Fear of Becoming Like Them
The first fear had to do with apprehension of my future as a follower of Christ and any malice it may hold. I’d read enough bio-ops on the Saints to echo St. Teresa of Avila’s admonishment to Christ when she allegedly landed in the mud after her donkey bucked her. “IF this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them.” Exactly Teresa – fear that if I made this commitment to believe in God especially beyond the Sunday obligation (aka keeping perfect attendance just in case this is all real) – bad stuff would befall me. I gave this some real thought too – even banishing some Saints from my thoughts and prayers because in some twisted way felt if I acknowledged them the same fate my beset me.
On the ‘do not call’ list:
- St. Maria Goretti — didn’t want to risk being raped;
- St. Gianna Molla – didn’t want to die shortly after giving birth or as a young mother;
- St. Therese the Little Flower – didn’t want tuberculous or again to die young; not did I want to die of breast cancer with young children as her mother. When I first formulated this list- her mother Zelie Martin was not yet a Saint (she is now) but she would have definitely been on this list;
- St. Peregrine – didn’t want cancer at all;
- St. Joan of Arc (or any martyr for that fact)- didn’t want to be BBQ’d
My prayer life has always been so egocentric, and in 2006-2008 as a ‘baby renewed Christian’ it was even more so. It never crossed my mind back then to call upon these Saints, who were forever looking upon the face of God, for intercession for those who actually were or in the danger of being raped, dying after birth of a child, battling breast cancer or any cancer, or those brave missionaries and faithful around the world standing up for their belief in God.
I lived in a small town, with very small problems, and yet spent most of my time worrying about what MIGHT come. I feared that surrendering myself to God might open the flood gates of tragedy and trial – is that really how I saw a faith in God? Sadly, it was.
Fear of Rejection
In case, it is not clear yet, anxiety is my go-to sport of choice. IF you could medal in anxiety, worry or fear, I’d be a gold MEDAL Olympian! My unstable childhood and worry-wart nature just lent itself nicely to this mindset. It was also my childhood that played a significant role in my fear of rejection or punishment from God, as Father.
Before I share the past, I need to clarify the present. My perception of my dad was definitely colored by the stories I was fed, the pain of his own life masked with alcohol, and a horrible 3rd shift that left most of our interactions to times he was much too tired to deal with my melodrama or anxieties. In 2000, after several heart attacks and years of declining health, he received a heart transplant. I believe it transformed not only his physical body but his emotional as well; it also helped that he remarried, finally found happiness and much of the truth once hidden from me was revealed. Now my father is loving, attentive and definitely more clearly mirrors the image of my Father in Heaven.
If There Was a God – I was clearly NOT a Favorite
Then I was introduced to Scripture … and I learned things such as:
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17
And even when I was culpable St. Paul had that covered as well, with:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…
All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
Images – Pixabay, PD
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