I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this on the blog or not. This is very personal and might be boring for anyone other than me and those who love and know me best. But maybe it will be helpful for someone.

When I was in the 2nd grade, my teacher asked me to go deliver a note to another teacher in a different hallway. It was a simple task and one I was certainly competent to complete. I remember walking through the school with this note in my hand and a heavy knot in my stomach. I was terrified. It’s hard to put words to my fear. Maybe I was afraid that I would go to the wrong classroom. Maybe I was afraid that I misheard my teacher and had gotten my task all wrong. Either way, I was terrified about doing something simple. This is my first memory of the nameless, paralyzing fear.

A few weeks ago, I noticed the weather was great; it was time to plant the herb seeds in the planter that I got for Christmas. I’ve never really grown anything before. A week later, I still hadn’t planted the seeds. A week after that, I was sitting outside with my husband with the seeds in my hand and a paralyzing feeling in my gut. Why was it so difficult to plant these seeds?! I eventually did plant the seeds, but with much hesitation and timidity.

A few days later, I was in my internship class. There were just five of us interns with our professor discussing all the things that were going to be due soon. Although everyone was stressed, I noticed that my stress seemed out of proportion with everyone else’s. I couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t think clearly. My thoughts were racing. I was panicked and yet, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to do the work that I needed to do for this class. I kept putting it off.

Normally, I would just beat myself up for being lazy and an extreme procrastinator. I would try and try to motivate myself to change and feel like a lazy failure. But this time something clicked. I realized that maybe what I was going through was not normal. Maybe it’s not normal to have a low level of fear all the time. Maybe it’s not normal to have paralyzing fear every time I have to do anything.

It all came together in my head. For as long as I can remember, it has been very difficult for me to do something. I mean anything. Simple things (like delivering a note to a teacher), complex things or even things I enjoy. So many things connected. I could see so many opportunities I’ve missed out on because of fear. So many times I have put things off over and over because of fear.

I could see that I have tried on my own to overcome the fear without even knowing what I was doing. I would volunteer myself to do scary things like sing the National Anthem in front of thousands of people. I guess I subconsciously hoped that forcing myself to do scary things would take away the fear. Obviously, it didn’t work. It was overwhelming realizing how much this had permeated my whole life. I knew then that I was done.

The next week, we had our Wednesday night meeting. As we sat around the living room, I opened up my heart. I shared with everyone about this fear, about how it has dominated my life, about how I could finally see it for what it was and how I wanted to be done with it then and there. Everyone listened graciously while I blabbered on. We discussed and analyzed it briefly but I think we all knew that this foe was beyond any of us. So, we prayed. The verse kept coming to mind, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.” So, we prayed for the spirit of fear to be gone and for the Holy Spirit to fill it’s place. As we were praying, I “heard” God say that He not only wanted me to be free of this fear, He wanted me to be fearless. Brave.

The next day, I went to work and actually kinda forgot about the prayer. Then, at the end of the day, I suddenly realized I had been working smoothly all day. I had made phone calls and emails. I had tackled tasks that I had no idea how to do and had to work through. These were things that I would normally put off or never do and then suffer the consequences. Here I was, healed, free.

It has been two weeks since that prayer and I keep being re-amazed. A couple of times, I have felt that fear start to creep back in. I just say in my head, “No, I’m healed. I’m free and I don’t have a spirit of fear” and the fear is gone completely.

This reminds me of a story I read once of a little girl who was eight or nine and started playing softball. She was having trouble hitting the ball and the coach kept saying, “Keep your eye on the ball!” Finally, exasperated, the little girl said, “Which ball!?!” It was quickly discovered that the little girl had double vision. She had had it her whole life so she never knew that it wasn’t normal. That’s how I felt with this fear. I lived my whole life so far never realizing that my experiences weren’t normal.

I thank God for showing me the truth! And for setting me free! Jesus said that He came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.* That’s what He has done for me! I don’t think I ever been so grateful to God. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!**

(Regarding the title: A few days after the being healed, I was going to do some paperwork. It wasn’t due immediately and I didn’t want to do it; I just wanted to play on the internet instead of working. As I was reading random internet articles, I realized that I felt very different than ever before. I was experiencing true procrastination for the first time. I wasn’t putting something off because I couldn’t seem to get my mind and body unstuck from fear. I was putting something off because I consciously decided that I wanted to. What a wonderful difference!)

*Luke 4:18

** 2 Corinthians 3:17