Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, September 2, 2011

Facing Fears

What can I say?  You never know when God is going to make you face your fears....or, on any given day make you face at least one of them.  Am I convinced it's God that wants me to get over this fear I'm referring to?  Pretty much.  Because we're really only supposed to fear God.  And to let fear of other things into our lives is not healthy.

Are you wondering what my fear is?  First, let me warn you this is a rather long post.  Secondly, if you've been reading this blog of mine for any time at all you've read a few stories I've told about ours cows now and again.  One of the most annoying things they do is to knock over the feed trough EVERY SINGLE DAY.  It's as though they want to get every single morsel and the only way to do that is to knock it over and get it out of the way to get the bits that have landed on the ground.

They aren't the neatest of eaters in case you didn't know.  I've stood there and watched them a few times...not graceful, I promise you. {Head shake and shoulder shutter.}

If you recall,  I started off afraid of them, but learned they were pretty much afraid of me, too.  I watched Johnny do it with ease and thought, 'oh, I can do that.'  I was able to then go into the pasture, right the trough, and feed them.  

But, guess what?  Now they aren't afraid of me anymore.  I think they like me a little because they know I have something they  They like to get a bit too much into my personal space.  And no amount of hand waving and "ha-yah's!" are going to move them.

Don't forget....I was born and raised a city girl and this country life?  Well, it's only a few years new to me.  The biggest animal I'd ever been around was our family dog, Dutch, a labrador retriever.  He was HUGE, but he was a lovable dog, so fear would be the last thing you'd think of when referencing him.
{Real poor quality photo here, but this is a scanned copy of a polaroid instant camera photograph.  Yes, that's me and sweet Dutch who was undoubtedly the best dog ever from my childhood.}

Before I continue, I want to say that I am not fearful of the calves we have.  Just "Big Mama, Little Mama, and Mister."

Okay.  So.  What happened to inspire these thought provoking words?   I know you are just dying to hear about it!  (just kidding.)  

Today, like every other day.  I watched for the big cows to move to the back pasture.  When they are back there, I can get to the front pasture, fix the trough, and get out of the pen before they come around.  As soon as they see me, they head that direction, so it's minutes were talking about here before I have to face my fear...  Ha!!  It generally works.

Today though, trough is righted, and I'm off to the garage to fill feed buckets.  The bags are heavy mind you, so I'm using a scooper to fill buckets until the bags are low enough I can pick them up and just pour.  I fill buckets....and a little distance away I hear a "thump!"

Immediately, I KNOW what that noise is.  I look out the garage and yes, Big Mama has tossed over the trough.  You want to talk about one very mad, country girl want-to-be.  Well, that was me.  I grabbed the full feed buckets and stomped over there.  I set them down and my hands went on my hips.  I think this is something I do when I'm yelling at my kids, too.  They could tell you for sure or not.

"What are you DOING?  Really.  You couldn't wait two more minutes?"   Big Mama and Mister are standing right there looking at me.  I actually reached over the fence and gave her head a big shove!  She  shook like she was batting away a fly.  I then made a couple attempts at standing up the trough by reaching through the fence and it was clearly not going to work.  The angle it was at had the legs getting caught in the fence.

My fear kicks in because now I realize that in order to feed them I'm going to have to go back in there.  And at this point they are right there, hovering around the gate.  Then I remember something that happened a few days ago when the calves had knocked over their trough.  That is a very unusual occurrence, by the way, but does happen upon occasion.  Well, that time I filled the wheelbarrow with hay, hung the feed bucket on the handle and went on into their pen.

It was actually quite funny and I truly think that anyone watching would have thought it even more funny than I did.  As I traipsed through the pasture I had to make my way around the huisache growing up here and there.  So, my path was quite curvy.  In case you don't know, huisache is a thorny, stick type bush and I didn't want to be scratched or flatten our wheelbarrow tires.

So here I am, curving my way around huisache with two very hungry calves following behind me.  I felt very much what the Pied Piper must have felt like.  It really was funny.  Every curve I made, they made right behind me.   I was quite tempted to keep on swerving around, just too see how long they'd follow me, but my grown up side kicked in and I made my way to their trough to feed them.

Let's go back to the big brats.  I figured I could use the same type of solution.  I could fill the wheelbarrow with hay, put the feed buckets on the handles and just push my way into the pasture.  That way, I would at least have the wheelbarrow between us.

For all intents and purposes it worked.  I tossed some hay to one side to distract them.  I thought myself doomed for a moment when I realized that the location in which I'd put the hay left two very large butts in my face....So, memory banks, don't fail me now.  Do cows kick backward or to the side?  By the Grace of God, I didn't really have to find out because as I moved in that direction, they decided they didn't like having me behind them, and moved over.  

I then managed to get over to the trough to fix it, fill it, and be on my way. Not without one more mishap.  Um, yeah, fresh cow-pie.  The only blessing in that situation was the fact I was wearing my Crocs.  Completely rubber shoes that can be power-washed with the water hose.  How I have managed to avoid cow-pies all this time I'm not sure, but this was the first time I suffered a direct hit.

When did my nerves settle?  It took a bit.  I came inside to change my clothes because I was drenched.  I looked in the mirror, saw my beet-red face, hay sticking out of my hair from every direction and the big sigh escaped.   Haaaaaaaa......

This is absolutely ridiculous.  This fear is consuming me.  I can't continue like this.

After cleaning up, I made my way to my bible to look up fear.  Because honestly, I'm tired of being afraid of them.  And I discovered that my scenario is somewhat similar to that of Moses in Exodus 4:1.  What does he say to the Lord? 

But Moses protested again, "what if they won't believe me or listen to me?  What if they say, "The Lord never appeared to you?"

What was the fear Moses carried in his heart?  He was anticipating how he thought the people were going to respond and this was causing him great fear.

My study bible explains it this way:  We often build up events in our minds and then panic over what might go wrong.  God does not ask us to go where He has not provided the means to help.  Go where He leads, trusting Him to supply COURAGE, CONFIDENCE, and RESOURCES at the right moment. 

That is my problem.  I am anticipating that the cows (very huge, weighing a whole lot more than I do cows) are going to do something to me.   The root of my fear is getting hurt.   And, I don't want to get hurt.  I think if they bumped me I'd be okay, but I am so afraid of being kicked or stepped on.  If they were friendly and wanted an ear rub, I'd be good, but these girls have spent their entire time in our pasture being skittish and afraid and I think their unpredictable behavior is what I fear.

Am I over this fear and ready for tomorrow?  Admittedly, not yet.  But, I will take with me the scripture I read and the thoughts I learned today.  Next time I will feed our cows and dig deep for some courage and confidence and knowing that God is there to provide those very things...

If you hung in this long and read to the end...God bless YOU!

Walking with the King,
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

No comments:

Post a Comment