Be Not Afraid

31 Days of Facing my Fears: Day 8 Giving Voice to My Fears

A few weeks ago I spent ten days with my parents.  We had a wonderful time relaxing together, something we haven’t done in a long time, at least not without the interruptions of doctor’s appointments, nausea, or mouth sores.  And since I’m not undergoing treatment, I was able to do something with my parents that I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed:  drink wine.  I wouldn’t say we went overboard, but perhaps it’s that after over a year of not drinking my tolerance is a bit lower.  Regardless, after a glass before dinner and a glass afterwards, as my dad helped me put John Paul to bed, I blurted out, without inhibition, “Dad, what would happened if I died?  I mean, with John Paul?”

This fear of who would help my husband care for my sweet baby boy, who would kiss his cheeks over and over as he smiled open-mouthed and drooling, tickle him beneath his armpits until he laughed uncontrollably, and hold him close while singing him to sleep, was something that had been keeping me up for nights.  When I was going through treatment, I was still just getting to know my baby.  It’s not that I didn’t love him with all of my heart, because I did, from the first minute I knew he had blessedly begun growing in my womb.  But now, after we’ve had over two months to spend each day together, to get to know each other’s sounds and smells and touches, I love John Paul so much that the thought of anything hurting him or stealing even just a sliver of his happiness makes my heart beat faster and my eyes fill with tears.

Even though this fear had been keeping me up at night, it was a fear I’d only ever hinted at in conversation.  I’d never actually spoken it outright, with complete vulnerability and honesty.  But thankfully, that extra glass of wine pushed me just far enough that I was able to give voice to my deepest fear.  Because when I did, my father answered compassionately, reassuring me that of course he and my mom, as well as my mother-in-law and father-in-law, would be right there to help Mike care for John Paul, making him feel as loved as possible.  While my dad’s words made me feel much better, the truth is I’d already known the answer.

It wasn’t the answer that I needed to hear; rather, it was the question.  I needed to give voice to my greatest fear.  I needed to hear myself say it, to put it out there, to pull it kicking and screaming and shielding its eyes from the darkness of my mind.  I needed to bring it into the light.  For in the light, everything looks less scary.  Light doesn’t make things disappear, it brings everything into greater clarity.  It illuminates things, allowing us to see them for what they really are.  And when we understand what our fears are, we can figure out how to tackle them.

I’m still afraid of what will happen to John Paul if I die when he’s young.  But now that I’ve spoken my fear out loud, I’ve claimed it, and taken ownership of it, and made it less overwhelming.  And in doing so, I’ve also learned to let go, as much as possible.  I will do everything I can to make sure my fear doesn’t come true, but I will also let go of the things I cannot control.  I will make sure I get regular PET scans and take care of my health as best as possible.  But I cannot control whether or not the cancer spreads further into my body.  That’s where my faith and trust in God comes in.

Voicing my greatest fear has helped me realize what matters most to me:  my family, especially my son.  And knowing this, I plan to move forward, enjoying life and living as normally as possible, but cherishing every moment I have with my family, and especially with John Paul.  When he cries and cries and I begin to wish he were older and could tell me what is wrong, I’ll stop myself, and instead be thankful for the moment.  When I’m exhausted and want him to go to sleep, but he instead wants to play, I’ll try to stop myself from being annoyed and be grateful instead.  I’ll live intentionally and boldly, dragging my fear into the light, exposing it for what it really is:  motivation.

My prayer for you today is that you have the courage to voice your biggest fear.  Put it out there, allowing it to become clearer and clearer in the light.  And once you see it for what it really is, face it head on, figuring out what aspects of it you can control and what aspects you can’t.  Take the aspects you can’t control and offer them to God.  Let Him take them and He will fill you with peacefulness and love instead.

Dad meets John Paul for the first time…


Dad and John Paul a few weeks ago.
Grandpa and Grandson

Thank you for joining me on my 31 day challenge!

Previous days:

Day 1: Be Not Afraid
Day 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Day 3 Keeping a Faithful Heart in Light of Suffering
Day 4: Facing Fears with Laughter
Day 5: Listening to My Heart
Day 6: Daring to Love Myself in Order to Love Others
Day 7: Opening Up My Idea of a Remarkable Life

And click here to read all the other wonderful blogs joining in on this challenge!


  1. “now that I’ve spoken my fear out loud, I’ve claimed it, and taken ownership of it, and made it less overwhelming”

    A very true and wise statement. Blessings on your journey.
    Wishing you healing,

  2. Allison, I enjoy reading your blog so much! You are an inspiration to so many and this post is an excellent reminder to be grateful for the little things in life.

  3. Allison: What comforting words you write! You certainly are a strong survivor and a gifted writer! The pictures of your dad and John Paul are so very precious . . . Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you every day and night and I pray for a good outcome to your upcoming cat-scan on Wednesday! I have several mantras that I repeat to myself many times during the day and I just thought I’d share them with you:
    1) “I Believe In Myself and All That I Am and I Know There Is Something Inside Me Greater Than Any Obstacle.”;
    2) “Life Isn’t About Waiting For The Storm To Pass, It’s About Learning How To Dance In The Rain.”; and,
    3) “The Best Way To Cheer Myself Up Is To Cheer Up Somebody Else.”
    Love and God Speed,
    Kathy Wilcox

    • Kathy, thank you as always for your beautiful words, love, and support. And thank you for always reminding me that from the day I was diagnosed with cancer I was a fellow survivor of yours. I wear that bracelet every day.

      Thank you so much for your prayers and for your mantras…I love them and have been using them everyday! They were so helpful as I prepared for my scan. I hope you know that you were of course on my prayer list as I was scanned, as you are everyday. Lots of love to you always.

  4. Wow! Such a great reminder that I, too, have found to be true! When I have given voice to my fears, it helps take the “BIG”-ness out of the ordeal and worry & fear seem to dissipate. Your heart is just beautiful!

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