- My Secret Phobia
Ok, I am going to share something with you that not many people know about me. The reason that I don’t tell many people about my little secret is because what I am about share sounds so benign, so innocuous and silly, that most people think I am kidding. Secondly, in my line of work as a Youth Pastor, if the truth gets out about this it could be considered an occupational hazard.
Ok, here it goes..(gulp) I… am… afraid of… wait for it… wait for it…FOAM. (There I said it. My therapist would be so proud of me. If I had a therapist. Or do I?)
Well, the word got out at work, about my phobia, and some of my staff had a little fun at my expense. (No, I had no idea the camera was there)
Here are some of the questions I get from people when they find out that I, a 6’8″ 285 pound man, am afraid of….foam.
What types? all types! If it’s not a solid and not a liquid I don’t want it to come anywhere near me. Yes, Seriously.
Shaving cream, Whip cream, ocean foam (still not sure where ocean foam comes from), Root beer floats, lemon meringue pie, Chocolate Mousse, melted ice cream, pudding, Jello, foamy soap, lots of suds, the head on soda or beer… I could keep going but I just broke out in a cold sweat.
What happens? Whenever foam gets near/on me I have an immediate gag reflex. I have thrown up more times than I would like to remember because of my foam phobia.
Why are you afraid of foam? I have no idea. As a child I don’t remember being captured by evil marshmallow people or dropped into a vat of “cool whip” and left stranded on whippy island for days. I really have no idea.
I know this is a “silly”, but true, example of a fear. Everyday life fears can be a difficult challenge and much more serious. Don’t believe me? Just ask the person who is dealing with loosing a job, losing a spouse, family issues, divorce, eternal fears, the return of terminal sickness, fear of an abuser, fear of a parent, fear of getting old, retirement, getting into the “right” school, fear of being alone, fear of losing a house, and the biggest fear in the world–the fear of not being loved or feeling that you are unlovable.
The Bible talks a lot about the different types of fear. The type we are talking about here is defined in the Bible as the “spirit of fear” (as opposed to the “fear of the Lord”, which is a post for another day.) like found in Romans 8:15:
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
If your like me, at times, you wrestle with the”spirit of fear”. Well, you’re not alone. The good news? There is a cure.
Trusting that the God of the universe loves you as His own child (…but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”) and wants the very best for you, even when life seems at it’s worst.
Last month, in Northern Virginia, we had a short but intense storm with gumball sized hail. My boys had never seen hail before and were very confused as to why, in the middle of summer, ice-cubes were falling from the sky. Ella, my 4 year old, was beyond scared at the jarring noise of the hail hitting the metal cars and the siding of the house. As the hail was bringing down tree limbs and tearing apart roof shingles Ella was holding onto me (my leg specifically) with all her might saying, “…Daddy, Daddy, hold me Daddy.” You can hear her crying for me in the background of this short video.
Ella trusted in the middle of the storm that I was not going to let anything happen to her. And, as her father, I would have done (and will continue to do) anything in my power to protect and nurture her. My desire and power to protect my children, however strong, is limited by my human condition. It’s always been helpful for me, when I get scared or fearful in the hail storms of life, to remember that Gods’ love, unlike mine, has no limits and that He loves me as His beloved child.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
So, I am going to try something different with this post. I am asking anyone who reads this post to comment with two fears of your own. I want the first one to be a weird, quirky kinda fear/phobia. (Maybe you’re afraid of wet cats or clowns. Or, clowns holding wet cats?) And the second fear should be a more serious fear. (No, I am not asking for really personal or intimate fears on the web. But, stuff like: job security, sickness, etc.) Then I thought we, as the children of God, could pray for each other.