Phobia? Are there monsters under your bed?

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If you Google the word ‘phobia’ there are at least 14 pages of websites that will spell out exactly what we humans fear most (number one is public speaking and number two is death!).  In a lot of movies when the hero admits to being afraid, the wise character tells them that it’s human to feel that way. No one likes being afraid, and the feeling that you can’t rationally explain what you’re so terrified of is part of it. Sometimes, when we simply get if off our chest, it makes us see how silly we’re being. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Most of the time, we continue to be irrational. When I was younger, I was always afraid of someone pulling me underneath something. I know I’m completely insane for thinking that, but I had a hard time keeping my feet on the floor. I used to check under my chair five times a day to make sure a monster wasn’t lying in wait. The knowledge that monsters didn’t exist didn’t help at all. I was sure that something was going to get me.

I’m no longer afraid that Dracula will kidnap me while I’m taking a math test, thank goodness, but my fears have evolved into things that resemble adult-like worries: grades, college applications, and my life plans. All these things have the power to wake me up at night and keep my mind going. Someone suggested that I read one chapter from the Bible every night before I go to sleep. I took up with Proverbs first and then went on to Psalms. Psalms, if you didn’t realize this, have a really soothing effect (some of them, anyway). I couldn’t count how many times they tell me not to worry and trust in God. Everyone knows the famous Psalm 23 ‘the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want’, but some of the lesser known verses include Chapter 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted/ and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. Every time I think I’m afraid I’ll live out my days as a hobo or a crazy cat lady with nine million cats (I told you I’m irrational), I just turn to that Psalm and relax a little.  Then I’ll turn to Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”.

I know that God takes care of everyone and is willing to help me. He knows I’m terrified of not getting into a good college, but by simply telling Him this, I realize He has a plan for me. If His plan involves rescuing fifty million cats, then I guess Purina is going to love me. God won’t let anything happen to us without a reason. He’s always there to protect us, and when we’re scared, we just have to remember that God is there for us. He’ll always give us the extra courage we need. We only need to ask. – Sarah

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