The Extra-Terrestrial and Other Stuff

The other night we opened our small group by having everyone share a fear or something that really freaks out him or her. Before we began, I have to admit, I felt a little proud–after all, I really only had one main fear.

Too bad that fear is kind of crazy.

You see, I am terrified of something that really shouldn’t bother me. I’ve never had any experience with this thing, nor will I probably ever. Yet, the thought of it can start my heart racing, my body tingling. I’ll stay awake at night curled in a little ball, holding onto Matt’s arm as we sleep.

But if this thing is real, Matt’s arm isn’t going to help.

No, nothing can save me if the aliens come.

That’s right; I’m terrified of aliens, so terrified, in fact, that I cannot even look up a picture to place within this blog. I tried to find a picture of a UFO instead, minus the aliens, but when the pace of my breathing quickened, I had to stop.

I know they are probably not real, and I also know that, even if they are real, they most likely aren’t coming for me. Unless they can read minds and know I’m currently typing about how afraid I am and they come for me and then they take me to the mother ship and they stick those probe thingies in my eyeballs and then they impregnate me some little alien baby that will burst forth from my stomach in four months (they grow quickly) killing me and setting forth their plan to take over the human race.

Whew.

By the time it was my turn, I had heard fears ranging from giant camel spiders in Iraq to snakes to sinking in the ocean, and I felt like I could have a panic attack. I didn’t even realize that I shared some of these fears, and I was sure when I talked of my fear of aliens to the group, I might send some of us over the edge. But everyone just stared at me and gave a polite chuckle….

I know the fear is irrational, but, nonetheless, it is real. When Matt is away on a trip and I hear a noise in the dark, my mind goes to strange places. And while fear can serve a purpose–we stay away or are cautious of unsafe environments–this fear does nothing useful.

And, unfortunately, when I really began to think about this topic, I found that I have a list full of unproductive fears:

What if my children don’t love God when they’re older, and they rebel? What if they don’t love me? What if one of them gets sick–really sick? What if something happens to Matt?

The list could go on and on. And while the above list at least covers real people in my life and lists more rationale fears, the end result is the same: the fear gets me nowhere.

And since I’m too busy to waste my time dwelling on the unproductive, I choose to place my thoughts elsewhere:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, New International Version, 2010).

Not on snakes.

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd309/KenMarsh/python.jpg

Not on spiders.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v510/lyonlover/Africa%20Pictures/100_1778.jpg

And definitely not on aliens.

(No picture available)

What frightens you? How do you overcome fear?

17 thoughts on “The Extra-Terrestrial and Other Stuff”

  1. I love this post!!! My favorite part – "no picture available"

    I have irrational fears, too. I think deep down we all do. I have the natural fear of spiders and snakes, but one of my biggest fears is becoming a widow. I can't let Andy leave in the morning without saying 'I love you. Be safe." Even if we are fighting or annoyed with each other I always say it. It calms the fear in a weird way.

    1. Yeah, I've found that I can almost be superstitious about saying 'goodbye' and 'I love you.' Becoming a widow isn't my biggest fear, but it is definitely a concern, especially when Matt goes on a stretch of not eating healthy.

  2. I definitely have a fear of spiders. I think it just about qualifies as a phobia. That picture up there gave me the major heebie jeebies. As for other "irrational" fears, my main one is me being injured or incapacitated in some way when I'm alone with Jonathan & he's scared & doesn't know what to do. The scene in "Steel Magnolias" when Shelby's kidney gives out & baby Jackson is there alone is pretty much my worst fear put on film. I can't even watch that movie anymore which is really sad as it's one of my favorites. When that fear starts taking over my mind & imagination I try very hard to pray & ask God to protect my mind. I know He's watching over us & taking care of us.

    1. Oh, I can understand that fear, too. When my second was born, I had a bad hemorrhage in the hospital and lost half my blood. A couple of weeks later when I was home, I started bleeding again. I was so scared because I was alone with a newborn and 17 month old. I called 911 because when I was in the hospital, I started to pass out. Thankfully, I didn't lose that much blood this time and stayed conscious. Also, an aunt and uncle who had never visited our home before chose that day to come over–they arrived as the ambulance pulled up. So, yes–God is always watching over us and taking care of us!

    1. Oh, yes; I think any parent can relate to that fear. I'd imagine that the fear might grow stronger as our kids grow and gain independence. But that's where faith and trust come in–we do our best to raise our children in the way they should go, and we have to trust that they will follow. And when they don't, or when bad things happen, we have our own Father to turn to for comfort and wisdom.

  3. When I was younger I use to say as kind of a joke, "The only thing I fear is women and the poooleece"! Maybe I wasn't as dumb as I thought… Like almost everyone else I fear my children dying before me. I fear not being the man God has called me to be. As I get older I have less fear of the world as I begin to "fear" God, as in Psalm, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." and Isaiah 8:13, "The Lord is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread." My take on that is how can we fear what God has either caused or allowed? If I fear what God is ultimately in control of, how disrespected must the Father of every breath of every being be? Fear in this setting is reverence. Easier said than done. Sorry for rambling, great post. By the way I've never heard anyone who's claimed to be kidnapped by aliens claim to know God. Just a thought…

  4. So as your non-Christian friend here, I'm going to just throw this out there and maybe/maybe not offend you and/or your other friends (you're welcome to delete–I won't be angry). But I'm going to say that this "fear of God" thing is one reason I see no incentive to becoming Christian. Why on Earth would I want to fear or even "dread" God? Even if I understood "fear" because of the heaven vs. hell thing, "dread" is quite the word. Dread. You are to DREAD the one you worship? Seriously? It seems irrational. I guess somehow fear equals love?–I don't get it, but its cool if you all do.

    That said, I guess I share some of the same fears as your other friends. I fear my daughter will hate and judge others that maybe have a different skin color, religious preference or sexual orientation. I fear she'll also grow up without me. Considering my upcoming deployment, I would be lying if I said I haven't thought seriously about the possibility that I won't be coming home, even though that's what I tell her.

    1. It's a fair question Joy; although, I have to admit I was so confused. I hadn't seen Floyd's comment before yours, and I had no idea what brought on your comment.The way I understand those verses are like this: God is perfect. God is holy. God created me and everything else in this world. He is all powerful and mighty. I, on the other hand, am far from perfect. Even though I view myself (and most people I know) as 'good' people, none of us can claim to be perfect. We screw up all the time. Therefore, this perfect, all-powerful God could strike me down at any time because my sin disgusts Him. But here's why I'm a Christian: He doesn't, and He won't. He let His Son, Jesus, take my punishment when He died on the cross. It's that knowledge of God and knowledge of self that leads us to have a healthy fear, or reverence. And to look at this is an easy light, if you saw God face-to-face, would you not be scared? It would freak me out! And the whole dread thing (I think; I'm not a theologian) is, again, in light of my sin. Knowing that sin deserves death, seeing God face-to-face is something I shouldn't look forward to, yet, again, because of Jesus I can. God is clear in Scripture that, while He is holy, more than anything, He loves and desires a relationship with all of us.Does that make any sense at all? Those verses that Floyd quoted can be tough.Where and when are you deploying? I'll definitely start praying for you now.

      1. Hey Jennifer. Does it make sense? Yes and no. Yes in that it was the answer I was sort of expecting. Like I said in my first post, somehow I know there's a formula where love equalss fear, or fear equals love. But no, in that it's never clicked for me and probably never will. But really, I regretted posting it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have turned your blog into a religious question, especially from the post of another of your friend's. I've resisted previously readinging many of your blogs, but this time I don't know what got into me. I figured you wouldn't be mad, but still I woke up this morning with that sick feeling because I think it was still wrong. So I'm sorry.

        Anyway, I'm going to Bagram in a few weeks (shouldn't say exactly when in this forum probably). Its for 7 months. And its to do a casualty notice job with the Army. 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, plus any time we get messages in the middle of the night, they'll wake me up. All the killed, wounded, and missing in action for the entire country will hit my desk for… paperwork?, I guess. I honestly don't really know. It's not "mortuary" like you remember Services doing, but "casualty" which MSS used to do, and is now part of our merged job I guess. Jeremy says I should be thankful I'm not actually handling the bodies this time, which is true, but I supposed hundreds (thousands?) of killed and wounded names could get to you, too. Overall, it's not a terrible gig, but it's not great either. Whatever the conditions are, whatever the job is, I figure I can suck up and deal with. But lLeaving Jasper, well, that's a test I'm not 100% confident about doing. I suppose if I can just take one step at a time away from here and toward the airplane, I'll eventually get there.

        Thanks for the prayers!

  5. Oh my goodness, this makes me laugh. "No picture available." Too funny.

    My fears all relate to my kids…even now that they're adults. My mind just sometimes goes "to the dark side" and I have to call myself back – like in that old movie where the lady kept screaming, "Run to the light, children! Run to the light!" Sometimes I say it out loud, which probably makes people around me afraid. 🙂

  6. Jennifer, somehow i feel the blame for your fear of aliens. I allowed Dad to take you to see ET when you were too young. I’m sorry and had no idea this would haunt you. You know my fear, so i won’t bore anyone else with that.

    But, i would like Joy to know i will pray everyday for her. I cannot imagine the fear and heartbreak involved leaving husband and child for 7 months. I will pray that God will keep her protected every day; that she can Skype regularly with husband and child; that God would give her the daily strength to cope with the demands of each day; and i will pray that our precious Lord will reveal Himself to Joy and let her know how very much He loves her.

  7. Oh Jennifer, you crack me up! I love this post — no picture available. Oh my gosh you are funny.

    Yeah, so I'm afraid of dying — pretty typical, I guess. It's better now that I believe in God. I used to want to be a vampire because they live forever.

    I'm also afraid of flying — also better now that I believe in God. But I still have to hum quietly if we hit turbulence. I'm sure the travelers seated around me think I'm a total wackjob, but humming relaxes me.

    I'm also afraid of throwing up. I've only thrown up 3 times in my entire 40 years. No lie. And belief in God doesn't really do much for that one.

    As for Joy's comments above…I'm glad she posted…I'm a questioner. Her question makes sense to me. And I think we can't be afraid to ask questions…or hear someone else ask them.

    Just my two cents. Love this post, Jennifer. Writer's block my elbow!!!

  8. It's SOO easy for me to get scared about stuff. Usually about physical ailments/injuries due to everything that I see working in a hospital. And it's easy to want to live in a bubble so I can't get hurt.

    Sometimes if I can too overwhelmed with fear and what the future holds, I just go to the concordance and look up fear/worry and read every single bible verse that has to do with it, and it calms me down.

    Because, really- I shouldn't be afraid of anything if I know that Jesus is going to be with me.

    Ps. I liked this post a lot. 🙂

    1. You definitely have the perfect plan for dealing with fear, and your fears are understandable given what you see. But you're right–He didn't give us a spirit of fear! Now, if only I could find a Bible verse that says, “Thus sayeth the Lord: I did not create extra terrestrials.” 🙂

  9. Aliens are definitely creepy!

    I have all those rational fears that you listed above as well…but the weird ones too. Like body switching, time travel and other things from science fiction! hehe

  10. What frightens me? I'll tell you what frightens me! It's that my daughter is losing her mind!

    Just kidding. Remember the reoccurring nigthtmare I had as a kid? I'd be walking in the middle of the street to my house in Fairview, NJ and about 1 1/2 streets away I could see a woman walking in the middle of the street towards me and when she got 100 to 150 ft. from me, all of a sudden she would come at me fast, like fast forwarding a movie and just as she got in front of me….. she turned into a gorilla! Now that scared me! If I was walking in the middle of the street now and I saw a woman walking toward me in the middle of the street, I don't care how far away she was from me, I would run the other way, even if she didn't turn into a gorilla.

    Love,

    Dad

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