Are you scared?

Is there something you are scared of? It could be something silly or something big. It could be something that probably would never happen, but you still worry about it regardless.

If I’m being completely honest, which I always try to do on this blog, I have to say that I’ve always sort of been chicken when it comes to running, or at least where and when I run. Don’t laugh, but my two biggest fears are the following:

1. A big ferocious dog will chase me down and attack me. Yes, I’m 30 and scared of big dogs.

2. A big scary man will jump out and attack me.

Sounds somewhat silly, I know. But this is why I never would run alone on the back country roads in Quitman. This is also why I never ever run in the dark. Ever. I always run in the daylight, in neighborhoods or trails where I know/hope dogs will not be on the prowl, and usually in a place where people are constantly around.

So, needless to say, to hear that earlier this week in OUR own neighborhood and around a popular park here in Tyler, a runner was attacked while running along a street that I run on often…it shook me up. At 5 a.m. in the morning, a man jumped out and tried to attack her. She was very prepared though, kicked his butt and escaped. She had mace and a foghorn. I want to meet this runner! I am so relieved to hear she got away. A friend of mine that lives right next to the park actually heard the fog horn and her scream. Wow, how scary. I bet she won’t run in the dark anymore after that!

As I ran yesterday at the trails (at 9:30 a.m., in the broad daylight, with many people around), I found myself being a little afraid. Instead of admiring the trees and thanking God for his creation, I found myself peering into the trees looking for a man with a ski mask and holding my keys in a way so that they could be used as a weapon if need be all while planning my defense.

Then, I heard my thoughts and told myself, “STOP IT!” God did not give me a spirit of fear. It was seriously ruining my run. A time when I usually have the best worship and quiet time was being overcome with fear. I was stressed and worried. I told myself I was not going to let the evil in this broken world ruin a time during my day that I look forward to, always thoroughly enjoy, and feel is very beneficial to me in so many ways. I said a little prayer and continued on, trying to change my focus back to where it should be. I’m thankful to know that God is in control and right there with me with each step I take. That calms my nerves and fears!

2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

5 Replies to “Are you scared?”

  1. I am scared of being in the house at night when Justin is not here. Seriously, I will sit with my back to the wall so I can have view of all entrances and when I get in bed and turn the light off I “hear” all sorts of noises that don’t occur when he is home and with me. I sleep with the light on and don’t sleep much. I totally get your fear of being attacked, by dog or human, while running. That would be a fear of mine also if I ran. I took a self-defense class in college and to this day I still get my keys out and in my hand before I leave the doors of any store before I walk into the parking lot; and I put my car key in between my middle and ring finger and clench my fist around it in case I need to fend off an attacker. Crazy, I know. Constantly, I have to remind myself of that say verse in 2 Timothy. I usually fall asleep praying that verse over and over when I am home alone. I don’t know what I’d do without the peace of our Lord when fear gripes me. Praying He continues to give you peace as you go on your runs.

  2. Traci,
    I have the same fear about being attacked by strangers. My fear comes from a traumatic incident that happened when I was little. The fear (and losing a running partner) caused me to stop running all together this past fall. I’ve have tried hard to tell myself that it’s all stupid and in my head, but the thoughts and fear always win. I pray, quote scripture and sing songs, but none of that helped. I would always cut my run really short and go home.
    I now have a goal, a run is on the schedule. I’ve got to push the fear far away and start running again. I’ve got to run!!

  3. I just have to say I don’t think you are afraid, but instead very practical and smart. My parents always told me to constantly be aware of my surroundings, that is why I don’t do much after dark in particular areas. I used to run at 5am with a girlfriend, but wouldn’t ever do that alone for safety….although I did do it once and must admit my run time was awesome because I let my imagination run away with me….lol!

  4. I run every morning in the dark and I will admit there are mornings that I get scared! I run with a flashlight, my keys, and my cell phone. I never turn my ipod on until I get in town where there are cars and people everywhere. I hate that I have to run in the morning but it is my only option. I just pray that God watches over me and protects me!

  5. I think I know the dog your talking about ! – big black with teeth – yes he came at me and thankfully I had John with me. He turned around and ran at the dog yelling, I was safe. I don’t have to worry about dogs so much anymore. But, when I’m running alone I do think of people, there are a couple of places on my regular trail that go under the road, so it’s a tunnel, not long but kind of dark even tho there are lights, still my mind becomes my enemy. Like you I have to make myself stop – and I pray.

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