A lesson on how to deal with fear

For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of bees, wasps, and hornets. It has a big long fancy name even: Apiphobia. I live in Canada and we have six months of winter, three of spring and fall, and three months of summer. Every summer I have to deal with relearning how to not scream in my yard. It’s a process….

When you come from a colder climate you get a little stir crazy by the time the warm weather starts to come around. You wear saddles when there is still snow on the ground, shorts with winter boots, you go to the grocery store and shiver in your sun dress.

If it’s a nice day outside you will put off whatever work you have inside the house just to weed eat the yard.

Every year my phobia gets in the way of me enjoying our short time of bliss….

This year my family decided to put up a greenhouse. It’s something that we’ve talked about for years and we finally did it! Shout out to all our neighbors and friends for helping us put it together.

I love flowers and every year I put together some planters. This year we went wild. It had been so long since we had something to feel joyful about. It was a lot of work but worth it.

This is not a picture of my greenhouse. Ours is a bit more redneck.

Going into a greenhouse when you are afraid of pollinators is a challenge. I loved the idea of it but actually having to stand there and water….I was shaking in my boots. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t want to face my fear. I joked that the greenhouse is my shock therapy.

Now a couple months later I can say that I can go outside and be at peace with the bees, wasps, and hornets. It’s not that I’m not afraid because I still am it’s just that I’ve gotten to a point where the fear doesn’t consume my mind. I still feel myself starting to panic at times but I’m able to mange my thoughts and calm myself down. I’ve been able to really enjoy this summer.

How did I get here?

Step one: Figuring out what was triggering me. Now there are multiple triggers but I’m going to focus on one just to make my point clear. The sound of their buzzing can give me goosebumps. It’s still the thing that sets me off the most.

Step two: Pray. I prayed for help a lot and also started using the time to pray for everything and anything in order to calm and distract myself. I will admit this alone didn’t cure me but it helped.

Step three: Focus on something else. Since sound was a trigger I started to focus on the sound of my hose spraying water. As long as the hose was on I could calm myself down. It worked but only when the hose was on. It was a step in the right direction. I love music and would hum to myself or sing if no one was around.

Step four: Take every thought captive. This was a big one for me. Where was my head at? Was I thinking of good thoughts? No I was thinking of the worst thing that could happen. I had to turn my thoughts around.

Step five: Trust God. I wasn’t trusting God when I was in a fearful state. Now fear is natural, I’m not saying that feeling fear is bad. What I was doing in my actions was relevelling an area that I didn’t trust God in. My worst fear is that I will get stung and die. I’m not allergic but I still fear this possibility and that is the root of my fear. I had to understand what this was all about. Then I had to reassure myself by being honest with myself.

Okay, so I get stung, what is the worst thing that could happen? I have an allergic reaction. Well, I’ve had those before, God has always been there for me. The nearest emergency room is twenty minutes away and I don’t drive. My cellphone is close at hand, I live with my parents, and I have friends in town that would drop everything to help me. Also God is with me. What if I die? Well, then that’s the way I’m meant to go. Make sure you are right with God every day and focus on Him. God loves imperfect people. He loves you and He wants you to get over this fear. Trust Him with your life, all of it.

And now I can go outside and face one of my fears. Which means that God is going to bring in a new challenge for me so I can overcome it to. As long as He is with me, it will be okay.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8(NIV)

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