I don’t know how I developed the phobia, but for the first 30 years of my life, I was deathly afraid of stinging insects, especially wasps. When I was a teenager, I would like to “lay out” in the sun, but when a wasp would fly around the patio, I quickly gathered up my things and went back inside. One time I was driving up the interstate and a wasp got into my car. In a panic, I went to the Highway Patrol station for them to get it out before I would continue my trip. I was a crazy woman.
As a young mom, I would take Gregory outside to play, but when a bumble bee showed up, we quickly went inside. When a wasp would get into the house, I would get Gregory and take him into my bedroom, lock the door, and call Brian. Brian would then come home from his corporate job at GE and get the fly scatter and kill the wasp. Then he would tell me that the coast was clear and we would come out of the bedroom again. Whew! What a relief.
My worst wasp moment was when I went to freshman orientation at N.C. State University. I was visiting a friend after orientation was over, and I noticed a wasp buzzing around the drivers side window of my red Corolla. I got out of the car as quickly as I could. In the process, I ran a stop sign and got into a wreck with a large pickup truck. But I was safe! I drove the three hours home in shame and embarrassment, my front bumper being torn off the front of my car. All because of a teensy tiny wasp.
After 30 years of irrational and fearful, panic-filled behavior when being faced by a stinging insect, I was delivered! I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Ron McGee of Rock Church about the “Giants in the Land” that Joshua and Caleb saw when they spied out the land of Israel. After hearing that sermon, I realized that I had been overrun by stinging, flying “Giants in the land.” I decided enough was enough, and in a powerful prayer on my red plaid couch, I told that fear of bees to leave me. Miraculously, it did.
I can now coexist with bees. I have an extensive cottage garden that is full of bees. When I am working in the garden with bees buzzing all around me, I am in complete peace. The bees and I can coexist and not harm each other.
Recently I heard a buzzing sound in my kitchen and went in search of its source. What I found was a wasp buzzing around my kitchen window. I was headed out the door and I didn’t have much time, but I grabbed the purple fly scatter out of the garage and I ran into the kitchen. With a scream and a swat I brought that wasp to a squashed end. Score one for Lisa!
About five days later, I was backing my husband’s red Corolla out of the garage to take it in for an oil change. Once again I heard a buzzing sound. A quick look in the rear view mirror revealed a wasp buzzing around the back window. The wasp soon disappeared, but I grabbed that trusty purple fly scatter and put in the car, just in case. I was headed down Market Street when I saw that wasp dancing around the back window of the car. Desperately praying that I would not wreck a 2nd red Toyota Corolla, I quickly pulled into a Hertz parking lot, got out of the car, and with a scream and a swat, I brought that wasp to its squashed end, too. Score two for Lisa!
(I have pictures as proof but I didn’t think that you wanted to see wasp carnage in my blog post.)
I was so proud of myself. In two situations of my life where I was previously a phobia-driven defeated crazy woman, I now had victory. I felt like it was God giving me a do-over, allowing me to prove to myself that I had truly overcome my fear. I was no longer terrified of sharing my home or car with a wasp. I was fully free! These events also encouraged me to courageously “run to danger” instead of always running from it.
Where do you need victory? Is there an area of your life where you have allowed an irrational fear or full blown phobia to steal from you? Has your fear kept you from what you really want to do or have you made really bad decisions that led to more disastrous consequences?
Are you afraid to fly so you will never go on a mission trip?
Are you afraid of the dentist so you don’t take care of yourself?
Are you afraid of rejection so you won’t have that hard conversation?
Are you afraid of to ask your boss for a raise?
Are you afraid to tell your neighbor to keep his dogs in his yard?
Are you afraid that you’ll be a bad mom so you won’t have children?
Are you afraid to speak in public so you turn down opportunities to speak for Christ?
Girls, run to danger!
I want to encourage you not to give up hope. Draw upon all of your courage and face that phobia, telling it that you will not be bound and in chains to it anymore. Just like Joshua and Caleb knew that with God’s help they could defeat their enemies, with God’s help, you can defeat yours, too. Even in the worst imaginable situation, God is with you, He will not desert you, and He will work things out for your good.
Let’s be courageous girls. We may have been afraid in the past, but we have the opportunity NOW to face our futures with courage. Run to danger! Grab your purple flyswatter, and then with a scream and a swat, squash your fear with the power of God. And walk away a free woman. Glory to God!