Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gripping Fear

By: Lisa Petrarca

Inching closer we stood on our tiptoes to peek through the heads of the thick crowd. My mouth opened in surprise as I looked at my sister, “I’ve never seen anything like this in all the years I’ve lived here.” She grinned, “That is so cool!” We tried to maneuver our way in, kids in tow, mumbling, “Excuse me, excuse me…we just want to get a closer look.”

Perched on the top of the pier railing, long strong beak pressed tightly to his chest, he slowly moved his head back and forth; eyes shifting in curiosity at the large crowd pointing black objects in his direction.

We softly walked closer trying to place the young children as close to him as we dare. Snapping picture after picture, feeling more confident as he continued to stand still and pose, the kids moving even closer.

I looked around to find my teenage son. I wanted him in the picture with his young niece & nephews. I called out to him, “Go stand next to the pelican so I can get your picture with everyone.

“NO!” he firmly replied.

“C’mon…I need to get a picture,” I pleaded, wondering why he was being so difficult. I grabbed his arm to pull him over; he yanked it quickly out of my grasp.

“You know I HATE birds!” He was now yelling at me, “I’m not going to!”

“What’s wrong with you?” As the words came out of my mouth, I flashed back to a time, several years ago on a bike ride. A large seagull swooped down and literally snatched a sandwich out of his hand in mid air. He was very young and so afraid at the time…he cried and cried. That one incident continued to grip him with fear, even as a teenager.

Notice how the young children were eager to stand beside the pelican. They trusted that they would be safe. They hadn’t experienced trauma at the beak of a bird. My teenager on the other hand was no longer able to trust that he would be safe. He felt he had to protect himself. Staying a safe distance away from the bird. Because of this fear, he was unable to get the same beautiful picture that the children did with the pelican.

We too do this in our lives. Because of past pain, we keep a safe distance from people in our lives to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, we are actually missing out on important, meaningful, loving relationships.

Is there something that you continue to hang onto in your life? Has something in your past caused deep-rooted fear and pain? Have you spent years hiding behind protective walls such as, alcohol, drug abuse, poor choices, gambling, explosive anger, compulsive shopping, a negative self-image, or unrealistic perfectionism?

God wants to take our hurt and pain away. He wants us to lay it at His feet. Ask Him to help you get over the pain and be free from the destructive behavior that is keeping you from fulfilling the Lords plan for your life.

In You, O Lord I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress: therefore, for Your name's sake, Lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me. For You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
Psalm 31:1-5

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy.
Psalm 31:7-8

As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me.

Psalm 55:16-18


  1. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' This is a very good question indeed, in which the answer I think is very simple. The difficult thing though is to better understand life and the universe. God is inside ourselves! God is not sitting somewhere up there on the sky, being ON CALL to please all of our inquiries and solve all of our problems… This is very selfish to believe. The Ancient Greeks who weren’t Christians they used to say : “Help me God, but move also your own hand…”! Great post and awasome photos Lisa. Hugs.

  2. So very true Phivos...thank you for your words of wisdom!