Home > Learning, Personal, Reflections > I am greater than my fear

I am greater than my fear

I’m scared.

I’m scared I’ll be a terrible wife. That I’ll fail to provide two children the love I’ve shared with one. That I’ll choke on my wedding day and run not toward but away. That marriage will change everything. That my pregnancy will end not in childbirth but child loss. That I will hurt the people I love and be unable to remedy those hurts. That I will not just err but fail significantly on the job. That my car will break in its now long daily drive, despite the care I take to keep it running well. That I do not deserve the love in my life, being far too grumpy and stubborn to warrant such affection. That I’ll never finish editing my already written books, or write a new one. That death is the end, and that it isn’t.

That’s just a starting list. I could write a novel-length list of my fears and only scratch the surface.

My customary silence about my fears doesn’t mean I don’t have them, or wish to conceal them. It reflects something else: a choice in perspective made based on my experiences so far.

I have lived alone in foreign lands.


I have written books, and even published a few.

I have shared personal, heartbreaking experiences despite shaking hands in the hopes others will understand there can be goodness after suffering.

Like my siblings, I’ve broken the cycle of abuse.

I’ve run two marathons, and run–mostly barefoot, in the rain–a half marathon.


Literally, not in a “when I was your age” way

I’ve been through law school and turned into a skilled worker thanks to guidance from some great managers.

Most challenging, I’ve worked from home for two and a half weeks while simultaneously caring for my then infant son and watching my mom die.

When I am silent about my fears, my silence reflects neither absence nor concealment. It reflects instead the knowledge borne from 34 years of being afraid . . . and seeing that fear predicts nothing if it is acknowledged but not accepted as truth about either capability or probability.

I am afraid, my friends, make no mistake about it.

But I am greater than my fear, so though I will acknowledge it, I will not grant it more power than it warrants, or deserves.

  1. September 19, 2013 at 6:37 am

    you are so beautiful in your vulnerability. I have the same fears. I also walk through them every day and find great comfort that you are out there doing it too.

  2. September 19, 2013 at 8:04 am

    We all have fears and some are common to the masses. Very few know how to acknowledge them and continue onwards. Facing, overcoming and co-existing with our fears are all valid steps in this thing called life. Glad to be sharing it with you.

  3. September 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    It is having fears, acknowledging them and going forward anyway which constitutes courage. Which you show by the bucketload.

  4. September 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Here are a few hints…from someone with a few days of experience.

    You will be a terrible wife, now and then. The bed won’t get made, the dishes won’t get done, the laundry will pile up on the floor or won’t get folded, the vacumn marks won’t all go the same direction, the dust bunnies will breed under your bed, science experiments will morph into new forms of life under the bathroom sink. You might forget to wear the prettiest lingerie to bed (heavens forbid), you might have a headache tonight.

    Life will go on, you will laugh, you will cry, you will apologize, you will forgive, you will be forgiven. You will be a great wife more days than you will be a terrible wife, the days you are a terrible wife, no one, not one single person will care (except maybe you and you shouldn’t).

    Just before you walk down the aisle, your knees will shake and you will want to run. There is not a single birde that doesn’t feel this way. Anyone that tells you differently is either lying to themselves or lying to you. But my friend, when that moment comes, you will look in your heart and your spirit will send you dancing toward the future.

    The only way you can fail is by forgetting who you are, you are the most loving, giving, incredibly self-aware woman it has ever been my honor to come in contact with. Your heart will expand for your next child, you will provide space and through that your entire family will learn, grow and provide space. You remedy hurts by simply opening your heart, your arms and showing your spirit.

    Deb, you do not have it in you to fail. By your grace, by the gratitude you show in the life you lead you teach us all how to live better. I am so grateful to you each time I read your words, of course you have fears, you are human. Perhaps you just need reminders you have friends as well and we are all here to embrace you when you need a shoulder or a hug.

  5. September 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    You are brave and strong to state your fears and to shake your fist at them, declaring them to be weaker than you. You are healthy in your concerns and the way you accept them. I could learn a lesson about this from you.

  6. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    September 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Excellent, excellent. And awesome credentials (law school). You’re way beyond your fears!

  7. September 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    We’re all afraid. But we are also brave when we rise up, and trudge ahead. Knowing that we might fail, we still try our hardest. You will succeed more than you will fail, because you want to succeed. And because there is love behind and in front of you.

  8. September 29, 2013 at 5:45 am


    • September 29, 2013 at 5:47 am

      You know, I felt a little grumpy about being too hungry to go back to bed this morning, but really? I’m glad our blogging paths crossed this morning. Thank you, Hook.

      • September 29, 2013 at 5:50 am

        Me too. Thanks, Deborah.

  1. September 21, 2013 at 11:24 am
  2. September 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

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