Oh the challenge of looking up instead of looking for danger.

Before I became a mother, I would imagine what it would be like to be one.  I would think of the things my mom passed on to me and I would wonder what amazing things I would pass on to my own children. 

Now that my Summer is nearly 10 years old, I’ve passed on something that I didn’t plan on.  

Since the womb, I have been deathly afraid of bees.  I’m a grown adult now and still panic and SOMETIMES run inside when one comes around me. 

Like mother, like daughter Summer has picked up on this trait and carried it on.  Her sister has conquered the fear but she, too, once shared it. 

I remember a few years ago we went to my cousin’s baptism party which was held in their backyard.  We attempted to eat lunch but there were several bees flying around food and pop cans. 

Even while the hosts were trying to say a little something to everyone there, it was hard to hear over my two girls crying and squirming and having panic attacks. 

We actually had to leave the BBQ because we were making the experience worse for everybody.

Two weeks ago, Ted and I took Summer golfing because she really wanted to try it. It turns out that she just really wanted to ride in a golf cart and there were none available so we already started out on a bad note. 

At one particular hole, we had to sit and wait for the group in front of us to finish before we could tee off.  As we sat there, sure enough, here came along a bee. 

Summer started to whimper and panic and run away.  Being the mother, I had to stop my own whimpering and panicking and be the mature one. 

I went to her and said, “Let’s just walk around  here.  If we walk and talk, we won’t think about it.”

So we held hands and began to walk around on the grass but when I looked over at Summer she had her one arm bent, squeezing up against her own body in fear and her eyeballs were the size of saucers as she continually scanned her surroundings for any possibility of a bee.

looking up
I calmly, in a soothing voice, said to her,
“Summer, you can’t look for them.  If you look for them, you will see them. 
You will never not see one then.  You have to try to be looking up.  Look around you at other things. 
Don’t focus on them.  Then you will forget and not be so scared.”

My life has had its own share of self-inflicted wounds, but it has also had damage done that I could do nothing about. 

God wired my body in a special way so that I have depression.  I think God made me that way on purpose and I’m learning that in its own way, it is a gift.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like crazy and it is easy to focus on the downward spiral; to focus on it so much that it actually makes it worse because now that is all I see. 

I’ve been learning in the last year and a half that what actually helps is to stop looking for it.  Stop looking for the bee of depression.  Start looking up.

As hard as it is, desperately try to reach out to someone else in pain to ease my own pain.  For me, that has been something as simple as baking something for someone who I know is hurting. 

Doesn’t sound like much, but when my number one desire is to sleep all day to numb the pain, baking is a daunting task.  Deep down I know, though, that laying in bed doesn’t help.

It doesn’t help to stop looking up.

I’m

just

looking

for

bees

then.

looking up

Another example is my level of trust. 

This was shattered 8 years ago but it still haunts me.  Logically, I know better.  I know my Ted is a good man – top of his class – and he loves me deeply. 

There has been zero evidence that he would ever leave me or cheat on me.  None. 

But four years into our marriage and we still battle trust together.  I feel like there is another bee coming so I can’t enjoy the moment because I’m waiting for the inevitable next sting.  I’m looking for it and I stop looking up.

As much as I HATE bees and have questioned their purpose on earth, maybe they, too, are a gift. 

I have wondered why God created a flying creature with a sharp stinger but maybe they are an example to us.  Bees only sting if they are scared or feel threatened. 

They give life to their stinger when they think they need to protect themselves.  Otherwise, they just fly around and are easy to ignore.  Sure there is always the sharp object but it doesn’t have to have life.

There are scary things in our world. And if we look for them, we will find them.

I don’t know what yours are but I am always scared of the next depression spiral, or how big that spiral will be. 

I’m scared of losing my marriage and husband. 

I’m scared about depending on someone and getting hurt like I did the first time, therefore, I try to act like I don’t need him or rely on him so he doesn’t know he could hurt me.   

Here’s something I’ve never said in my writing before…I’m scared my Summer will have the same issues or tendencies of her biological dad so I watch like a hawk and pounce in fear when I see a hint of it.  See? 

I walk around listening for any sounds of buzzing and watching with saucer-sized eyeballs for the yellow and black enemies.

I don’t see anything else because I’m so busy looking for ONE thing instead of looking up.
I’m feeling scared and threatened and I am giving life to their stinger.
looking up

Maybe I need to take my advice to Summer and listen to it for my own bees. 

I can’t look around for scary things. I need to be looking up.

There are scary things out there for sure but if that is what I focus on, then that is all that I will see. 

I need to be looking up. 

I have a God who says He is bigger than the scary things. 

I have a God who says that scary things WILL happen but He WILL get me through them. 

I have a God who says that, even if it isn’t until the other side of eternity, victory is coming one way or another. 

Bee sting pain isn’t eternal. 

If I focus on these things, on my God, then I will start to forget about the scary things and not notice them as much.  I will see more good than bad.  I won’t be as scared or threatened. 

I am tired of always being on alert for the next bee.  I  am tired of running away or running inside so they can’t get me.  That’s exhausting.  I need to stay outside.  Stay where the risk is.

But I have to keep looking up

and around me while I’m out there.  

See my big God and

what He is capable of instead of the tiny bee

and his even tinier stinger.  

Are you walking around looking for bees?  Are you living scared of the next sting? What can you do to start looking up right now?

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