Stories that Matter

Facing Fears

Flashback Friday – Facing Fear

I was a scared kid. Scared of being alone, scared of being left/abandoned. I think I was scared of the dark for awhile. Timid, shy and terrified of anything that would have me step out of my comfort zone. I had a lovely visual for this blog, an old photo, but I can’t for the…
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What To Do With Fear and Failure and Other Nuisances

February 18, 2019 |

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Maybe you’re familiar with the mantra? It’s easy to say. Easy to repeat. And easy to convince yourself of. Because if you say something enough times, eventually you begin to believe it. Even if it’s not true. So last week I wrote about change, and how I was going…


Change. Again.

February 9, 2019 |

I didn’t pick a word for the year. I don’t know why, really. I guess I didn’t give it much thought. But now I kind of feel the word picked me. Change. Ironically, it was my word for 2015. And I wrote this blog post about it. Just a few months before I would announce…


Maybe It’s Time

December 27, 2018 |

“You gain strength,courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt. So we…


This Thing About Community, And Why We Need It

April 5, 2018 |

Can I be honest? Groups scare me a little. Anything larger than my husband and I, and two other couples is just a bit out of my comfort zone. Even when our group of eight, all close and fun friends, gets together, the house is just a bit too loud. And that’s kind of funny…


Is It Supposed To Hurt This Much?

June 8, 2017 |

That was a text I got from my daughter a few hours into labour. “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Because, yes. It is. And it does. And it will continue to. With every challenge that comes with being a parent. Being a mother or father or…


Get Back Up ~ Dedicated To My Friend Sandie

December 2, 2016 |

You should know, I am a die-hard GWTW fan. I’ve lost track now exactly how many times I’ve watched the movie. But I have read the book only once. I’m thinking I need to rectify that. The GWTW experience for me began as a lonely and homesick thirteen-year old wandering the musty maze of books…


Things I'm Learning From The US Election

November 12, 2016 |

I’ve been unable to write the past few days. Unable to trust that I’d use my words wisely. And I don’t know for sure I can do that today. Don’t know for sure I’ll hit that publish button when I’m done. But I do know I need to write the words down. Because that’s what…


Running on Empty

September 9, 2016 |

It was one of those nights last night. Sporadic sleep. Sound one minute, wide awake the next. It’s something I’ve learned to live with over the last couple of years, but it isn’t easy. Fortunately, I don’t have to be out the door at o’dark thirty, so when I have one of those nights, I…


Where Is Your Identity?

August 29, 2016 |

I’ve just returned from a few days in Nashville, where I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. I was trying to figure out dates in my head and I think this must be at least the eighth conference I’ve attended, and still, I’ll be honest, it’s the best of times and it’s the…


Me, Unplugged

June 6, 2016 |

I talk a lot about facing my fears. Um, yeah. I know. That’s our least favorite thing, right? For me, one of my biggest battles is self-image. Because I’m introverted, I tend to keep to myself. I’m not great at talking on the phone (I hate it), and I don’t like to put myself out…


Flashback Friday – Facing Fear

IMG_1503I was a scared kid. Scared of being alone, scared of being left/abandoned. I think I was scared of the dark for awhile. Timid, shy and terrified of anything that would have me step out of my comfort zone.

I had a lovely visual for this blog, an old photo, but I can’t for the life of me find it for looking.

I was six years old and it was my birthday. Back then, there was a Dolphin Show in Bermuda that was very popular with tourists and locals alike. Birthdays were a hit because you got to ride in a small boat, pulled by one of the dolphins. The same dolphins I’d seen jump high out of the water, spin in the air and sail through hoops. I spent that entire excruciatingly long boat ride almost cowering, simply scared stupid that the dolphin would suddenly explode out of the water and jump through one of those hoops, pulling us all along with him. An experience I surely would not survive.

I mean, really?


I suspect I had an over-active imagination in the womb. Looking back now, I don’t even find this memory funny. Actually it annoys the crap out of me.

Because I hate being afraid. 

And it’s something I live with, still. I hate the thought of not doing something I want to do because it scares me, yet it still has such a hold. Anything that might bring attention to myself makes me cower just a bit.


See me here at the end of the row on the far left? Sports Day. My very least favorite day of the school year. Because I had to participate. And I wasn’t very good at sports. I would invariably come last in every race I painfully participated in. And back in those days, there were winners and losers, first, second and third, and that’s the way it was. You sucked it up.


Years ago, when people began to pay attention to my writing and told me it was quite possible I would one day be published, I recall the fleeting thought of quitting right then and there. Because. What if? What if it really did happen and suddenly people were looking at me? You may laugh, but  . . . I actually still have these thoughts. But it’s probably a little late now.

This fear of being known, being seen . . . do you realize how debilitating it can be? It can hold you back from everything worth going after. It can crush your dreams before you’ve started chasing them. And it will stifle you spirit. If you let it.

I sit here behind my desk today, ready to launch into edits on my next novel, and I wonder what life would look like if I’d let myself live afraid.

If I’d never taken the chances, never allowed love in, never stepped out of that comfort zone that kept me safe . . . sure, I wouldn’t have the battle scars I carry, wouldn’t still be coping with emotional baggage that pulls up every once in a while and threatens to stay, but I wouldn’t have the wonder, the memories, the joy – how much of life would I have missed?


Fighting fear is not an easy feat. But it’s a necessary one. Something we must do if we want to succeed in anything. I’m still learning that. But here’s the good news –

There’s no place for fear when you live in freedom.

Not the soul-crushing fear I’m talking about anyway. It’s okay to be afraid of spiders. And snakes, and strange looking men with orange hair.

But don’t be afraid of yourself.


Living beyond fear is a choice.

It really is.

Have you made it?