead never to have them touch your life? The things that make you turn as pale as chalk? I don't like them, do you? I hate having to face them. I play all kinds of mind games to avoid them. However, there was no getting around this one. It's has many similarities to having a baby. You know that there is going to be intense pain before there is any relief. There is simply no way around it. The baby can't stay in or it will die. Therefore, you have to resign yourself to the fact that this needs to happen. Today's scary event is similar. I can't live forever with these sharp, needle-like metal spears protruding from my toes. They have to come out. There is no other way around it.
My mind has pieced together everything it thinks it knows about sharp metal; sensitive toes; removal of objects from my body, and has come to the irreversible conclusion that, "This procedure is going to be painful and I would rather not participate." My thoughts have been hijacked by fear and there is no turning them around!
Making polite small talk with the nurse, I position myself in the exam chair. Un-Velcroing the hard, gray plastic prison that has held my foot captive, my foot is now exposed. Idle, nervous chatter is exchanged between us. What I assume as a "look of understanding" is exchanged between us. We both seem to know what is coming next. She has more experience in this arena but is not offering any relief to my fear. My mind can only reason that she is not consoling me because she knows the pain I am about to experience and doesn't want to lie.
Gently entering the room, like a cat not wanting to be heard, Dr. N. slides into position; pulls up the x-rays; reaches in the drawer for the "supplies" and then calmly states, "Are you ready?" I want to scream, "NOOOOO!!!" but instead I say nothing. My mind is screaming at me but I am overriding my bodily impulses and commanding my flesh to remain still. Using the pliers...Yes, I said, "Pliers," he grabs the end of the longest metal spear and yanks. I am stunned!
I felt NOTHING! He repeats the process on the pinkie toe. Once again, NOTHING! I don't understand. Could it be that my experience and my knowledge base was wrong in this situation? Could it be that my hijacked thoughts had no foundation? Could it be that they were lies? Why did I waste so much energy being afraid?
This entire experience has got me pondering the subject of fear. Where does it come from? How does it become real? How many times in my life have I let fear hijack an opportunity or my joy? I had no pain. All the energy and time I wasted worrying is gone and I can never get it back. Hum...
Who remembers thinking the "BOOGEYman" was under your bed as a child? Here's my confession: I would lie in the center of my bed and cocoon all my covers tightly around me because I believed his arms couldn't reach me there. Then, when I had to get up in the middle of the night, I would stand up in the middle of my bed and take a gigantic grasshopper-sized leap off the bed and sprint (I'm sure I held the record for the 25 yard sprint as a seven year old) so that he couldn't catch me. I'm sure you are chuckling. Sounds silly now that I'm a grown up, but maybe we do this as adults now on a more sophisticated level? Maybe that is what just occurred in the surgeon's office.
Here is what I learned: Fear is not real. It is the by product of thoughts I generate based on imagined experiences and sometimes pieces of previous experiences. Fear is a choice. However, fear can produce a veil of lies. Fear clouds my judgement. Fear is a feeling that is derived from a thought.Fear is not the same as danger. Danger is real. Fear is derived 100% from my own thoughts. LOL! Maybe that is why Jesus said, "Be careful what you think, your thoughts run your life." (Proverbs 4:23) He tells us 365 times in the bible not to fear. Since He created us humans, wouldn't it stand to reason that He knows how we are wired? He knows how paralyzing fear-based thoughts are? He tells us to, fear not, for He is with us. Not be distressed, paralyzed, or fearful because He is holding us up and will give us strength to continue. (Isaiah 41:10) If I believe He knows all of this, then I should also take His advice and run to Him when my consciousness is being bombarded with thoughts of fear. As I say them outloud to Him, they lose their power and He replaces them with thoughts that are filled with hope.
What thought is causing you to be filled with fear? I would invite you to write it out or speak it out to our God. He wants to replace it and bring you peace.
Until We Chat Again,
The Plank-Eyed Girl