I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been full of fear and it has caused me to make poor decisions. I’ve been afraid of starting a new job, afraid of losing someone I loved and even afraid of being alone. Engulfed in fear, I’ve made bad relationship choices.
Three events happened during my college years which filled me with fear for my physical safety. My freshman year, I was walking across a parking lot when a car pulled up next to me and stopped. I thought he would ask me for directions, but glancing in the car, I could see the man had on no pants. I ran into the drugstore where I worked and the pharmacy manager called the Chief of Police. The man was arrested for indecent exposure and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
During summer break after my sophomore year, I parked at my apartment complex after work around 10 PM. A car pulled in next to me and a man got out asking for directions to a local restaurant. Suddenly, he jumped out of the car and grabbed for my hand. I broke free, running screaming into the apartment. My dad called the police, but by the time they arrived, he was long gone.
My third year of school, I transferred to a Midwest university to major in pharmacy and play on the women’s golf team. One night in the Spring of 1975, I went down the hall with my soap and shampoo and lathered up for a nice hot shower in our community bathroom. Someone pulled back the shower curtain and I faced a man staring at me with his pants around his knees. I screamed, he ran; he was tackled by a football player on the front lawn of my dormitory. Turns out that was the fourth incident in two weeks on campus and he was responsible for all of them. After six long months, he was sentenced to a year in prison.
I was petrified to be alone. I never dared walk on campus alone after dark and took showers at the golf club where we practiced. When I graduated from college, I was afraid to live alone, ending up with a string of male “roommates”, often dating for a few weeks and then asking them to move in with me, much more for physical security than for love.
I’ve lived alone for 4 years now and I feel safe. In fact, I often welcome the solitude that aloneness brings when I can use the quiet time to communicate with God. Living in a nice neighborhood, a house with an alarm, and a cell phone within easy reach helps calm my fears, too.
But back in my twenties, my fear caused me to inappropriately crave male companionship so the dark didn’t seem so frightening.
Do you have a fear that is the driving motivation behind your relationships? Is it a fear for physical safety, losing someone you love, or fear of being alone?
Can you overcome your fear with God’s help?
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)