Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Personal Safety

I wish I could deal with my fear, once and for all, and be past it. I get tired of coming up against the same anxieties again and again. Why does my faith desert me when I need it most? That should not be a rhetorical question, as I know I am in charge of whether I choose to fear or have faith, but sometimes I am overcome by my worries, and lose my way to get back to safety and stability in my own mind.

I worry about so much of what I can't control. If I'm safe in my house, with my loved ones within arm's reach, I'm more than happy to let the winds blow and the snow swirl. But that approach only works when we don't have anywhere pressing to be. Yesterday Jason had to go to work, and Ava had a voice lesson, and I don't like to be thought of as a wimp when everyone else is emerging from hibernation after a storm.

So he goes, and returns home safely, and I take Ava to a nearby city for her lesson, and fear bubbles up inside of me at the four fresh accidents in the intersection I'm sliding my way through. I can drive slowly, and feel in control of my safety, but I can't do anything about the other drivers who are rushing through yellow lights, and who don't have proper snow tires, and who seem oblivious to the fact that the roads are sheer ice.

Safety is a high priority for me, but the problem is that so many unpredictable things can happen. I recognize that this is true even when we haven't had fresh snow and wind. It's true anytime, but I can't dwell on that idea or I would never go anywhere at all. I'm trying to choose peace and joy, and panicking about being in an accident is not conducive to those calming emotions.

I suppose the answer is to bravely face up to the worst that could happen, and then trust God to take care of me and those I love. I can't tell my kids to manage their fear in this way and not model it myself. Sometimes it's easy, but most times it's not. The higher the stakes, the more challenging it becomes. I have to recognize that I am not in control and never will be. Weather is out of my control, as are the other drivers, and so is the timing that might put me in harm's way when I least expect it.

I have always been kept safe up until this point, and I wish that counted for more in my fearful mind. I would prefer to see the positive instead of the negative, but I seem to be wired to anticipate the worst possible scenario instead of assuming that I will be safe and okay. I need to put more trust in God, to carry me through as he always has before, and less stock in my own meager abilities.

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