5 Things to Do When You’re Scared of being Scared

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”

– John Wayne

My knees still knock every time I recall dropping my first born off to kindergarten. I’d just moved from New York. I moved from a community of friends and family where I felt like I knew everyone straight to the desert city of Arizona where I knew no one.

I had a new job as a teacher where I’d be teaching a 4th and 5th combination class for the first time. Before reporting to work, I had to bring my five-year-old to her school and situate her alongside the enormous backpack that threatened to topple her at each step.

Once seated in the packed cafeteria her small hands shook so badly she could barely get a spoon of cereal into her mouth. Milk ran like white tears onto her chin and I heard laughter. The girls at her crowded table were pointing and smirking. Noise from around us drowned out any distinct sounds from them and suddenly I was in a bad silent movie.

My daughter pushed away her bowl and looked at me in a way that begged me to stay but we both knew I couldn’t. Before leaving, I gave the table of giggling girls my most intimidating stare while kissing the top of my child’s head. I looked back one last time.

Even as the other girls silently laughed louder, my little girl never took her eyes off mine. Their mouths like strangely shaped O’s heckled me. My daughter’s eyes watered while her tiny legs dangled beneath the table and she tried to wave but gave up.

Suddenly, my chest tightened to the point where I had to remove my suit jacket and catch my breath once I stumbled inside my car. Beads of sweat curled my straightened hair and reminded me I was scared of being scared. Scared we wouldn’t make it through the day, the weeks, or years but somehow we did.

Things I learned to do when scared:

1. Remember: God Will Never Leave You or Forsake You

Psalm 33:18 But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.