The Creek Church


May 11, 2017 | Emily Hammons

If you’re like me, I’m sure you can make a long list of things you’re afraid of or worried about. It’s not hard. my my bed...crawling somewhere…. Ugh.
Spiders, which are different than bugs, but just as nasty. They have fangs and too many legs and they make me want to vomit.
Tornadoes carrying me off somewhere.
Being kidnapped, Taken-style, with no Liam Neeson.

Those fears may seem silly to you. They seem silly to me, too — at least they do until I’m confronted by two inches of murderous rage in the form of a hairy little spider hanging from his invisible string not even a foot from my head in the shower (why do they always catch me at my most vulnerable?!). Then it’s not funny at all. My husband likes to tell me that it’s crazy to be afraid of something you can squish. But it seems like a monster of a problem when it’s in my face.

I feel like all fear is like that. When it’s hanging over you close enough to drop onto your head and sink it’s nasty little fangs in, it’s terrifying. It’s hard to realize that you can squish it when all you can think about is feeling it’s eight tiny legs creeping through your hair looking for a good place to start chomping. (Excuse me while I vomit.)

But at the same time, all fear is like a spider in that it’s squishable. You just have to find the right shoe.

So here are some of my favorite spider-squishing shoes: 

1. Is this real?

I have an active imagination. There have been several (not one, not two, several) sleepless nights when I was very convinced that my husband was becoming a zombie right beside me in bed and at any moment he could wake up and start munching on my brains! If I’m lying, I’m dying. It was cold and flu season, so in my defense, his breathing sounded like the walkers on The Walking Dead.

But that’s not a real fear. Not even a little bit. I should not be concerned about my husband becoming a fictional creature (although all monsters are fictional until they aren’t…). 

So when I face down fear, my first response should always be “Is this real?” Because, for me, often it’s not real at all. It’s something in my head that I need to remind myself can’t actually do me harm.

I also find this to be true in my dealings with other humans. When I feel left out, if I think someone looked at me funny, if someone made a joke that felt a little too pointed, I have to ask myself “Is that real?” and most often I find that I completely made something up in my head.

Squish. Die, spider, die.

2. Turn your “what ifs” into “even ifs.”

“What ifs” are a part of life. The unknown future always makes us question, “What happens next?” and that first question brings countless more on its heels. “What if I don’t get the job?” “What if we can’t pay the rent?” “What if our finances cause our marriage to fall apart?” 

These questions are particularly sinister because you feel like you need to ask them or you’re not being responsible. You should prepare yourself for all the possibilities, right? But usually, that’s just fear crawling into your hair, asking “what if,” and causing you to worry about things that may or may not be an issue in the future.

While fear asks “What if,” faith says “Even if.” We, as Jesus-followers, need to take the worries and worst-case scenarios that fear throws at us and use them to remind ourselves of Who we’re following. 

“Even if I don’t get the job, I know God is for me.”
“Even if I don’t know where the rent money is going to come from, I know God will provide all my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.”
“Even if the worst happens, I know He will never leave me or forsake me.”

When you choose to believe that even if the world crumbles, you will still be in God’s hands, you rob fear of all of its power.

Psalm 27 says,

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

So squish the spiders because having something crawling through your hair is gross.

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