Oh! The places I might have gone, the relationships I might have had and the people I
may have helped had I not allowed fear to control my life. I have always been a fearful
person but after I was raped, fear became my master. Once the boundary of “it could
never happen to me” was breached I was convinced that fear could be my guardian, my
confidante and my safe haven. For years I have allowed this mighty task master to keep
me sheltered from any potential risk of being hurt again. I never did anything fear
warned me against, I confided in her when I thought I might be wavering to take a risk
and I allowed her to shelter me from any and all harm, physically and emotionally. I
cultivated my relationship with fear until I became so acquainted with what she required
of me that I eventually obeyed her without thought. If something made me
uncomfortable, then I didn’t do it. Fear is a great and influential teacher. The more I sat
under her teaching, the more she demanded.

Healthy fear is good and useful in our lives because it can keep us safe. Fear is what keeps
us from touching something we know to be hot or from walking in front of a moving
vehicle. But when fear becomes the dictator of all things, our lives will shrink to almost

I have learned that one thing stronger than fear is love. Every time I have won a battle
over fear, love has been my motivation and from it I have received my strength. My
husband and I went to Sedona, Arizona for our anniversary and one of his greatest desires
was to fly over the Grand Canyon. I am very afraid of flying, especially in a small aircraft
where you feel every bit of wind change. But I love my husband and knew that he wanted
me to do this with him. After much prayer, I climbed aboard! I was still afraid but it
wasn’t long before the fear was not the dominant feeling. Amazement took over as I
looked across this beautifully fashioned piece of art! The colors and vastness of it was
overwhelming! Oh! What I would have missed if it were not for love!

Having one victory under my belt, I had a bit of confidence. I am also deathly afraid of
heights and bridges, but I wanted to see Devil’s Bridge in Arizona. The hike was no
problem for me, as I love to hike, though fear always tries to steer me away from it
because there just might be wild life lurking to get me, human or the four legged variety.
When we arrived at Devil’s Bridge it looked pretty precarious, ominous and foreboding.
Fear kept telling me, “Don’t go, you may fall!” Again, my husband wanted me to get a
picture with him on the bridge and my love for him compelled me not to let him down. I
went and the scenery was beautiful! The bridge was not as treacherous as it seemed from
afar. Fear can steal our healthy perspective and keep us from viewing the world as an
adventure. It veils the beauty and joy that is present with all the ugliness of “what if”.

Love for my husband gave me the strength to move beyond the fears that my rape has me
so entrenched within. Love is the key to overcoming fear and the feeling of victory is the
reward. Now, to learn to love myself enough to truly put fear in her place and to reclaim
my life. I no longer want to allow her to keep me from relationships for fear that I may
offend someone if I say or do something wrong. I want to forbid fear to keep me from
opening myself up to others because I may disappoint them or they may not like me. I
want to decide on which adventures to embark. I will consult with fear, as she needs to be
a part of my life, but I no longer want her to be my task master. These are my goals and I
am one step closer to them each time I confront fear with love and truth.