N.W.BOYER…Christian Author… " Keeping Christ in Christmas"

Posts tagged “family

Conquering Fear

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

This past ten days was a time to reach out, go out and find out if our fears of leaving the safety of my surroundings was justified. I found that this Emerson’s quote was true. Was it totally putting to death any reservations… probably not…but it was a start.

It all started when we decided to go to North Carolina because my dear cousin had passed away…not from the virus, but other complications. My husband was to preside at her memorial service. We also found out that my other cousin’s wife, who was also loved, had passed away from the virus. It was a sad time for the family as a whole. Other family members were hospitalized.

It is also Fall and it is one of our favorite times of year. Anyone who has left the Northern part of the U.S. knows they miss the beautiful gold and yellow trees…with the floating leaves reaching for the ground.

We also wanted to visit my Uncle John, who will be 98 soon, before the winter set in. It had been a year since we had traveled out of Florida to see him. We had other friends in the mountain community of VA that we would like to keep close to us, but had not had the chance since the Pandemic.

Staying close to home, as many have done, had been our priority….only to the grocery store, outside activities, waving hello to the neighbors and always…always wearing the mask when going out!

We had talked to friends who said that they would not set foot outside the house…ordered groceries to be delivered etc etc. I knew in my soul that this was devastating to the emotional wellbeing of the individual. On the other hand, there were friends who were traveling all over the place…in airports, seeing family without reservation. That brave, we were not. Does all this sound familiar to your life? The basic fears that are part of our need for health and survival seemed to be getting out of whack! Something has to give…and the bombardment of TV doom and gloom didn’t help any. Therefore, limiting TV became a semi-priority. What do I mean as “semi-priority.” Sticking our heads in the sand was not the goal. Moderation of viewing was…especially when my blood pressure went up from watching all the screaming and angry words!

So…off we went in our red truck…meeting the world along the way. We had to stop to use the restrooms (Ugh), get a bite to eat, and gas up the truck. What virus-ridden person would we meet? Most, we found out in northern FL, Ga, and S.C. were not wearing masks. We probably looked to some like something from outer space. Press on we did.

I found out that the traveling stops can also be quite the adventure. One woman started yelling that a man was in one of the stalls in the women’s bathroom. “This just aint right!” she continued to yell. I calmly said, “It’s okay, the men’s bathroom was occupied and he just had to go quickly.” (That man was my husband.) Storming off, she yelled again, “He aint no five year old.” I could have told her that in Europe and other parts of the world, the bathrooms are shared by both sexes and you have to pay to go in…but I refrained. On leaving, I smiled and said, “It’s all clear now. You can go in.” She huffed something in return.

It seems that the bathroom scenes were some highlights of our traveling from one state to the other. At another stop, an old man came out of the unisex bathroom. He said, “Come right on in Sweetheart.” as he patted me on the shoulder. No social distancing there. Oh, well, we had plenty of hand sanitizer in the truck should I want to dab a bit on my sweater.

Meeting family and friends, we asked the dreaded question…Have you been around anyone sick or exposed to the virus?” None had…so moving on through N.C. and into VA, where we had lived part year, our confidence increased. There truly was life outside our home. Some seemed to be going on as if nothing was happening in their world. Maybe it was denial…or something deeper, but the attitude stood out to us.

How could that be? We didn’t know and we didn’t ask. We put the pedal to the metal and traveled up the mountain to dear friends’ home who had graciously allowed us to spend three nights while they were away. Everyone should have such friends. We were able to sit on the front porch and watch the sky turn beautiful shades over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The peaceful calling of the cows and donkeys in the morning was just the tonic we needed for the “dreaded virus fear.” They, too, were doing the usual thing…waiting for breakfast at the lower valley farm and seemed to say, “Hey, get yourself together! It’s not the end of the world. God is in control. You will pull through this. Even if you don’t, He is waiting with something even better…as He promised. “

It was our delight to meet with two clergy friends, Tom and Sam, and their wives for reminiscing about life and ministry during the Pandemic.

After saying goodbye to our transplanted FL to VA friends and relishing her wonderful pecan pie, we went on to buy freshly picked mountain apples and sourwood honey to bring back with us to Florida. We knew the neighbors would love them! No visit to this area of the country is complete without these two special items…and Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming.

Our dog, Bella, survived her 10 days away from us because she was with our trusted dog sitters. She learned that we always come home… eventually.

What did we learn from venturing out and away from the safety…or hopefully safety, of our home and surroundings? We learned that fear of anything…big or little…can be paralyzing. It is not good for the mind…or soul. Being reasonable is important, but being a prisoner isn’t a way of life for which we should settle.

Our great sympathies go out to those who have suffered or lost relatives during this pandemic, but life must continue. We must ask God for the courage that He would have us to experience through His grace. Through His promises, we can conquer our fears.

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“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Philippians 4:13 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6