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Fear – What scared you this year more than anything else? Did you learn anything new about yourself?

This year, cancer found our family.  We have been incredibly fortunate until now…though there have been other issues, none of our own had dealt with such a scary, prolonged battle.

I’ve written a lot about my cousin, Lisa.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2011.  She has undergone a grueling schedule of treatments.  Between surgeries, radiation, and several forms of chemotherapy, it would be hard to figure out how she gets out of bed every day.

Except that I do know.  All of the things that would stop me cold are simply hurdles to go over for Lisa.  Just thinking about the “what ifs” keep me up at night.  I know that Lisa is afraid, too; but, she has an amazing sense of self and a firm grasp on her faith.

Perhaps this cancer, which has touched every person that loves Lisa, is simply the face of larger fears of leaving my children, not getting to do many of the things I’ve always dreamed of, and a sense of unease about what comes next.

And there is no correct way to voice or deal with this type of fear.  There are things that you are supposed to say and ways that you are supposed to act; but, there are questions and uncertainties, and odds…all sorts of feelings of worry for Lisa, her husband, their two beautiful girls and the rest of us.

Fear has taken up residence in my heart.  It dropped its overstuffed bags in the hall for me to trip over each time I try to go out.  It’s hijacked the thermostat, so that the rooms are cold and its icy breath fogs my view.

Hope is down the street, I can hear it knocking at the door of the neighbor’s house, bearing baskets of goodies. Maybe if I move fast enough, I can catch Hope before Fear knows it’s here.  Fear won’t hear the tap and I can sneak Hope in.

In the month of December, I am participating in reverb11.  It is a chance to look back and reflect upon the year just passed, and to look forward to 2012.  Each day, a prompt is issued, and the reverb11 community interprets the prompt in accordance with their own experience.  Join us, won’t you?