The door creaked as it turned on it’s hinges. A cloud filled the entry like the fog that creeps over the red dirt roads at dusk. My skin crawled, the hair on the back of my neck stood straight.
“Come on in,” she said. Her breath smelled funny. She stepped back and placed a wrinkled hand on my shoulder. Her nails were sharp and jagged. Chipped fingernail polish spotted the base of each. They looked more like teeth than nails. She was our kin, a Seer, is what our family called her. Everyone in town called her a witch, but in hushed tones and never to her face.
I hesitated. My chest tightened. I pulled at the white Peter Pan collar. The polyester fabric itched my sunburn.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she said.
My mother pressed against my back. “Go on in, you’re letting in the flies.”
My feet didn’t move, but that didn’t stop my mother.
At six years old, I had seen my share of scary. This felt it. But I obeyed because that’s what you do in the south and I wanted to please my mama more than anything.
The seer drew a chair from the metal kitchen table. The yellow flowers etched on top looked out of place.
“Come on have a seat, don’t be shy,” the seer said.
Shadows lingering in the background didn’t seem attached to anyone. They floated and darted at the same time. It reminded me of the last storm when my cousins and I made hand shadows with the candles during the power outage. Except, that had been fun. At first, the whispers tickled my ears. I spun around looking for a source. The shadows were speaking.
I wanted to run, to scream. Deep in the pit of my stomach, I knew this was wrong, very wrong.
The seer turned to a small trunk behind her. She open it and took an old stained cup out. It was cracked on one side and missing a chip on the lip.
Chills ran along my arms and down my back. The whispers grew louder. I wanted to shoved my fingers in my ears.
Scuffling over to the gas stove, she turned the burner on. The smell filled the house as she dug through a drawer. My mother shifted in her seat.
“Do you need help?” My mother asked.
She struck a match and flames shot up. Filling a kettle with water, she sat it on the burner. As she and my mother spoke for what seemed like hours, the kettle’s screech pierced the small room.
“Ahhh, not long now.”
Dipping a spoon into a round tin, she placed it’s contents into the boiling water.
“Time to welcome the spirits.”
I reached for mom’s hand, but she withdrew. Her eyebrows furrowed and she shook her head at me.
After pouring the tea into the cup, she mumbled some more gibberish as her eyes rolled back into her head.
“I, I think I need to use the restroom,” I said.
“Shhh, quiet!” The seer brought the cup to me. “Now drink it.”
“I don’t want to,” I yelled jumping from my chair, knocking it to the floor. “Please let me leave!” I begged my mother.
“Do as your told.” My mom looked at me. Her mouth straight and firm.
I took the cup and gulped the grainy liquid down. It stung my eyes, burned my tongue and throat. Tears streamed on my cheeks.
The seer took the cup from me.
“Ahhh, I see something,” she said placing the cup upside down onto the saucer.
“Aye… the leaves don’t lie.”
Sitting down and facing me, she took my hand.
“It’s all here, You’re the one.”
She laid her hands on my tiny shoulders, speaking unfamiliar words wrapped in putrid breath, she “released her gift” on me that day.
Her “gift’ was the beginning of many terrors. Fear, which had a body and a voice, tortured me night and day but especially in my dreams. I didn’t want this gift.
My husband and I had been married for only a short time when he discovered my need for light throughout the night.
“What’s wrong with you?” He would ask.
I didn’t know. I struggled to tell him about my past, my fears and how light kept the shadows away.
Fear had set up camp in my mind and was holding me captive. I had allowed it to sabotage my life and the war was on.
Have you ever made a declaration that goes something like this; “From now on, I’ll never eat anymore cookies!” Only to think about and crave cookies from that moment on.
Once I decided to kick fear out of my life, it dug in and fought. I had no idea how many counterparts it had that held me captive:
- Fear of the dark
- Fear of new places
- Fear of people
- Fear of speaking in front of people
- Fear of something happening to my family
- Fear of failing
- Fear of succeeding
- Fear of being a victim
- Fear of being alone
- Fear of not being needed
My list went on and on. It grew everyday. I felt like I would drown in fear. I was fighting an invisible force and it was winning.
Fear Fighting & Kelly Balarie
Kelly Balarie’s book, Fear Fighting – Awakening Courage to OVERCOME your Fears, came across my path in an amazing way. I was doing my usual Google search, (overcoming fear), as I faced a new wave of anxiety her website appeared. To my wonder and amazement, she was looking for book reviewers. All I had to do was to fill out a form and voila’ – I had a new book on the way.
God’s pretty awesome. He does things like this. You have a need, maybe you’re struggling in an area and boom, He’s got your back.
I couldn’t wait to absorb each word. Two chapters in, I found myself in tears. Kelly Balarie understood. She became an instant friend walking me through each step to confront my fears, reassuring me that, we would get through this together.
Fear Fighting wasn’t just another book, it was a bridge to freedom – a sharp contrast to the jagged nails that landed firmly on my shoulders from the past and clawed deep into my mind on sleepless nights.
I learn from reading her book:
- You can’t fight fear alone, you need a superpower (God)
- Fighting God’s way is resting in the protection and deliverance Jesus has already provided
- I began to understand that love drives out fear, not your love for God but God’s love for you
- Overcoming fear is more about believing and less about doing or not doing
- Counting your blessings moves mountains where worrying and fretting creates them
There was so much more that I learned and am learning.
My Greatest Fear
As I feasted on each chapter of Fear Fighting, my eyes were opened. My greatest fear is failure, beginning with a 6 year old girl who wanted more than anything to please an unpleasable parent. Failure wasn’t an option.
“…often our greatest act of faith is to allow the space in another’s life for God to work. What might God do if you stepped down versus always trying to step in? What if you prayed rather than trying to play savior?”
It’s time to take off the boxing gloves and take a knee in prayer. Those voices I heard whispering in my ear, the fear that took a hold of me years ago, it’s been defeated. The cross of Christ is my hope now. He is my light and salvation, therefore… I WILL NOT FEAR! (Psalm 27:1)
I’m about to close for the night. I’ll turn off my computer, make sure the doors are locked, check on my children and I will turn off the lights.
I will sleep in peace knowing that I am not alone.
Practical Faith Applications
Prayer is essential to your growth and maturity in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Start with a simple prayer that’s easy to remember, easy to say, easy to comprehend, “Help me Jesus.”
If you’ve never accepted Christ as your savior, let today be your day of change. It’s easy. And you can say something like this,
“God I want and need you to change my life. I believe that Jesus died for me. I ask that you fill my heart, forgive me of my sins. Help me to know how to live. Help me to know you better and know how much you Love me. I commit my whole life to you from this day forward and ask that you lead me every step of the way into my destiny. Amen.”
This is practical faith… do what you can, start where you are, use what you have.
You can be powerful, right where you are!
Be courageous and believe for something excellent! Bridge the Gap from powerless to powerful faith ~ Start today. Sign up for my monthly newsletters that point the way.