Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fear: What Lies Behind Door #6

I've seen the pictures.

I've seen it on TV.

To have the opportunity to see it in person felt like a dream come true.

Friday, I was in St. Louis, MO, for a business trip. This was a once in a lifetime thing for me. This little girl from Arbutus rarely leaves her community, much less her state. We're talking "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" here. The hosts of the trip had scheduled a visit to the Gateway Arch. The Gateway Arch – not to be confused with the Golden Arches, thank you very much - is magnificent. It's so impressive, so massive. At 630ft tall, it's the tallest US Monument. I almost made myself dizzy just trying to look up at the entire arch.

Our group strolled inside the museum, escaping the extremely hot and humid St. Louis weather. “OK, everyone,” our group leader shouted to us. “Feel free to look at the museum, but be back here in 15 minutes so we can make the next tour of the Arch.”

Say what?

Tour of the Arch?

Isn't that what we're doing now?

You mean...go up in that thing?

To the top?

Like, the tippy-top?

Like, the tippy-tippy-top and look down below and see buildings the size of ants?

You got to be nuts!

I ain't goin' up in that thing!

Erin Ashley don't do heights!

God made me tall for a reason. If I can't reach it with my 6 foot tall frame, then I must not need it. It takes everything within me to put my foot on the third rung of a ladder. As a matter of fact, I don't even know the last time I've been past the third rung. I don't think I have.

You can imagine the panic I was feeling knowing that I was about to ride a little teeny-tiny elevator thingy 630 feet into the air. I could feel the fear welling up in me. My heart was beating faster; my stomach was doing flip flops.

When I was younger, my dad always quoted Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with the wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Ever notice the company Fear hangs out with? His best friends are Anxiety, Worry, Stress, Panic, and Nervousness.

All of Fear's friends showed up and wanted to join the party I had just started in my mind. I had a choice. I could open the door and invite them in, or I could shut the door on Fear and his friends completely.

As I was standing on the steps in front of Door #6, I felt God asking me, "Erin, do trust me to protect you? Do you trust me to give you the peace that I've promised? I mean, I only parted the Red Sea for Moses when he had no other place to go with the Israelites. Abraham trusted me to make him a father when it was totally out of the realm of possibility. You know, just a couple of small things. But you - you're doing a big thing - going up in a ginormous tower. Kinda scary, but I know I've got this. The question is: do you trust me?" I don't how God talks to you, but when he talks to me, He sometime sounds like He's from Arbutus.

Ultimate conviction. Fear doesn't come from God (2 Timothy 1:7). It's something I was doing to myself. Without a shadow of a doubt, I trust God, and it was time I showed Him...even with something as ridiculous as my fear of heights. I made the decision to show Fear and his friends the door.

You know what happened?

Peace and his friends Calm, Hope, Serenity, Confidence, and Tranquility rang the doorbell to my mind a few seconds later. The minute I let them in, I felt awesome. Even when Door #6 opened and revealed itself to be a room the size of a port-a-potty with seats for 5, I stepped into that tiny space with full confidence.

When I arrived to the top of the Gateway Arch, I was rewarded with one of the most incredible views I've ever seen. I could see all of St. Louis and it was spectacular.

God couldn't have shown me His beautiful creation if I had let Fear and his buddies keep me on the ground. I'm so glad that I went with Peace and his sweet friends...or else I would have missed out on the pure beauty of the unknown that comes from trusting in God. Maybe fear doesn't lie behind Door #6 for you. Maybe it lies in the unknown of a job or a move or a pregnancy or college or your next meal. Don't let fear and his friends live rent free in your mind. Give God your trust and let His friends Peace, Calm, Comfort, Confidence, Serenity, and Tranquility occupy your mind. I can guarantee they'll be great guests. Besides, God's handled way bigger problems - even wrote about them so we could see that He's handled it and *how* He handled it.

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7 NLT


  1. Great post Erin! Way to "faith" your fears.

  2. Wow. I'm terrified of heights; maybe, if it was something I HAD to conquer for a practical or 'emergency' reason, it would occur to me to call on God for help. But you would have, I assume, been able to beg off the elevator ride, yet you called on God to get you through, and you got to see an amazing site, as well as (more importantly) to get a very direct, and very immediate, dose of His love, faithfulness, and POWER! You go, girl!


Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts - we love it when you do!

~ Jack & Erin

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