Combating imaginary fears

Published 9:30 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

By Karen Y. Stevens

I took God seriously, when He said women will be fearful of snakes, and since Harvey, it seems a lot are under foot.

Even writing about these horrible creatures is making me cringe.

The problem is not me talking about them in the present; it’s what it does to my subconscious later. I wake up in the middle of the night screaming, because I’m certain they are all in my bed. When I drive my car, or sitting on the couch, I think one is under my seat, and it is a very real fear.

My friends think it is funny to continue to describe where they saw them, etc. after I have informed them that I don’t want to discuss the subject. They don’t understand my fear, because it’s not their fear.

Oh, they have a fear of something, because everyone does, but it’s just not what I’m afraid of, or the depth that I’m afraid.

God tells us not to be fearful, but it also says in Genesis 3, that God would put enmity between the serpent, and woman. The word enmity means an active hatred for someone or something. Well, I defiantly have an active hatred.

God always uses a lot of symbolism in the Bible. I can’t help but wonder if the symbolism here, is that I should hate evil, as much as I hate these terrible creatures.

I do hate injustice and think it’s wrong for people to mistreat others.

I am not a huge animal lover, but I certainly don’t want any animal to be mistreated, other than the terrible creatures we are discussing.

I have long felt God wanted me to write about this, but I would not do it, because that means I would have to talk about them, and then have nightmares later. I’m unsure if this is for my benefit, or someone else, but due to recent events it has come to the surface again.

I don’t want to be fearful, but wanting something and making it so, are two different things. I’m unsure how you combat an imaginary fear? My subconscious is putting these thoughts in my head, and usually when I’m asleep, so how do you fight that?

I love “WebMD,” so I Googled it and it says “Nightmares are vividly realistic, disturbing dreams that rattle you awake from a deep sleep. They often set your heart pounding from fear.”

It went on to say that two to eight percent of the adult population is plagued by nightmares. The reasons can vary from eating a late-night snack to a traumatic experience.

I had several traumatic experiences while growing up. My Father was working on the plumbing to the bathtub when I was about six or seven and one crawled into the drain pipe, up into the tub. I went to take a bath and stepped on it.

When you see one in your house, you develop the fear that they can violate your safety zone, such as your home.

Several other events occurred that added to that trauma. I think in these circumstances, only God can help you with these deep fears.

I’ve never prayed for God to relieve me from these fears. I thought that I was supposed to feel this way toward these creatures, because God said so, until I realized I’m only in a group of two to eight percent .

I will start praying.


Karen Y. Stevens is founder of the Orange County Christian Writers