When Fear Overtakes…by Linda Carlblom

It was just a simple misunderstanding, but even after it had been cleared up, it took my heart a little time to relax and my mind to slow down enough that I could drift off to sleep. The wee hours of the morning had crept in and my very responsible young adult daughter wasn’t home yet. It wasn’t like her to be out so late, especially on a night before she had to get up for work the next day. Long story short, I texted her and didn’t get a reply. I finally called her. Twice. When she answered the second call, it sounded like I had awoken her. She was safe, sleeping at a friend’s house and thought she had texted me to let me know. I never got the text.

woman in dark

But this blog isn’t about my daughter. It’s about how fear gripped my heart and squeezed until I thought I’d have a heart attack. I’m not usually a worrier. I normally go to bed and sleep as soundly as a teenager on a school morning. I don’t worry about her because she has never given me reason to. She communicates when plans change or if things are going down differently than they normally do.

I can’t explain why I was so worried. Something just didn’t feel right. My mind started spinning out of control. What if she was kidnapped, attacked, or had a car accident? This is when it isn’t good to be a creative writer. I imagined cryptic texts she might send as she sneaked a message to me behind her captors’ backs. I pictured solemn-faced police showing up at my front door with the unthinkable news that there’d been a horrific accident. I pictured my face on the six o’clock news explaining the tragedy. I tried to convince myself that she was fine, that she’d just fallen asleep at her friends’ house before she had a chance to contact me. But that quiet voice of reason only whispered, while noisy fear shouted.

scared childSo what did I do? First, I found myself comforting my uneasy heart with the same things I used to soothe my daughter’s nighttime fears when she was a little girl. I recited this scripture from Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you” (NASB). We used to sing that song at bedtime to drive away any fears that might creep in. You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwEXKPaG9Vg . I told myself that my fears were just made up. They weren’t any more real than the things children fear in the night. I breathed deep and slow. I shared my fear with my husband who assured me our daughter was just fine.

My fears held resolutely on.  It wasn’t until I heard her sleepy voice on the other end of the phone that its grip loosened. She was fine, apologetic, and would be home after work tomorrow. “Okay. I just needed to know you are safe.”

I was calm, loving, reassuring to her. After I hung up, tears stung my eyes and I heaved a giant sigh. I went up the stairs and into my dark bedroom. As I crawled under the covers my husband turned to me and even in the dark, I knew his eyes held question marks.

“I talked to her. She’s fine.”

My breathing slowed, my heartbeat relaxed, and soon I was asleep.

Tell us in the comments how you deal with fear, whether reasonable or unreasonable, real or imagined?

Linda

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9 Responses to When Fear Overtakes…by Linda Carlblom

  1. Judy Robertson says:

    We’ve all been through it, for sure, but you capture a well written truth for all of us to cling to. Thanks, Linda for the reminder

    Like

  2. I can so totally relate to this! Fears are fears, but none consume me like those related to my family’s well-being. I don’t know how those with no trust or faith in God manage…

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    • Linda Carlblom says:

      Agree, Christine. Faith is key in maintaining my sanity and peace! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    • As someone who is an atheist and has no place in my worldview for gods or religion, maybe I can help explain how I, at least, deal with fear. I go for statistics, logical thought, or fact. For example, a few months ago, my mother had taken my young daughter on a drive up to our cabin. I had sent her a text about something and didn’t get an answer. After a couple hours, I tried again, with no response. I worried because it’s what I do. I checked ADOT and saw there was a wreck on the road she may have taken. Rather than freaking out, I reminded myself that if it had been my mom and daughter involved, someone would have contacted me by now. I also reminded myself that the timing of the accident wasn’t exactly right for it to have been them, and finally that the cell phone signal up there isn’t always the most reliable. Also, my mother drives like an old woman on that road and *I* am far more likely to get in an accident going up there than she is. Knowing all these things kept me from worrying too much until her texts finally started coming through later that afternoon. I had been right, and her cell phone lost its signal. For me, gods or religion aren’t necessary to stay calm or be happy, though I certainly don’t begrudge anyone else a desire to have some kind of faith. It’s just an extra unnecessary step for me. 🙂

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      • Linda Carlblom says:

        Thanks for your comment, Kristen. I know a lot of people get by without faith. For me, it just isn’t an option. And for the times when crisis or tragedy does strike, it sustains me beyond any peace I could conjure up on my own. Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s always helpful to listen to other views. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s all good. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I try to think rationally most of the time as well, Kristen, I do. It’s just that sometimes logic fails me. I didn’t always believe the way I do now, so I understand where you’re coming from. But like Linda, faith gives me a strength and peace that goes beyond anything I could reason my way into or out of. I do appreciate the ability to converse reasonably about what works and doesn’t for each of us though… Society too often is quick to discount another’s views and experiences!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Linda Carlblom says:

    I love the rational discussion that takes place on this blog. Thank you, for offering differing opinions without becoming caustic. Respect reigns! 🙂 This readership is the best. Love you all!

    Liked by 1 person

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