Dead Space 2

What follows is a post I wrote about a month ago, but never published, ironically, out of fear of looking like a dork. Thought I’d finish it and put it out there.


A few weeks back, I watched my brother play the game Dead Space 2 and squealed in dread for the majority of the experience. I’ve always maintained that scary anything isn’t my cup of tea, and it really shows when I’m met with jaw-busting and bladder-loosening terror.

The whole ordeal got me thinking about fear in general. I was shocked to realize just how much it rules my life in other, less funny ways.

Fear is anathema to good writing. Or good living, if you want to be more emo about it.

What annoys me about fear is how paralyzing it is. How it slows you down like those old cartoons when containers of glue spilled across the ground and halted the animated characters in their tracks like slow-moving statues. For some reason the glue always slowed down the parts of them that weren’t touching the glue (in addition to their feet), but I guess you can’t blame anything with talking animals for not being entirely realistic.

As I’ve been re-reading In the Blood, I can see where this anxiety really shows up in my writing. I feel like the sections that are the best are the ones where I handle the characters honestly and with boldness. These tend to be the parts that deal with the main character (Gabe) and his former relationship with his deceased father. I’m currently working on a future post about father wounds, and that’s certainly an area of my life I’ve accepted and don’t mind talking about. The difference in the level of writing there is huge, and staggering to see in contrast to the other parts where I don’t handle Gabe as boldly.

The weird thing is that seeing these fears played out on the page made me stop and look back at how they work themselves out in my day-to-day living as well. And it made me realize that I can be a fear-driven person when I’m not careful.

For starters, fear kept me from starting to write my books. And from losing weight. To be honest, it’s fear that keeps me from writing on this blog more. I worry that writing about myself makes me look vain or neurotic. I’m worried that I might have used the word neurotic wrong just now and that my friends with big vocabularies and brains will think I’m a hack. I also worry that if I don’t talk about my faith enough on here, my Christian friends won’t think I’m a good Christian. I worry that if I talk about my faith too much, my non-Christian friends will think I’m a weirdo. I’m worried that admitting both of those things makes me look like an even bigger weirdo.

These things work themselves into social interactions and my real life, too. They’re probably too numerous to list. A lot of them have to do with how people perceive me. In the end, most of my fears usually stem from a place of feeling inadequate or wanting people to like me more. It feels lame to write that, but it’s true.

Lately, I’ve found a great deal of comfort from the words of Jesus in Matthew Chapter 6:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

I don’t like birds, either, Jesus. It’s cool.

Seriously though, that verse is awesome and encouraging. Maybe one day I’ll learn to set my fears aside.

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