Finding the Freedom to Enjoy the Ride
I've always said when you're riding a roller coaster, if you yell "Wheeeee!" it minimizes the terror. It's a distraction to help you forget your fear. I spent my entire childhood yelling "Wheeeeee!" very loudly. This, even as I believed, proving that believing is not always understanding.
I always believed. I grew up going to Sunday School and as a little girl I remember believing every story I heard about Jesus (where I never believed in Santa Claus who only came around once a year.) I grew up in the Methodist Church, joined the Angel Choir at age 6 and nearly never missed Sunday School or Church. I loved the stories and pictures of a loving Jesus and I never doubted that He was real.
This does not mean I understood what He did for me for all eternity.
My grandmother died when I was 5, and I remember asking my sister where she was, just where was Heaven? Vaguely, she pointed upward saying "Out there, like Outer Space." I knew all about outer space, it was dark and cold and lonely with a lot of empty nothing everywhere… Terrifying. And so my fear began. I practiced being dead every night so I'd be ready for the empty loneliness. I'd lie in bed and try to empty my mind, making myself completely alone. Fortunately I fell asleep every time and eventually gave up the 'practice' sessions.
However, I was always afraid of death, even though I believed that Jesus was real, I did not understand what it all really meant. I channeled my fears into learning and doing… I kept busy even from young childhood, reading all I could, drawing and painting, music, etc. Wheeeeee! I just kept going, distracting myself as best I could from that fear of death that consumed me when I was still… boredom was my enemy!
When I was 14 I was invited to a Youth Bible Study and there heard the verse that brought my understanding of Christ and His love for humanity to a very personal level: Hebrews 2:14-15.
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil- 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
I learned that He came to die for me, so I would not have to be a slave to my fear. I was a SLAVE and didn't realize it until that moment! I was instantly liberated! This happened in the summer between middle and high-school, and when I went back to school in the fall I was a completely different person. People I knew almost didn't recognize me, and new friends I made never believed that I was ever shy. I was no longer the very quiet girl everone knew in middle school. I became much more outgoing and was no longer afraid of much of anything.
I began going to a Bible believing non-denominational church in 1974, then in 1994 began attending the Presbyterian PCA church where I still attend today. I have sung in the church choir or with special groups my entire life. The Lord has brought me through some amazing trials triumphantly and with the love of Christ I intend to endure to the end.
If you live in fear, search for He who casts out all fear! Liberation is just before you. I can't say that I stopped being busy… I still love doing a lot of things, but I no longer do them out of fear, but only out of pleasure. Please fell free to contact me to learn more about losing your burden of fear, I'll be happy to help and pray!
A few years ago I was inspired to write this little bit of nonsense:
Baby # 1,123,345,456,678…
Before the dawn of Earthly time, during a discussion of babies due to be born on Aug. 23, 1958, my name was mentioned. This discussion, between God the Father (G), the Holy Spirit (HS) and the Son of God (J), happened in the flick of an eyelash (a very small % of an eye-blink.)
G: Okay then, baby # 1,123,345,456,678…
J: Ah! A girl; born in Baltimore MD. I have such plans for this one! I'd like to start…
G: Hmmm… yes. She'll be interesting, good parents, interesting siblings. Let's make her very appreciative of art and beauty in all the forme we've created…
HG: But, we'll make her poor, so she can only appreciate them from afar, not actually own any…
J: Well, okay, but…
G: And she will be attractive…
HG: From certain angles, not ugly, but let's not let her get too carried away with herself. We'll add some physical difficulties; see how her character holds up. Plus a difficult relationship or two… real character builders!
J: I don't know, maybe she could be…
G: That's settled then.
HG: Okay, now. Gifts and talents…
J: Okay, I MUST weigh in. I already hear her singing, so that is a must.
HG: Singing is fine, but just a 'nice' voice… for choirs and such. No "American Idol" stuff.
J: Deal! What is "American Idol" again? Does it involve golden calves? None of that for this girl, okay?
G: Now, even though she will have vision issues from an early age, this girl will be an artist. She will love to copy what I have created, and so a pretty good job with that…
J: What about some internal originality too? I thought…
HG: Nah, a waste of time on this one, she won't have the skills to get really famous, outside her local area and personal contacts, so why bother?
J: A Waste of Time?!? Now hold on a minute!
G: No, let's move on… Intelligence levels, we'll give her some levels above average, not enough to really get her into too much trouble (or income level), but enough that she will be humorous (to some), and interesting (to others)… to most or to many there will be the problem that she seems pretty invisible… but that's going to be pretty normal in the immense and complex society we're setting up at the end of the 20th century.
H: Humor, huh? That seems overrated. I don't want her in a comedy club downtown.
G: Well, we won't make her THAT funny.
J: Now wait just an Interstellar minute! I don't know what you have against this girl? She won't even be born yet for thousands of years, and you guys are relegating her to a life of, well, blah-ness! I see her as special, I see…
G: I don't see how you can have a problem?
J: Don't you now?
HS: She adores you from a very young age…
J: What? Adores…?
G: From her youth. Sure, she's a wicked sinner (like the rest of them), but she does love you!
J: Well, Okay then… we'll go with this plan.
And that was ME! Laura Ann Mason