I was about seven or eight years old watching a Michael Jackson music video marathon with my big sister. It was the perfect Saturday to sit in front of the tv and jam out to some MJ. It was cloudy outside. Mom wasn't home so the junk food was flowing between the two of us and a cousin. Dad was in his bedroom, so it was a mini party in the house. "Scream" with Janet Jackson had just gone off and I was officially on a Jackson high (Scream gets me LIT)... It was after that video that the real fine Michael Jackson appeared on the television with the red jacket and whereas that's my favorite MJ face, I was (and still am) deathly afraid of "Thriller".
I was thinking that I would face my fear and watch the video. I mean, it was just a video, right? Things were going smoothly watching the video when out of nowhere, the fans in the hallway and kitchen chairs were knocked over while a strange man ran directly towards us. It was only when we realized it was our dad that we began to laugh. It was hilarious because this behavior was to be expected from our dad. The joke was definitely on us for letting him scare us like that. We laughed about it for the rest of the day.
Until the night came.
I tried closing my eyes, but every time I did, I could only see the moment when I was terrified before I realized that it was my dad. I had to close the door to my bedroom because looking down the hallway caused me too much fear. So whereas I should have been sleeping, I was worrying.
Sometimes our biggest fear is in something that can cause us no harm.
Sometimes our biggest fear is realized at the hands of someone who we trust the most.
Thriller was/is just a music video that cannot jump through the tv and consume me.
My dad didn't mean me any harm using my fear for a laugh.
But the thing about fear is that each one of them have to be faced and overcome in order to elevate. Over the years, my fears have excelled far beyond the fears of my eight year old self. But I've realized that just as my dad purposely caused me a fright only to reveal himself and make me laugh, so has God done in every fearful situation I've ever had to face.
You see, fear is interesting. It causes us to restrain ourselves from what we would otherwise love to do. Fear causes us not to love. It causes us not to give. It causes us not to try, and it hinders us from ever learning to fly. But fear, once faced, only makes you stronger because what you thought would kill you only makes you laugh.
I've sworn against fear.
I won't be my eight year old self. Instead of worrying, I'm sleeping.
I'm on the verge.