I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges…

I do not know how many types of fear sociologists/psychologists/people with fancy degrees say there are, but I have a master’s degree and can tell you I have all of them. I am afraid I am going to say an inappropriate word instead of something sweet in Arabic.  I am afraid my clothes will not cover me appropriately.  I am afraid that I am going to loudly and clearly verbalize a secret by talking in my sleep while staying at a retreat with a new roommate.  I am afraid that my fear will be translated into harm to another.

Even in my attempts to build bridges, my fear instead builds walls.

I am afraid my fear will be seen on my face as I walk down the street in the Middle East as a young, American, single woman.  My very presence communicates solitude, vulnerability, loose morals, and dishonor.  The level of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion reaches an all-time high when I realize that I took a wrong turn down an unfamiliar street full of national young men.  Suddenly, I do not want to be radiant and beautiful and confident and strong…I just want to be invisible!  I just want to have a man with me.  I just want to be sure that I am covered up and that this street is not a dead end.

Fear not…—but I heard this story about this one girl this one time…

Fear not…—but do You have any idea what could happen to me?!

Fear not…—but what if they corner me and start yelling?

Fear not…—but You never said it was going to be this hard!

God is love.  There is no fear in love.  In us, His love is being made perfect.  I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges…

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