Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Roots of Fear, Unrooted

So many thoughts, so few spots to grab on and start attaching words...

Barring something unexpected, I will be starting training for a new job this week.  I will be working for a watch repair shop in the mall, doing sales and service during the evening hours while Greg is home with the kids.

I don't want to go back to work, but basic arithmetic doesn't lie.  We need the money, if we want to continue to do things like put gas in our cars and food in our kids.

Last night, I read an inspiring post from Sorta Crunchy, wherein she talks about fear, and she said something that struck me: She said she had to look at her fear and follow it down to its roots.  And that's what I'm trying to do, to find the roots of this fear that steals my breath and clenches my fists.  Because even though I know I must do this, it scares the shit out of me.

I'm not worried about performing badly.  I'll be mostly talking with customers and changing out watch batteries.  I'm not (too) worried about Greg and the kids surviving their evenings without me.  I know they'll make their own way, find their special rhythm.  What I'm really worried about is... me.

I have only had one full-time job in my life.  While Greg was in seminary, I taught high school.  For 3 years, I dreaded work every single day, and I came home feeling like I had no strength left.  Part of the hardship of that time was my realization that I couldn't remain under the mantle of the conservative Southern Baptist theology of our youth, and part of it was that I truly did not like being a teacher.

I have worked several part-time jobs since then, and I handled them better because I liked them better, and because there was less pressure.  But sometimes I think there really is something wrong (or at least different) about me, something that makes me less able to handle life's pressures.  I write about my mother a lot, and about her lifelong battle with mental illness.  I wonder if I'm a little ill, too.  I see her in me, when I'm struggling, when I'm lost inside my head, when I know I need help and I can't ask.

Even here, these last few months, as I've fulfilled my dream of staying home and giving 100% to my family, sometimes it's still hard.  Sometimes it's hard for me to get out of bed in the morning.  Sometimes it takes Herculean effort to get in the kitchen and get my kids their lunch.  Sometimes I feel like I just don't have anything extra to give, like the tasks of life take too much from me.  I feel weak, and I worry that working will make it worse.

A friend posted this comment on my Facebook status last night: "1 John 4:18 is popping up in my mind as I read this.  'There is no fear in love.'  You're living in obedience, so He's gonna own it for you."  And I know this is true, in a sense.  I know, as David Crawford shared on Sunday, that we don't take the Spirit with us.  The Spirit is already there, where we're headed.  I know the path I'm walking isn't outside the presence or care or notice of God.  I know.  I know.  Otherwise, I could not possibly make my feet move.

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