Fear is a liar

It was windy. We rolled into a camp spot in the Lincoln National Forest that had tall pines and a mountain top view. It was raining; the wind was bending those big trees every which way. I got a small fire going, but our gut kept telling us this was not the spot for us. After pondering it over, we put the fire out and drove into the valley below, coming around a bend we gasped as an elk picked up its massive head and sauntered up a steep embankment. 

We were on a two-week camping adventure, and it was our second-night camping out in nature. In the valley, we found a spot and set up camp as the light gave way to total darkness. We could feel the temperature drop. Setting up our tent and awning enclosure, we ate dinner, then climbed into our rooftop tent and fell asleep. An hour later, I woke up to the wind howling through those massive pine trees. The rain pounding on our tent, here is where it got crazy I let fear creep into my brain. I was scared, more scared then I had ever been in my life. I was acutely aware of my surroundings. I heard a strange growling noise outside, I woke my husband. He tried to comfort me, but my fear had too much grip on my heart. I had to dig deep within myself to uproot it. I diverted my attention to other things, finally, at two in the morning, I was able to get some sleep.

The next morning we woke up, and to our delight, the storm had blanketed the entire forest in snow. I learned a valuable lesson that night. Sometimes the mountain top experiences in life, although incredible, won’t give you the protection you need. The valleys of life will provide you with more security, even if it feels utterly hopeless and dark in the middle of them. Had we stayed on that mountain top, we would possibly have been in danger from the high winds. 

Another lesson I learned that night. Fright is an emotion we all have to battle. Anxiety will grow if we feed it. Some fear is reasonable, but if it grips your heart with an iron fist and threatens your health, this type will cripple you. You can overcome fear, and it takes hard mental work. I was thankful to wake up safe the next morning. I realized I had allowed fear to take complete control. I don’t ever want to let fear have that much leverage in my life again. Some actions I took to combat my fear, deep breathing, prayer, thinking of good times, and being OK with where I was at that moment. 

  • What are some fears you have faced, and how did you battle them? 
  • Was there ever a time you wanted to give fear complete control because the situation felt hopeless?
  • Can you think of a time when fear was gripping you, and you conquered it?

We can give in to fear, or we can stand up with courage and have power over the anxieties that take away our freedom. 

Fear robs us of joy and peace. God commands us to “fear not.” 

I will never forget our night in Lincoln National Forest, and the life lesson it taught me!

{The picture is our actual camp}