I WAS AFRAID
By Rebecca Zachry
I was afraid.
I was afraid to go out and do something
but I was afraid that standing still was not enough.
I was afraid to love, and to be loved
but I was afraid to be alone.
I was afraid to move on
because what if it was to soon,
what if I moved on too far and too fast
but what if moving on was the fear I was supposed to face?
I was afraid of caring, and caring too much
and the inevitability of being crushed.
I was afraid to change,
but I was afraid of the monotony that I was stewing in.
I was afraid to let go
and I was afraid to hold on.
I was afraid to think, to reason, to trust.
I was afraid that I wasn't enough.
I was afraid of death
but I was also afraid of living.
I was afraid of the pain
but I was afraid of not feeling.
I was afraid to speak out,
because what if I was heard?
What if someone was listening?
But I was afraid of being silent
and afraid losing my voice.
I was afraid to let my guard down
so I built my walls high.
I was afraid of letting anyone see me at my weakest,
and to let anyone see me cry.
I was afraid of the inevitable,
so much so that I couldn't focus on the present.
I was afraid of the dark,
and what could be living there.
I was afraid of being transparent,
of letting anyone see me as I really am.
I was afraid to let anyone in.
I was afraid of fear.
I was afraid of my own pulse, thundering though my ears
because it meant I was alive,
it meant I had to do something.
It meant that I couldn't just simply vegetate,
waiting for someone else to do something
waiting for something to change on its own
waiting for someone to save me.
It meant that I had to do it myself, or not at all.
But I was afraid.
I was being suffocated.
I was paralyzed.
Because I was afraid.
I was afraid and tired of being afraid.
Yea, though I walked through the shadow of the valley of death,
the spirit of fear was still standing over me,
griping me like a vice.
I was not strong or courageous.
Fear was my enemy,
but also the toxic friend whom I needed the least,
but was always there.
It had become nearly symbiotic,
my relationship with fear.
My relationship with this parasite.
I did not know how to be unafraid,
but I was cutting my ties with fear.
Little by little,
I found that I could praise.
I hadn't found courage, but perhaps I had found its source.
I found that I could pray.
I hadn't cast out fear completely, but I had found the one who could.
I found that I could trust.
I hadn't been able to control my life, but I was gaining an understanding as to why.
I found that I could love.
I hadn't completely grasped the concept, but now it was slightly less elusive.
I found that I could be loved.
I hadn't seen before that there were people around me who cared.
I found peace.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
I found my constant.
You who fear him, trust in the Lord-- He is their help and shield.
I became more strong and courageous,
because my Father in heaven goes with me,
He will never leave me nor forsake me.
I found that I could move again.
I could be His hands and feet.
I found my voice,
and I found that some people did want to hear.
I found that I could look forward to the future,
and not behold its mysteries in sheer terror as I had done before,
because God knows what plans He has for me,
plans for good things, to give me hope, and a future.
I found I was not afraid to show people how God truly made me,
I was not afraid to be real, to be transparent.
I had found hope.
I had found peace.
"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Psalm 118:6