When Zoë was born back in 2010, her initial years made me marvel. More than any of her sisters before her, she appeared to be fearless. I got caught up in her fearless first few years on the earth.
Then she became more conscious of her surroundings. I don’t think she was copying anyone. All by herselfby herself she developed a fear of snails. I believe it’s a phase she’s going through, but it’s very real to her, so II don’t treat her lightly as she goes through. I take her fright and nerves very seriously and look to ease her of it whenever a snail presents itself.
Her fear reminds me of the various phobias I came across when I was younger, but didn’t have myself. Some were afraid of the dark, some were afraid of spiders, but all those didn’t bother me so much. Obviously I got cocky thinking that unlike others I had no fears.
As it transpired, my fear was even more prevalent. My greatest fear was me. I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of succeeding. I was afraid that I would never be good enough. I was afraid of never being able to be of any true value to anyone or myself. To say my greatest fear was rather self-absorbed would be an understatement. It had me bound I’m crippling inadequacy and self-doubt for years.
When God’s Word says perfect love casts out fear, it is not just a pleasant saying. It is not a mantra to repeat in the hope that it might comecome true. For me it was an invitation to cease in the self-absorption and get absorbed in the reality of God. Allow His complete love to be my full experience and be focused on Him and see everything in the light of that.
This proved to be a significant undertaking. One that is a prominent guide to me even to this day, for any time I should forget it, it will not be long before I will need to be reminded of it. My wife is a constant source of support as she reminds me that it is not just about me and it is not all about me. When I look into His holiness and reflect on His righteousness and all things that surround become shadows in the light of the presence of God that enables the perfect love to kick out even my greatest fear.
It’s an ongoing commitment, but it helps me day by day. One day I trust it will help Zoë too.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden