Louise M. Gouge Deals with Fear…
Not the nervous feelings I would get while waiting for a job interview or the shakiness I used to feel before singing a solo in church. Not even the raw fear of flying that has turned me into a non-flier.
I’m talking about a fear that I didn’t even realize I was experiencing.
It crept quietly into my mind and heart as I watched Hurricane Irma approach my Central Florida home right after Hurricane Harvey had destroyed major parts of Texas, including the homes and possessions of people I actually know. Having been through three hurricanes in a matter of weeks back in 2004, I knew what could come in the way of destruction. This time I was determined not to be afraid. I prayed that I would set a good example for my grandchildren. I quoted my favorite Bible verses – “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee” and “Thou wilt keep him (or her) in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.” I even posted them on Facebook to proclaim my faith that God had everything in His hands.
But as the hurricane drew closer, with the very powerful edge of the eye due to hit our home—at night of course, my mind seemed to go into high alert against my will. While my dear hubby (aka Mr. Cool) was sawing logs, I couldn’t sleep. My pulse pounded, and I’m pretty sure my blood pressure was nearing the stratosphere.
I finally had to confess to the truth. I was afraid. Just what I’d vowed, and tried so hard, not to be.
But what was I afraid of? Death? Destruction? Probably. But mainly it was the unknown that frightened me. Would we have tornadoes? Flooding? Snakes in the water? The problem with being a writer is that I’ve always let my imagination go where it would for the sake of story ideas. But this was real life. Scary real life. If I was so afraid, where was my so-called faith?
Like the cancer my husband didn’t know he had last spring, I needed to have my fear diagnosed and let the Great Physician remove it so healing could begin. As I did this, I realized that being afraid was okay. We’d done all we could both physically and spiritually to prepare for the hurricane. I chose to trust the Lord, but I was still quaking in my boots.
And so, today I come to you with my first blog post for CHRISTIANS READ with an honest confession. Taking a page from Julie Arduini’s post from yesterday, I can see that pretending to be fine or, in my case, not frightened by the storm’s uncertainty, is not being real. If nothing else, this experience will make me a better writer. After all, our characters should reflect real life. But I hope it will also help me to ’fess up to me deepest feelings, whatever the situation. I think that will set an even better example for my grandchildren. And it will bring me closer to the Lord.
FYI, we made it through with a minimum of damage, and our hearts go out to those who have truly suffered these storms. As I write this, I’m praying God will help those who are experiencing Hurricane Maria.
Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical romance fiction, receiving the prestigious IRCA in 2005 and placing as a finalist in 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2017. When she isn’t writing, she and David, her husband of fifty-plus years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums. Please visit her Web site at https://louisemgougeauthor.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouiseMGouge/, Twitter: @Louisemgouge