Monday, April 27, 2009

Scared of the Dark

After torrential rain on Saturday, Sunday's bit of rain seemed tame by comparison. As the afternoon wore on, the day turned into a lovely evening complete with blue skies and nice temps. And then the power went out. For the second week in a row, the house became silent for no apparent reason and candles became our only light source. This time though, Dan became the hero and hooked up the generator since Consumer's Power seemed to be keeping the future moment of repair a secret. Many others had the same idea and the street soon became alive with the rattle and roar of gasoline-powered machines. Lights began popping on one by one.

Zach was back and forth to his friends house checking on progress and helping Dan set up our power source. I was surprised when he breathlessly decided to come into the living room and sit with me. Grabbing the blanket on the couch he reported that he was scared. I thought one of his friends might have said something to begin this line of thinking, but it wasn't that. He didn't know what brought the feelings on but wondered if I felt the same. No buddy, not this time. We have food and water, a generator that works, lights that blow away the dark and we are all safe. He then proceeded to ask a million questions about electricity and how it all works--Zach's typical way of processing. Thankfully, Dan came in then and helped fill in the gaps (Uh, there were many!).

We never could get to the source of his fear so we let him sleep in his sleeping bag in our room (next to Dad's side of the bed) to help him feel better. Of course, 30 minutes after he went to bed, the power came on again...

This time, I wasn't afraid.

But I do remember a time though when I was very afraid. In 2001, as days went by after September 11, I felt fear in the pit of my gut. I had a toddler who did not know why he couldn't watch Blue's Clues on TV since his parents were glued to CNN for more details of the attacks. I remember shopping at the grocery store for non-perishable items to store in the pantry and stocking up on water. I think of the many meals where I barely touched my food because I was sinking into a depression. Visions of having to escape--something, but what?--out to the fields behind our house left me terrified (I am visual to a fault). I carried happiness around the house in order to be calm in front of my baby. Fear? Yeah, it was there. Fear of the unknown certainly was causing it, and I was in a desperate search to gain back control of my little world.

I felt that fear again this morning as I listened to a Dr. explain swine flu and the perceived epidemic that we could have soon. But this time, many years after 9/11, I think I am a bit stronger. I fought back against that gnawing at the pit of my stomach as I listened to the radio and I do it as I type. I don't want to give in to it. I refuse to let fear run my life as it does in others. There are people close to me that consistently let fear overtake them and then pass that along to others. They live in such dread that fun and living life and celebrating get squashed in the "what ifs."

As I told Zach last night, God is in control of each situation in our lives. He knew the minute that the power would turn back on. He knows every detail of our lives. He simply asks that we trust him. Trust that he is involved deeply in our lives and that his presence will sustain us when we doubt. And when we tremble. And when control is out of our reach.

Please, God, give me that faith every day.