fear.

there are lots of things that i know about myself.

for instance, i know that my myers brigg type indicator is ISFJ.  and, if you read the description here, you’ll probably agree. i hate giving orders to people.  but i like taking care of them.  http://www.purdue.edu/usp/pdfs/mbtiresources/ISFJ.pdf

i also know that i’m a control freak. i like to plan out every day in the month, and hour in my day, and sometimes minute in every hour.  i’m not at all, in any way or shape or form, impulsive.  i’m a thinker and an analyzer and a person who waits, a lot, before acting.  just not always on the Lord, unfortunately.

this week, i had a dilemma.  rather, i had a few dilemmas.  they aren’t really large or important or difficult things to decide, persay, but combined with stress and lack of sleep and nightmares and feeling sick, it seems that i had some issues making decisions and ended up making a lot of mountains out of molehills.

for instance, it took me fifteen minutes, and three stores, to choose soap yesterday.

and it took me fifteen minutes to pick out medicine today.

and it took me ten minutes to buy pencils earlier.

these are the small, easy decisions i’ve had to make lately.  is that any indication that the larger decisions which are much more serious have been much more difficult to make?

yep. you guessed it. i have felt, at moments, paralyzed by my indecisiveness, my ever-swaying mind, and my desire to have other people make my decisions for me. i wonder if that is in fact a characteristic trait for ISFJ personality types?

and i’ve discovered that part of the problem is fear.  i’m paralyzed by my indecisiveness, which is caused by fear.  fear of making the wrong choice.  fear of living life like a “choose your own adventure” novel (see kevin deyoung’s just do something).  fear of messing up, and failing, and being miserable, and alone.

i’m thankful that i’ve found the source of the problem.  i think people either respond to difficulty by getting angry, and upset, or by being afraid, and scared.  and i never knew what a motivating factor fear could be, until i met him head-on in the soap aisle at wal-mart.

to be honest, there are a lot of things that are scary.  and frightening. and completely and totally out of my control.  bad things happen, and there’s little that one can do about changing their circumstances in some situations.

but, and thank goodness there is a but!, there is something beautiful in this, and that is a reminder that i’m not trying to change my circumstances, or make decisions, or live my life on my own.  indeed, i don’t belong to myself anymore.  i have a father, and i’m a child who is called to walk step by step with her father, and trust his goodness and his will–even when the decision isn’t always clear.  even when he says, “choose” or “trust” or “wait.”

“i will not fear, for You are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”              thomas merton

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