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If it Doesn’t Kill You, It Makes You the Hulk

The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,

How do, Isabel, now I’ll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.
                  – Ogden Nash, “Adventures of Isabel” featured in Leave Your Sleep

Yesterday I was listening to this cd when I picked my son up from school.  I could tell he liked the zydeco sound too because it sort of wedged itself in our heads all evening.   Just before bed as I was helping him unload the dishwasher, still humming it, he said, “That song could be about you.  You aren’t afraid of much.”

(365 Day 265)
This surprised me. But after thinking about it, somewhere along the way, this has became mostly true.  Sweet boy, this is how he sees me now that he’s eleven.  But if he could remember several years before, he’d know I had my share of anxiety. 
I explained it to both of my children when they were afraid at night: that God “is my light and my salvation.  Whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1) 
That you can only cower, thinking of the possibilities, for so long before getting sick of it.  Then you find a sort of anger there toward these thoughts that are controlling you.  You won’t shuffle quickly in the dark as if something is at your heels, you’ll face it and stalk about the house saying, “Bring it.” 
I think this happened to me.  Nobody knew, but once I feared loss, sickness, instability, losing everything, or just one thing.  I don’t now because these fears were realized, all at once.  I was sick, lost everything but the family, and wondered “Why, God?”  That’s when I got sort of angry.  Sort of wrathful.  But He was with me through this rotten time (Psalm 27:1), helping me to outgrow my fear and my worst self.   So really, after fears come true, what’s left?   
I see some potential hard times ahead of me now. Should I waste time fleshing out new outcomes in my mind?  Can I change something out of my control?  Will a flurry of activity save me or my loved ones from hurt?  Possibly, but I’d rather hang onto this mellow feeling and just wait til it gets here.

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  1. Oh, I love the Cajun sound to that song! And that's Natalie Merchent??!!

    I love what you wrote about fear. We are professional worriers in our family, always gearing up for the worst. But then we can't really enjoy the here and now if we are doing that, can we? I'm starting to realize that and I hope I can change course.

    I'm sorry you went through such a dark time, but now you have this incredible inner strength that you can pass on to your children. They are very lucky. 🙂 Thank you for sharing yourself with blogland.

  2. Thank you, Louisiana Belle. I can relate. I think I'm past fear as a lifestyle, but anger, sarcasm, bitterness? Well, I've still got work to do. :/

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