Have you ever been really afraid of something? Totally terrified that this thing, this event, would be awful and painful and you just didn’t want to experience it… only to find that, when it happened, it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought it would be?
When I was a nanny, I took the boys to the doctor for their yearly check-up. This particular year, the older boy was due for shots. At 6-years old, the prospect of having a needle shoved into your arm is about as appealing as driving a nail straight into your forehead – and so, understandably, this boy was upset.
This boy was inconsolable. Thrashing with terror. Not screaming, not wailing – shrieking out of absolute anxiety and alarm. No amount of words, wit, or bribery could calm him.
But he needed the shot. And the doctor was busy. So I had no choice but to wrap my entire body around this flailing little boy, and, gripping hard, to restrain him. Despite his maniacal shriek straight into my ear, the needle was in and out of his arm before he even knew it had happened.
And when we told him that it was over, his face relaxed, he stood up, and nonchalantly said, “That didn’t even hurt. Can we go get ice cream?”
A few months ago, I was really, really afraid of something. It stole my sleep, and caused a lot of tears, and kept me constantly on edge. I remember telling my mom, “I wish that it would just happen – that way, I wouldn’t need to be afraid of it anymore.”
Finally, it happened. And it was hard – for about a second. But then, the strangest thing occurred in my heart: I felt so much better, and moved forward. The thing that I was so afraid of was an obstacle, a hurdle, a hiccup in my journey. But once I was over it, the road became open and wide. And little by little, in the strangest ways, my prayer gets answered.
I think this calls for ice cream.