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my confession…

April 5, 2010

it started when i was in the 3rd grade.

i remember the night it very first occurred to me.

ever since that day of harsh realization ive been tormented with restlessness.

one might not think id struggle with such a thing. especially with being a Christ follower and all. it really doesnt add up.

but, its my reality.

and sometimes…this restlessness, this preoccupation of thoughts and anxiety will abruptly wake me out of a deep sleep.

i take deep breaths and begin to pray.

my confession...

im afraid to die.

122 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 10:17 pm

    details: because you’re afraid of what comes before, during or after? or because of what you’ll leave behind? or because you’re not in control?

    my confession: i’m scared my life wouldn’t have amounted to anything.

    • April 5, 2010 10:18 pm

      I’m afraid of leaving my children. Of missing even a second of their lives.

      • April 6, 2010 8:04 am

        this one sentence is the only one in this entire thread to make me cry the ugly cry. I feel like I live in that fear a lot.

    • April 5, 2010 10:23 pm

      its the not being able to wrap my head around not being here. not…being. no one can fathom heaven.

      the…ive no choice. its GONNA happen.

      i dont know when. where. how.

      and so much more. the fear started out because i was always seeing my mom getting beat on by her boyfriends. i just knew she was gonna die one night and id be left alone.

      • April 6, 2010 8:01 am

        that makes TOTAL sense.

        and i love you.

        that’s all.

  2. April 5, 2010 10:17 pm

    I went to visit a friend in the hospital this week. She is in the final stages of cancer at 47 years old. It was painful to see here laying in the hospital bed, almost unrecognizable, waiting to die. It scared me. I understand.

    • April 5, 2010 10:24 pm

      oh, nicole…im so sorry. thats terrible. shes so young.

  3. April 5, 2010 10:21 pm

    In 4th grade we had to write about our biggest fear, and mine was dying. For me, it was more about the fear of being left, of being abandoned, of being forgotten. Being alone. I didn’t know that… I just articulated it as not wanting to be separated from the people I loved. But I think it’s that, in little ways, I already felt alone. And I didn’t like it.

    What made you afraid?

    • April 5, 2010 10:23 pm

      For the record, I’m not afraid anymore. I actually long for being done [don’t mean to sound morbid]. But I do still hate the idea of those left behind without me… the ones I know need me. I would hate leaving for them…

    • April 5, 2010 10:25 pm

      thats how it started for me too. and i guess, its still a lot the same.

      i kinda explained it above to jenni. but it really is hard to articulate.

      its probably more of a stronghold on me from the enemy more than anything.

  4. Emsy permalink
    April 5, 2010 10:26 pm

    Me too. I wake up regulary from dreams where I am dying & crying out to Jesus. I’m scared that I’m not good enough….that I haven’t done enough….that Jesus will look at me & say he never knew me. *That’s* my fear.

    • April 5, 2010 10:49 pm

      oh sweetie….He knows you. he wont go back on that.

      isnt it crazy how we fear things like this tho.

      thank you for sharing this.

      • April 5, 2010 11:21 pm

        Let me explain a bit further. I was brought up as a Christian…gave my life to the Lord as a 5yr old. I’ve been involved in church my whole life. This is a major blessing. I KNOW it’s a blessing!! It should make me so secure in my faith & yet it doesn’t. The thing is, I have never had that ‘life changing’ experience. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go off & be wild just so God has more to forgive or anything crazy like that. But there is no before & after for me. It’s funny, my brother in law is the same with a Christian background & we both get the wobbles about our salvation.
        I’m not sure this making much sense!!

        • April 6, 2010 12:50 am

          It makes perfect sense to me. I always was so jealous of people who got the “I used to be a …. now I feel different” experience. It makes it so much harder for us to feel like we got the same deal.

          Think on this for a moment….
          Paul got a lightining bolt on the road.
          Peter and the disciples got to spend years growing more like Christ.

          Some of us are Paul, some are Peter.

        • April 6, 2010 8:01 am

          i became a believer when i was 19. i had experienced a good, or bad, amt of life already. so my conversion was truly life altering. brent, my hubs, has told me on several occasions, how sometimes he wishes he had lived an amt of his life without the Lord, so that he could know and experience what i got to. so it might ‘seem’ more real to him…even though he knows full well his relationship with the Lord is just as real and authentic and valuable. brent has said he wants a “testimony”. i tell him….remaining with the Lord all these years IS a testimony!

          • April 7, 2010 5:48 am

            I often thought like that too – saved as an 8 year old, no dramatic ‘conversion’ story for me. At times I found myself strangely envious of those who’d had a prodigal son experience, or had been involved in all sorts of bad stuff, mainly because I knew there’d be no ‘ooh you’re so BRAVE!’ or ‘Wow! God REALLY did do a miracle in your life!’ Basically – if I wrote a book about my life, no-one would by it as it would be VERY dull.

            However, I have to remind myself that sometimes the hardest thing to do is not believing for the first time, but holding steadfast to faith in God, despite the attacks, the mockery, or the insidious chip-chipping away at our relationship by Christ by constant doubts or the little insinuations against our beliefs that the world seems to poke us with every single day.

            It’s ok to waver, it’s ok to question, it’s ok to shout out to God when we don’t feel anything makes sense. Because it’s in the dark, when God seems to be silent that our faith HAS to grow.

  5. Laura permalink
    April 5, 2010 10:39 pm

    Even though I took care of my dad for 9 mos while he was ill with cancer and watched him have a conversation with the Lord seconds before he died, and know that my faith is stronger than it has ever been…..I’m still afraid to die too. How many times have I asked myself this question of why, I lost count! Every time I get on an airplane I self medicate, alot, not because I’m afraid to fly, but I’m afraid to die.

    • April 5, 2010 10:50 pm

      i ask myself why all the time too. and at times, i feel peaceful about it.

      i struggle mostly at night. when the enemy prowls.

  6. April 5, 2010 10:45 pm

    my confession: i want to die.

    waitwaitwait! let me clarify: i’m not suicidal or contemplating how to kill myself. my thoughts simply wander to the desire for things to be…over. life is hard. harder than i ever expected it to be, harder than i ever feel i have the strength for. there’s a peaceful relief in just thinking about all of that being… done. as i’ve spent the past year exploring all my random medical issues, i’ve even found myself hoping to hear some terminal diagnosis. i’ve almost been disappointed when i’ve heard there’s no signs of cancer.

    i know this must sound very harsh, especially to someone afraid to die. or to someone with cancer, or with a loved one with cancer. please know that i don’t mean to sound brash or insensitive. at all. just an honest confession of where my mind goes at times.

    and now that i’m sitting here thinking about it more, i don’t think it’s so much that i want to die. it’s just that i want to be… gone.

    so maybe what it really means is that i’m afraid to live.


    • April 5, 2010 10:53 pm

      from someone who is afraid to die…i still totally understand this.

      “and now that i’m sitting here thinking about it more, i don’t think it’s so much that i want to die. it’s just that i want to be… gone.

      so maybe what it really means is that i’m afraid to live”

      alece….after the year youve had – this makes sense.

      you are incredibly brave for sharing this.


    • April 5, 2010 10:53 pm

      Ok, Alece, I am drawn into your thoughts. I have followed along on your journey and the hell you’ve been living through.

      As I was reading your comment, before I even got to the end I sensed your exhaustion. Your emotional limit had been met and I thought…she’s afraid to live life. It was interesting to read the rest of your thoughts. And I agree with you.

      Fear comes in considering the unkown. Whether death, or life, the unknown brings fear.

      So Tammy and Alece, being willing to live might be about embracing death or life. But it is most certainly about being free.

      • Heidi permalink
        April 6, 2010 8:26 am

        Thank you Brent for vocalizing the exact comment I would have made to Alece. Sooo wonderfully put..

      • April 6, 2010 4:46 pm

        brent, i appreciated your words so much. thank you. really.

    • April 5, 2010 11:30 pm

      If it helps, I’ve had those exact same thoughts, Alece. Many times. Still do. To me, going to heaven sounds like such relief, because I’m tired.

      But I want to hang around long enough to see the new chapter on Earth unfold for you, my frass. The one where He shows you your beauty and worth. And you believe Him. I have faith for you, friend. There is beauty and joy and fresh air to be breathed into your world. It’s coming.

    • April 6, 2010 12:53 am

      I get that as well. I totally do.

    • April 6, 2010 8:03 am

      i strangely not only understand this, but it resides with me. probably because it goes in hand with what my fear is.

      just sayin’…

      • April 6, 2010 8:05 am

        i’m there today. ugh.

        can’t wait for all our long conversations…

    • April 6, 2010 3:33 pm

      Alece – All I know of your story is what I’ve gleaned from your comments and other people’s comments but it sounds like you’ve had it really rough. I don’t think it is wrong to be where you are after everything. I get this fear, living requires a lot of strength and energy that sometimes we just don’t have. Hang in there.

    • April 15, 2010 10:53 am

      I totally understand that. I’m in that boat often enough myself. In a way, I see heaven as the giant eternal relief from how hard living in this world is. Plenty of times I’m envious of those who are already there–never to be separated from anything ever again. And then I buckle down and keep on going. But it is such a … I don’t know, a strengthening thing, I guess, to know that there’s a something that is good and great and wonderful and so very much worth the hardship of this life. To know that this will not last forever. THAT is the greatest relief I can think of.

  7. April 5, 2010 11:56 pm

    This is why I love this community. The bravery and vulnerability you share helps others to realize “we’re not alone!”

    Thank you for sharing.

    I too have had the same kind of fears. As a child/teen I was “sick” of this life and was “ready” to go. When my grandfather took his own life I thought to myself “that was almost me.” Seeing the ones that I love and cared for hurting so much, my thought was as Gitz said, “I would hate leaving for them.” Then I lost a great friend in a boating accident. He was 20. As I sat there thinking about his life and how amazing he was, I couldn’t help but think “how much more did you have to offer.” As Jenni said “i’m scared my life wouldn’t have amounted to anything.”

    That’s where I stand at the moment. Death is one of the only sure things about life. I’m just scared that when it’s all over I’ll be looking at God sayin’ “whoa! why? I could’ve/should’ve done so much more, made more of an impact for Your Kingdom. And I didn’t.” (I’m sure when it comes down to that moment I probably won’t even be thinking along those lines. But… either way).

    In any case, I love Brent’s thought “…being willing to live might be about embracing death or life. But it is most certainly about being free.” Amen!

    Thanks again for sharing your hearts and fears. I love you all to bits!

    • April 6, 2010 8:13 am

      i have the same thoughts…concern that ive not done enough. i think its cuz we know how much untapped potential is in us.

      its very sobering…as well as challenging. in a good way!

      • Randi permalink
        April 6, 2010 10:50 am

        Sobering and challenging indeed. Maybe that’s why we have these fears/thoughts – to spur us towards tapping into the potential within us?

        • April 6, 2010 1:39 pm

          i would say most definitely. it reminds us of our need for others, for fellowship….iron sharpening iron.

          i love whats happening here. i hope God is pleased with all His kiddos honesty and vulnerability. praying He reveals even more light and truth on this fear for us all through this.

  8. April 6, 2010 12:59 am

    I don’t think I am ever actually afraid to die. Not because I am not scared, but because I think that as some level I don’t believe it will ever happen to me.

    I’m not living in faith, just denial.

    • April 6, 2010 6:40 am

      Living with the hope of being raptured.

    • April 6, 2010 8:13 am

      hmmm. interesting.

      i guess that could be helpful. i mean, at least youre not preoccupied with it 😉

  9. April 6, 2010 4:08 am

    I’m afraid Alece’s thoughts resonate all too well.

  10. April 6, 2010 4:15 am

    I can definitely relate. I feel so guilty for feeling afraid because I feel like heaven should be a comforting thing but something going on for eternity and never ending…that terrifies me. I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently and it has really been freaking me out. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • April 6, 2010 8:14 am

      yep. i completely understand this too. wow. i mean, i couldve written your words as well.

  11. April 6, 2010 5:33 am

    It’s funny that I blogged about fear last night, too. Didn’t know you had written this until this morning.

    I think we lie about our fear a lot and claim that we’ve conquered it by our faith.

    Not sure that’s how it really works. Maybe it is.

    • April 6, 2010 8:18 am

      i think youre right. if we’re not lying about it then i think we’re just avoiding it all together.

  12. Denise permalink
    April 6, 2010 6:24 am

    My top two fears: childbirth and dying. I’m scared because I don’t know how it’ll be. Painful? Sudden? Long and drawn out and all I get to eat is ice chips? It’s the only two things I have to do alone. Other people will be there, watching me experience it, but I have to do them both by myself. Regardless of the conversations and classes, each experience is different and I’ll never be fully prepared for either one.

    I really hate that.

    • April 6, 2010 7:59 am

      Hi. 🙂 Thought I would give you some perspective on that…. childbirth thing. I was also quite terrified from the moment that stick changed color…. I immediately thought “DANG! It has to come out now!” 😯

      What got me through it was “it’s only a day. it can’t last forever. there are meds to help me if I so choose. it’s only a day.” And that got me through all of them (3) and what you experience after truly makes it all worth it. Maybe not right that second, but eventually. 😉

      I wonder if death can be described in the same way?

      • April 6, 2010 8:13 am

        Probably so. I’ve been thinking about this all morning: in childbirth, there’s the greatness of knowing that regardless of how tore up my poor pooter gets, it can be stitched up and I get to experience the miracle of life and my body more or less returns back to normal, stretchy tummy pouch notwithstanding.

        Death is probably a lot more scary. Even though I believe that when I die I get to go be with Jesus and walk on golden streets, there’s this teeny, tiny part of me that wonders “What if I’m wrong?”

        I guess if I am wrong about Jesus it’s no big deal, but I’m kind of looking forward to it and it would be a huge bummer if it turned out to not be true.

        But back to your original point: yes.

        • April 6, 2010 8:21 am

          your pooter will recover. trust me.

          i agree. death is more scary for me too. with childbirth, we know how it happens. pain, push, pain, push. all done.

          death can happen a million different ways without a plan.

          its just so beyond what my head can wrap around.

          • April 6, 2010 8:36 am


            Death really only happens one way: the body shuts down. Maybe the order in which things stop working vary from person to person, but really death occurs when the heart stops beating.

            The WAY we’ll die… the options are only limited by our imaginations. Let’s not think about that. Think about cheese instead. Mmmm, cheese.

          • April 6, 2010 10:33 am

            Ok … I can’t help it. “POOTER” lol ok … that one was weird. I’m just sayin’….

      • April 6, 2010 8:19 am

        sure. except we dont die 3 times.



  13. April 6, 2010 6:29 am

    I am too. I’m afraid to leave my autistic son because I know if I’m not here to watch him that he will end up being taken by someone who will abuse him.

  14. April 6, 2010 6:49 am

    I’ve never been afraid to die. I can’t wait for Heaven. But I’ve been worried (at times consumed) that when I do die (get raptured) my dogs (I don’t have children) will be in my house alone, no food, limited water. And will someone find them and take care of them, but I don’t necessarily want that because I’d rather those people be in Heaven, but I don’t want my dogs to die of starvation. Which just brought up the thought am I living such as if the rapture does happen while I’m alive is my life evident that I’ve been taken and someone needs to go get my dogs???

    I am afraid however, to walk over metal grates in the ground that allow for drainage because I’m afraid I’ll fall through (yes my 34 year old self through a 2-inch space). I’m a freak.

    • April 6, 2010 8:22 am

      ok. i dont like walking on those either. im actually concerned the whole thing will fall thru. its very annoying. 🙂

  15. April 6, 2010 7:55 am

    I am right there with you. At times I have mild panick attacks at the thought of it. And it’s not because I have kids (as some suggest). I’ve been like this since I was little.

    I get antsy when I hear people say “yeah, I used to be afraid to die and then I became a Christian and that fear is completely wiped away!” Insert any name or person into that scenario….you hear it a lot in “christian circles” and everytime it makes me wonder if there’s still a piece I’m missing….

    The fear of dying grips me. I don’t know why either. I also remember when it became a very strong fear…at a funeral of all places. 😐 And now with kids, it’s worse than ever.

    It’s not that I don’t believe in heaven…. I do. It’s not that at all. I don’t know what it is entirely, honestly. I think we’ve talked about this before, years ago.


    • April 6, 2010 8:02 am

      Christ does give new life. He gives eternal life.

      Yet, the thought always tugs at me… “What if I’ve missed it?” or “What if it all isn’t true?”

      I usually don’t worry that the Muslims or the Buddhists or the Mormons are right, I usually either worry that there’s absolutely nothing to it or that God is still mad at me because I’ve missed some little technicality about having enough faith. Or I hear a Paul Washer sermon and conclude that there’s basically no way that anybody could be saved. [mild sarcasm, not a Washer fan…]

      I’ve BEEN scared to death by the thought of dying in my life. I’m not as terrified of it now, but it’s not because of some great monumental moment – I hope I’ve learned to trust Christ more, but the “pat” answer that “I don’t fear it anymore” always grates on my nerves.

      • April 6, 2010 1:44 pm

        im just so taken by all the different fears of everyone here. or, concerns about death.

        ive never thought much about ‘technicalities’. whomever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. i feel my faith is strong in that.

        but, yes, i often wonder about other religions. that would be a great topic to discuss bernard 😀

    • April 6, 2010 8:25 am

      when i read randy alcorns book, Heaven, he had said something in there that does help the thought process a bit…

      we werent created to die. that wasnt the original plan.

      then entered sin…and consequence.

      now, we have a physical death.

      but, because it wasnt a part of the original plan, our spirits know that instinctively…its still in our nature to desire an eternal life. so the thought of death is truly gripping in a way we can not comprehend.

      ive never forgotten reading that. i think its right on.

      • April 6, 2010 9:50 am

        Jake and I talk about that a lot….how it wasn’t the original plan. The parts I don’t like is not being married (even on our bad days!) and that families as we know them here are not the same. And the whole “spiritual bodies” thing…what does that EVEN MEAN?! 😯 Jake thinks it’s a spirit thing, that we won’t have need for bodies. I wonder if it’s not….if we’re just like now but with no illness, pain, etc. I wonder if since Adam and Eve WERE the original plan and since Jesus came back still looking fully human…. if that is how it will be, only perfect. I wonder and I wonder and I wonder…. but the fact of it is, we will NEVER KNOW this side of death…this side of heaven. We just won’t. THAT is the part I don’t like…maybe it’s a control thing.

        I have always said that if someone could send me a picture and a first hand account….all my fears would be GONE. GONE. In an instant…. but this is the ultimate test of faith for me. Faith comes fairly easy for me. I believe in God and Jesus with every fiber in me, there is no way I could believe otherwise… faith is a blessing for me…. but faith in THIS part of it… hardest thing for me.

        • April 6, 2010 1:45 pm

          your whole last paragraph…


          me too!

  16. April 6, 2010 7:58 am

    If our days on the earth are numbered and He is the one who determines them:

    Psalm 139:16
    Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

    .. are we not invincible until God takes us home or He comes back to get us?

    • April 6, 2010 8:27 am

      joseph, youre absolutely right. and the thing is…i believe we all get that truth here. but theres still that…something…in our brain that triggers this fear. and it could be a number of things – different for all of us.

      but yes, i do believe God is in complete control of the living and the dying part.

      and am SO grateful for that!!


  17. April 6, 2010 8:10 am

    I had a near death experience back in Sept 08 due to pulmonary emboli. The experience removed all fear from my life, particularly that of death because I realized that God is truly in control.

    • April 6, 2010 8:28 am

      wow! id love to hear more about this…

      and…so glad you are here now 🙂

    • April 15, 2010 10:56 am

      In a way I can totally understand this. I had to face the total death of my marriage, which for me is WAY scarier than my own physical death. And in staring it in the face, I discovered the exact same thing.

      • April 15, 2010 2:40 pm

        still praying for you girl…so glad God is in control

  18. April 6, 2010 8:12 am

    I fear the future!!

    • April 6, 2010 8:28 am

      what about it do you fear?

      • April 6, 2010 9:16 am

        Hmmm, a big ball of fear I am! You know, the fear of what tomorrow holds? Fear of bad news! Getting that phone call, health issues, losing my children, my husband, my family! So many times I hear God whispering to me…”What if? What if, Tracy? Will I no longer be GOD?” He is GOD, He is SOVEREIGN!

        I know this a good post when I read it and my pits sweat!! HA!

        • April 6, 2010 1:47 pm

          i almost didnt even put this post up cuz i didnt wanta deal with this truth.

          but i kept thinking…i know the real Truth. and even in my fears, doubts and what ifs (much like you) i really do know that i know that i know…God is God (like you said).

          some days…that settles it for me instantly.

          others…i still struggle.

          that is why we need each other to help us along in this journey.

  19. April 6, 2010 8:14 am

    I fear being crazy. Like lock me up in a hospital crazy. I was threatened with it once in high school because no one understood or knew why I was self injuring. But my biggest fear is beig crazy or presumed to be crazy. It keeps me from saying things and being completely honest.

    • April 6, 2010 8:29 am

      that is definitely a fear i know some people struggle with. it can be very scary.

      but really, who could be more crazy than clayville.


  20. Heidi permalink
    April 6, 2010 8:31 am

    I am not totally afraid of dying. But what I am afraid of is:

    “did I do enough?”
    Did I touch people’s life?
    Was I loving?
    Did I meet God expectations??

    • April 6, 2010 8:35 am

      mmm. questions that also flood my mind too….

      what i can say to you here is…

      you are doing a tremendous amt of living. you live boldly for God.

      you touch more peoples lives than you must realize. certainly do mine.

      are you loving? oh my…absolutely.

      clearly, i cant speak for God 😉 …but id say, because i know how passionate you are about doing His will over your own… odds are…youre doing very well, sis!

  21. April 6, 2010 8:38 am

    I’m afraid I’ll never get off this treadmill I seem to be on. I am afraid of losing my marriage. I am afraid that I don’t want to save it. I’m afraid of being a divorcee. I’m afraid of the impact it will have on my children if I go through with it. I’m afraid that I’ll be killing myself slowly if I don’t go through with it. I’m afraid……

    • April 6, 2010 1:49 pm

      wow, bajan. thats a lot of weight to carry.

      are you able to address these fears with anyone where youre at?

      • April 6, 2010 2:25 pm

        I am going to counseling, but I have to breach this subject with my counselor. Things are rough right now. Please pray for me. On Resurrection Sunday I heard a sermon on knowing Christ and being in fellowship with him through suffering…. and all I could do was scream and cry.

  22. Joel Rockemann permalink
    April 6, 2010 9:12 am

    Tam – your blog is a blessing to me. Just wanted to share that with you.

    Grace and Peace to you!


    on Twitter @joelrockemann

    • April 6, 2010 1:51 pm

      thank you so much, joel.

      just started following you on twitter.

      your bio says youre from Rolla.

      rolla, mo?

  23. April 6, 2010 9:34 am

    Death seems like one of those ultimate unknowns. I think about death a lot. I think about it in terms of loss and grief of those i love that maybe i won’t get to say good-bye to. I struggle to really know how to live like this could be my last day. To be honest that has enabled some very bad decisions. I want to live my life well and end with experiencing it to the full. I am afraid I won’t. Currently in a sucky season of life, makes it hard to think about joy in death.

    I don’t fear where I’m going, i just fear maybe the timing. No one likes feeling out of control. Death is the most out of control. That weight seems heavier having really close friends i love doing life with and family i leave responsibility to.

    On the very flip side, I almost pursue death in that I love extreme adrenaline things like sky diving and bungee jumping. I will do anything that kicks my adrenaline into over drive.

    As I fear death, that also shows me a mirror of my heart. I fear death of myself as well. I need freedom from/in both.

    • April 6, 2010 1:54 pm

      i fear the timing too. but in a way that my death may be drawn out. say, while my kiddos are still at home or young adults close by. i think of how hard it would be for them to stand by and watch me die. and how hard it would be for me to see the looks on their faces.

      that really can be a heart breaking thought.

      THEN i think…why am i even thinking about that?! i have no idea if it’ll go down like that. and the fact im thinking of it in those terms does not help, nor change, anything at all. as well as ive wasted a substantial amount of time thinking and dwelling on something ive no control over.

      so weird how i can be irrational and rational all in the same moment.


      k. ive NO desire to bungee jump or sky dive, or anything like that. girl, that is crazy! but, im impressed 🙂 i like to watch people do that 😀

  24. April 6, 2010 9:50 am

    As I read through the conversation going on this morning, I recalled I was about that same age when I first thought of death. I remember crying in the middle of the night & my mom came in to console me & reassure me. Hadn’t thought of that in years!

    I think part of my fear is the loss of control! Control of what? I have no idea! It’s not like I can control death! But, I do have control over my faith. Faith that no matter what God will take care of my family. My friends. That reassures me. I can choose to believe that or not. That’s the thing. I can choose. How awesome is that? I can choose to fear or not.

    When I first gave my life to Christ in college, I shared my testimony at sorority houses via Campus Crusade for Christ. It started out with me talking about my worry-bead necklace. I worried about EVERYTHING! But, with God, that necklace is so much lighter. The weight of all my troubles is in God’s hands! That is what He has promised. But, I must give up that trouble to Him & not take it back!

    My fear with dying is not seeing my daughter find her “dream” job. Or her perfect soul-mate. I don’t want to miss those things. I want to continue to grow old with my husband. My fear is that I haven’t done enough to share Christ with others. Or that I haven’t done enough to save just 1 addict. I know God doesn’t count my gold stars, but I still do! I want that page full of gold stars! But, that’s a whole other conversation.

    Love days like this, Tam. People coming back & continuing the convo. Love you guys!

    • April 6, 2010 1:59 pm

      what was that movie with julia roberts and susan sarandon? step mom? the one where susan dies.

      i saw that with my mom in law and we were talking about my fear of dying. my mil said to me, “tam…when God says its time for you to go home, then your job here is done. there is not one more thing you were to do. period. your mission will be complete.”

      that really has stuck with me.

  25. Makeda permalink
    April 6, 2010 10:35 am

    My greatest fear is getting to the end of my life and wondering where my life went. I dont’ want to get there and look back at a life I missed living because (fill in the blank). The problem is other fears are keeping me from experiencing that full life – fear of getting close to others, fear of feeling incredible pain again,fear of being rejected. All fears that are leading me down the road of wondering where my life went. I’m actively working on trying to feel the fear and do it anyway. Living with the uncertainty of it all. Not an easy task.

    Thank you for sharing your heart; it made my own fears easier to say out loud.

    • April 6, 2010 2:00 pm

      makeda…yes and yes and yes. im so glad you shared this! im so with you here its not even funny.

      i’ll be 40 this year and ive not done near as much as i know im capable of doing. that scares me. and its my own fault. yes, i spend time regretting it instead of changing it.

      thanks for articulating this today. it helped my heart a lot.

      • April 6, 2010 3:52 pm

        I think you’ve done more than you know. Just sayin’. 😉

        • Makeda permalink
          April 6, 2010 6:22 pm

          You’re welcome, Tam. It does help knowing I’m not alone in those fears and that there are others who are risking despite the fear we feel. It is a comfort for sure.

  26. April 6, 2010 12:26 pm

    When we were in college, Russ took a Death & Dying class. He had to create this death book of someone he loves – he chose me. Reading it? Horrible. The gist of the assignment was for him to document the process he would go through if I died – and seeing the pictures, reading the words…broke me.
    Since then, every time I think about dying I start hyperventilating.

    • April 6, 2010 2:01 pm

      oh. my. word.

      i do not think id have wanted to read that.


  27. April 6, 2010 2:42 pm

    I used to be terrified to die.. up until January, really. And then I thought about it… Francis Chan put it that “death is really just a putting off of this body.” We get to be with CHRIST! We get to be in heaven, where there is no fear, no pain, no tears, nothing but worshipping Christ and rejoicing and glorifying our God. I no longer fear, because then I will be face to face with the object of my deepest desire and affection.
    I long for him to return and to change the world in a total regeneration.

    I don’t know how my mind changed. Had to be Christ, because I’m a naturally fearful person. I read “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, and then “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa Terkeurst, and really spent time in the Word and how everyone in the Bible viewed death. (Namely, Paul, for the most part.)

    • April 6, 2010 9:11 pm

      i do think spending time in the word alleviates fear. thats not to say that those of us who fear arent spending time soaking in what God has to say – but the more and more we dig in im certain our worries lessen. and i also believe a lot of that comes with just growing – in spirit and age.

      francis chan is one of my favorite communicators. that book is a fabulous, challenging and convicting read too.

      • April 7, 2010 2:01 am

        I totally get what you are saying… and I’m definitely not trying to say that those who fear aren’t spending time in God’s Word — I definitely still have tons of irrational fears and still worry about things like what others think of me (even though the Bible says we should not be focused on pleasing others), etc. etc. But I can totally relate to what you said in the post because this fear used to drive my life in such an unhealthy way.
        Thanks for your post 🙂

  28. April 6, 2010 3:30 pm

    I’m afraid of being in a car accident and being permanently injured.

    I’ve read through the comments on here and I completely understand, it’s not a fear I share, but I understand the rationale behind it. February of last year I witnessed a man die, he collapsed at my place of work from a brain aneurism and died right there. It shook me up pretty badly but it made me realize how fleeting life really is and how important it is to live. In reading all of your comments and tam’s comments back to you and in having read some of your guys’ blogs I would say that you all are pretty good at this. It’s scary no doubt, but I don’t think it should be something that keeps you from living.


    • April 6, 2010 9:15 pm

      G – i just have to say… thank you for investing your time to read thru all these comments. when i read your words above i got teary thinking…what a cool person. you didnt have to do that. but you must be genuinely concerned and care for the people here who’ve shared some pretty tough confessions.

      then you knew exactly how to encourage every one of us.

      i just totally respect that. like, deeply.

      thank you!

  29. April 6, 2010 9:34 pm

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one! I just can’t wrap my head around “forever”, and so I try not to think about it a whole lot. I continue to meet more and more people who I consider to be solid Christians that have this fear, and it’s so much better than when I was growing up. It seemed like everyone around me was cool with it, and I wasn’t, and I thought I was weird.

    I guess there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to live a life that didn’t “matter”, and so I think that’s part of my fear too. But at the same time, a fair amount over the last few years, I’ve felt the same way that Gitz and Alece and others felt about life. Sometimes it’s just pretty rough.

    But I guess I cling to the idea that:
    A) I won’t be done here on earth until I’ve complete what God has tasked me to do
    B) When it comes time, God is taking me with Him and there’s not an argument I have to change it. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • April 6, 2010 10:15 pm

      the “forever” thing is a bit overwhelming, isnt it? i literally go into a fog if i think about it for too long.

      someone said earlier in the comments that perhaps it is our fears that spur us on to change. id believe that to be true. i wonder, if we didnt fear, or have concerns, like this…what would that really say about us. i think its ok that we give subjects like this deep thought. it shows that we want to strive to understand. that we’re willing to face the unknown, mostly 😉

      i dont know. like you…cant wrap my head around this stuff.

      as far as “idea A” goes…i think youre right on, jeremy.

  30. April 6, 2010 9:43 pm

    i’m scared of God coming back before i have a family.
    and sometimes, i’m scared to know what Heaven will really be like…

  31. TheNorEaster permalink
    April 6, 2010 10:29 pm

    Death don’t bother me. It’s the dying I could do without.

    I can relate to what Alece said in Comment #6, though I don’t have any medical matters to address.

    Last year, my good friend Richard (you know him from Storm Stories) said to me, “Nor, I am 66 years old, and I don’t know anyone who has endured as much loss as you have.”

    I never told him this, but I got angry when he said that. I don’t want to be remembered as someone whose life of suffering is “over”. I want just want people to see a sunrise and think of me. And, though I certainly haven’t made any arrangments, I hope my funeral is held as the sun is rising.

    I’m not scared to die, but I don’t want to leave just yet-even though I’ve had many moments where I have wished it all over.

    Facing death is ultimately a matter of faith, I think. And if ever I’m stuck with some sort of terminal disease, I want the people who are still around to sing hymns and jam with electric guitars and drums and sweet soul music and the best, greatest jazz.

    My mother will be the first to tell you I made quite an entrance, but she’ll also be the first to say that I am going to be late for own funeral.

    My response? “I hope so!!!”

    “Oh, when the saints, go marching in, I want to be in that number…!!!!”

    • April 6, 2010 10:48 pm

      this made me smile.

      caused me to think of the memorial service id like.

      id certainly love a party. thats for sure.

      no black clothes. no flowers…they die 😕 upbeat music. i want chaos theory to play! 🙂

      nor – i think youve got a lot of life left in you and plenty more people to inspire!

  32. April 7, 2010 6:16 am

    I guess I haven’t been honest & actually answered this one yet!

    My fears are quite similar to most commenters already here. I fear that my life will slip by & I’ll have done nothing of importance or impact for the Kingdom.
    That I’ll have let my current fears & frustrations immobilise my future.
    That I’ll sleep through life and then I die.
    That something will happen to my cat as we fly her to the other side of the world, or my mum’s dog will harm her once we get there (this has gotta be my most pressing one!)
    That I’ll be fat forever.
    That I’ve lost my youth, and the opportunities that come with it. That people look at me differently, and I feel a frumpy, wrong end of 30 woman with a stupid accent no-one understands, and therefore no-one will EVER take me seriously, and how much that hurts because I think and feel deeply about things, and it stings when people treat me like I’m stupid because of my ‘deficiencies’. Hence my fear of letting those frustrations stop me. But they do.
    That I’m a crap wife who doesn’t live up to her desire of being her husband’s ‘helpmeet’.
    That I disappoint the people who I care about.
    That the more I fear being a terrible wife and get frozen by that fear, the more I hurt David, and so it goes on.
    That I’m wasting my intelligence.
    That people will believe what certain elements in our church think about us, rather than believing us.
    That I’ll work in crappy admin jobs forever because I fear committing to a real challenge.
    That we’ll spend the rest of our lives ping-ponging between 2 far countries, never feeling settled in either and always missing too many people all the time. 😦
    That I’m losing my mind.

    Enough? Enough.

    I have actually gone through one of my biggest fears. As a child, I had a recurring nightmare that I was dancing around and laughing with my dad and that he just dropped dead suddenly. That stayed with me until he actually got sick in 2003 and died 6 weeks later, and we got home just in time for the funeral, but not to see him. It felt like my nightmare came true, and part of me was thinking ‘did I MAKE this happen? Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy?’ Horrible. Kinda still working through that one.

    It doesn’t help when you hear repeated sermons saying stuff like ‘fear is the opposite of faith’ and ‘you can’t have fear if you have faith!’ to the extent you block everything out. The absence of fear is NOT faith. It’s ignorance, denial and the inability to effectively deal with situations. And I’m just about over listening to garbage like that, to be honest.

    It’s not that we don’t fear, it’s that we carry on living in the presence of fear.

    • April 7, 2010 7:55 pm

      oh diane…thank you for pouring out. so many of your fears i relate to you SO well.

      but its this one…

      “That I’ll have let my current fears & frustrations immobilise my future.”

      that made me catch my breath. this scares me the most. because in fearing death and having this fear in addition, means im not living.


      and, now what.

      “The absence of fear is NOT faith. It’s ignorance, denial and the inability to effectively deal with situations.”

      you should be a preacher.

  33. Katie Ristow permalink
    April 7, 2010 7:58 am

    My mom is dying. 5 months ago she was fine, healthy, doing all the things a mom does. I have two younger sisters that kept her busy, and she was the events coordinator at a large church. Turns out she had been in pain for years, and the extra weight she had carried in her stomach for ten years was a tumor.
    Now she’s on her death bed. I spent Easter sitting in her bed with her, talking, watching TV, listening to her stories. She’s been having visions of heaven. Interactive visions where she touches the gates covered in pearls and explores the city of God looking for her place. She has knelt before the Father and set her crown before Him, but He was too brilliant for her to see.
    She’s excited to go to explore heaven further.
    I’ve been having dreams and visions too. I don’t know what they all mean, but they’re magnificent. They’re of my mother, always.
    She is sick and in some pain. She is on depression meds to keep her from getting buried by the sadness of leaving her family. She doesn’t know her prognosis, but I do.
    And yet, she glows these days. She has sluffed off the rubbish of this world. She spends her days surrounded with family, seeped in the love of God, and witnessing miracles all around her.
    And though she knows that this could end with her meeting Jesus, she is slowly finding peace in that because she is seeing more and more of Him.
    And she is slowly leading her unbelieving family to Christ’s side, where she is.
    Death is hard. In death we find communion with our Savior. I do not understand it. But she says that He is beautiful.

    • April 7, 2010 8:02 pm

      katie…this is one of the most inspiring and beautiful comments iv read in awhile.

      though my heart aches that your mother is in pain and that it must break yours and your sisters heart…the picture you paint of what mom sees is absolutely breathtaking.

  34. Katie Ristow permalink
    April 7, 2010 8:02 am

    Oh… I wont even type out my fear because I am that afraid of it. I can’t even see it written out in words. Thinking it makes me have a hard time breathing. My eyes are already burning.
    It keeps me awake at night. I literally know what it means to take thoughts captive. To bind them in chains and NOT set them free in my mind.
    To not let my brain throw up in my mind. To not let those images and visions swirl around.
    Christ owns my mind. Now if only I could trust Him enough to not be afraid.
    Oh Jesus…

  35. April 7, 2010 6:04 pm

    The conversation on this post is amazing. You should all be applauded for your courage.

    If i were to begin to list my fears, I’m afraid this comment would continue for days, so I’ll spare you.

    There is a saying that I can’t remember exactly, but I will paraphrase:

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is continuing in spite of it.

    So, here’s to continuing…

    • April 7, 2010 8:07 pm

      continuing, indeed.

      and yes, the bravery on this post definitely deserves a standing O! im so taken with this communities courage.

  36. TheNorEaster permalink
    April 9, 2010 12:30 am

    Back. Read some more comments. There are some fascinating thoughts here, fascinating to me, probably because I’ve had to contend with the matter so much. Losing loved ones will, sooner or later, get you thinking about your own mortality.

    But, I’m not really thinking about that now.

    I just want to tell a story I read once in “Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul”: a woman who believed in God had a son who did not believe in God. She passed away. Died in the hospital. Her heart had stopped beating, and the doctors had given up on reviving her.

    But, forty-five minutes after her heart had stopped, she suddenly opened her eyes and said to the nurse, “There is a God! I saw His Face! Tell my son there is a God!”

    And, with that, she was gone.

    In my own mind, and in my own way, I have pieced together what I believe happened once the woman got to Heaven. She did see The Face of God, but begged Him to return to tell her son that she had see Him. She was not asking for selfish reasons, but because she had seen her son endure such terrible, and see so many horrible things, that he just could not bring himself to believe. So, a loving mother asked The Almighty to return so that her son would know that, Yes, there is a God. And, Yes, the mother knew this because she had seen His Face with her own eyes. It certainly isn’t out of character for God, who is love, to grant a loving mother that one last request.

    And now, we have the story to shelter our faith through the storms.



  1. sure didnt expect this « inProgress

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