Fear (Written 30 Mar 2021)
Suffering - Apr 2, 2021 Author: Jeanette Green

Fear (Written 30 Mar 2021)

Ever since I can remember, Fear cast shadows of various shapes and sizes over my life. Growing up, one very large shadow was the fear I had of snakes. Once I stood paralyzed within the doorway to my room, certain there was a snake hidden under the pretty pink circular mat I had to walk over, to get to my bed. Many nights I pulled my legs up to my chin and prayed I was out of reach of the snakes I swore were curled up at the foot of my bed.

During my primary school days, my dad often worked in his workshop, adjoining our garage, at night. Nights when it was my turn to take Dad his coffee, I was petrified. Because there was a small stretch of lawn where neither light from the house, nor light from Dad’s workshop, penetrated. I was convinced that a snake was lying in wait for me on that pitch-black patch of grass. On my way to Dad’s workshop, I had to concentrate on carrying his cup of coffee, without spilling. But when I had to return to the house, my full attention was focused on the Fear. One such evening, my fear had grown to such proportions, I clung to my dad and refused to walk back home.
Dad drew me onto his lap, and said, “Snakes are more afraid of you than you are afraid of them. And most of the time when a snake attacks, it is because it is afraid. So if you stomp your feet while walking, any snake that is near you will feel the vibrations and get out of your way!”
Dad wiped the tears from my face, put me down on the floor, and got up from his chair. Next, he demonstrated to me how I should walk, and watched while I practiced a few stomping steps. Then he kissed me goodnight, and l stomped back home. No snake ever bit me.

Afraid of the dark, of cats and dogs, the dentist, injections, illnesses, pain, ants, bees, birds, I was. And of making friends, of not having friends, even of the remote possibility that one day when I grew up and expected a baby, there might not be a bed for me in the hospital when I went into labor. I don’t even know all I was afraid of.

During all my fearful years, I also had a problem with my bladder. I needed to urinate frequently and it took up to ten minutes at a time to empty my bladder. Sometimes I had to squeeze the muscles of my lower abdomen to help my bladder to empty. My problem caused me to became fearful of going to the toilet – especially at school, or at public toilets. People were nasty and made rude comments.

 I struggled so with my bladder, right throughout my life. The few times I saw doctors about it, they could find nothing physiologically wrong with my bladder. And so I had no choice but to live my life as best I could, despite my bladder problem. But in 2013 I entered a time of deep emotional turmoil, and my bladder problem took on new proportions that robbed me of my sleep. For at least the first three hours after I went to bed each night, I had to go to the toilet, every ten to twenty minutes. Without fail, after making a couple of trips to the bathroom, anxiety and anger started boiling inside of me, which in turn kept me up and needing the toilet, all night. Some of those nights, I spent half an hour at a time in the toilet, trying to empty my bladder. After those sessions, my bladder felt raw, as if someone had pierced the inside of it with dragon-like talons.

I begged Jesus to heal my bladder. And I took the matter up with my neurologist, who first prescribed medication, and when that did not work, referred me to a urologist. The urologist performed a cystoscopy, and although he could still find nothing wrong with my bladder, he did stretch my urethra in the hopes that it would help me empty my bladder. For the first few weeks, after, I did experience relief. But then, my problem returned, in full force.

Again I pleaded with Jesus. He answered. Not like I hoped, by making my bladder stop its nonsense. No. He spoke to me through a dream -
I was hiding in an empty factory and scared that someone might find me there. My Dachshund, Flooi, was with me. She was lying on her blanket, whimpering. Now and again, she jumped up from her blanket and mulled around my legs. I stroked her back and tried to coax her into lying down again.
 Meanwhile, my bladder was full to the point of bursting. I looked for a container I could use to empty my bladder. That’s when I saw the man hiding underneath the tool shelf, near the window. His eyes were bloodshot and filled with rage, his face covered with ugly scars and framed with a bush of blonde hair.
 I grabbed the butter knife from the work-bench beside me, and yelled, “You – get out!”
The man’s murderous eyes were on me. “I’m hungry. Please…”
“You can take whatever you can find lying around. But you’ve got to leave. Now!” I thrust the knife into the air to show I meant what I said. “I am sorry it is raining and that it is cold outside. I know what that feels like. But my husband is coming back just now, and he’s got a gun. He will not treat you as gently as I did.”
 The man didn’t say another word and slithered out the window he came in through. I ran up to the window to check if the man was gone. But instead of the man, I saw my husband, Calvin, who had just returned. I called out to Calvin, and he came to me. Then I told him everything – how afraid I was, and how I chased the man away.


The morning after I had the dream, I realized that Jesus had shown me that it was a spirit of fear that was behind my bladder problem. Armed with that knowledge, I knew what I had to do. It was not easy.
Every night, when I lay in bed and again felt those dragon talons squeezing my bladder, I fought it.
“God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind! He gives perfect peace to those who keep their hearts and minds focused on him.” After a few minutes (that felt like hours) of slashing away at the Fear with the sword of God’s Word, my bladder relaxed. Some nights I had to make one more trip to the bathroom after I got into bed, but that was it. God has helped me conquer fear, and so my bladder problem faded into the background.

It was not long, though, before I discovered that it wasn’t a battle that, once I won, I never would have to fight again. Now and again when I had stressful experiences, or when I felt anxious for whatever reason, my bladder played up again. However, each time, I became more experienced in my fighting technique, and the relapses of my bladder problem, shorter.

Conclusion
For a long time, I was convinced my bladder was a physical problem and tried to fix it by getting help from medical doctors and by taking medicines. Only when nothing worked, I was open to the idea that my very physical problem, could perhaps have a spiritual root. It has been a difficult, but awesome battle. Because experiencing physical relief as a result of quoting scripture, is the best faith grower! Despite the agony, the years of suffering fear has inflicted on me, fear also has driven me straight into Jesus’ arms. And these days, on the odd occasion when fear successfully infiltrates the fortress where I hide, I run to Him, so much faster.

Prayer:
Father God, I pray for everyone who is in a stranglehold of fear. With the sword of your Word, I now cut off fear’s fingers around our throats – ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind!’ Thank you for the blood of Jesus. Cover us with your blood, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, arm us for our battles. Go to the roots of our problems, and demolish them. Grant us perseverance, so that we can endure in our fights, and come out of them, walking tall, victorious. Draw our eyes and our hearts back to focus on You, and fill us with your peace.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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