Have you ever met a person of whom you became so aware of their hidden anger that you were made fearful and ran? Of course, you have. They are out there, lots of them, and when they reveal their true colors, fight or flight takes over. I was a flight kind of girl for most of my life.
But while musing this morning on someone I used to know through blogging, I realized I wasn't fearful anymore. There isn't anything she could do to me except continue using her words if I continued to let her in. So in 2008, flight me slammed that particular door.
Fast-forward to 2018 and here I am asking myself why, ten years later, I'm even thinking about her. Well, the answer is simple and complicated at the same time. First, I'm 10 years older, and second, I am closer to God (literally and figuratively) and have found a source of strength I didn't have when I was younger. Getting through the second part was complicated. Growing in wisdom and strength is hard work and some of us take the hard roads to get through the complicated times of our lives. Do you recognize yourself here? I sure do.
But since moving here, something wonderful has happened. All of the lessons about not being afraid of people or just life, in general, have been pushed aside. Granted, I've been working on this for a lot longer than the 10 months we've lived here but certain things started to disappear in my life. Things like: Conflict, doubt, wariness, disappointment, hopelessness, isolation, too many choices, feeling the world is too big or the choices too many, and a foolish desire to be young again, are just a few things.
These feelings have been replaced by a community (both town and church), peace, hope, possibility, a scaled down world of fewer choices, welcome, and gratitude that I have been blessed with a long life.
Two things I tangibly gained by moving here are the River and my own back porch. Living in the Central Valley of California, the ocean was an occasional treat. Here, driving to the River is a daily blessing. And, long ago when my dad was overseas or away during the Korean Conflict, we lived in Northern Wisconsin with my grandparents. They had a great front porch. I loved hanging out there. Now I have my own back porch and I love sitting out there enjoying my birds, my squirrels, and the sound of the wind in the trees.
These two things plus my church community took me down the last long strip of road that got me away from fear and into a closer relationship with God. And, with this experience, I have the strength to continue chasing fearfulness away, because as we all know, the things that haunt us are never too far away are they?
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