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  • Writer's pictureShannon Makujina

Things That I'm Afraid Of

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

“I walked through the valley of shadows,

And it scared me half to death.”

Josh Wilson's song "Things That I'm Afraid Of" has been playing on repeat for me the past few days, while I deal with fears that I can't verbalize, fears that threaten to swallow me whole.

Fears that I don't want to face my life next to.

And yet the fears are the only reality I've ever known. I don't know what it's like to feel secure. Instead I'm constantly fighting to hang onto the people I love.

The gut wrenching, heart stopping pain of being abandoned by the people closest to you–the people who you were supposed to feel safe with. When they leave, how can you feel safe again?

I don't know the unconditional love of a parent. Instead I know a love that only wants me a certain way.

I don’t know how not to panic when a friend doesn’t text me back right away. I only know all the people who never spoke to me again and gave no explanation.

Days like today, I feel completely worthless and the little voice in my head wants to do anything possible to be loved.

Even go back to IFB. I could have my parents back. I could go back home. I would no longer be the prodigal son. I would be accepted in a close knit community. So what if it's a cult?

Even cults can give you the warm fuzzies. They can give you belonging...or at least the illusion of it.

An illusion is something you have a mental image of, something you are familiar with–if only vaguely.

What is faith then, if not the belief in something you don't know?

For a blind man, he believes there is such a thing as color.

For me, I believe there is such a thing as love.

Maybe I don't know what it looks like yet, but I believe anyway.

For me, what it means to believe, is to choose to live another day with my fears. It means that I have not yet given up hope.

If you struggle with depression, like me, consider that maybe a will to live is not defined by the desire to live forever, but by the courage to live one more day.

One more day with my tears. One more day with my loneliness. One more day with this feeling that I don’t belong.

“You prepare a table for me,

Right in front of my worst enemies…”

I've been pondering these words all day, wrestling with them. My worst enemies are not people. They are my fears.

What would it look like to sit down for dinner with PTSD, to pull up a chair with abandonment, or have a picnic with anxiety? What would it look like to sit across the table from suicide?

If I could talk to my fears, what would I say to them?

What would you say to your fears?

Would I punch them in the face? Would I throw my water glass at them? Maybe throw a chair?

Or would I hide under the table, crying and shaking and trying to hold my sobs inside?

Somehow when I picture Jesus at the table, things change. And when I imagine that, I am laughing at my fears now.

"My fears would surely kill me,

If I didn't know the truth,

The things that I'm afraid of, are afraid of You."

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Jul 11, 2023

You have such a gift for writing, Shannon. You keep going!


Bridget Krumenacker
Bridget Krumenacker
Jul 11, 2023

I am looking forward to reading more of your amazing story of strength and perseverance!


Jul 11, 2023

You write beautifully. This is heart wrenching and as a parent I would love to hug you right now. You are so talented! Writing, working with horses, piano?! I hope you realize how amazing you are. Also, if you ever need anything you can rely on us.

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