Fish, Fear, and Captive Thoughts

There’s an entry in my prayer journal dated three years ago wherein I wrote about her fear. Here we are three years later and she still avoids them if possible.


My youngest traipses–and sometimes dashes, depending on the urgency–all the way downstairs or from the opposite end of the house to use the half bath by the kitchen. Whatever it takes to evade the curtains. Specifically, the shower curtains.

Maybe I should clarify. My daughter isn’t afraid of all shower curtains. It’s just these particular shower curtains. You see, the designs on our curtains are underwater scenes – all sorts of apparently creepy sea creatures and plant life.


Not real sea creatures, but pictures of them. We all could understand her fear if there were real piranhas or stingrays or sharks lurking in the bathrooms. The real thing would be scary.

Our older kids know the pictures of the creatures can’t hurt them. And, of course, we adults know the pictures of the creatures can’t hurt us. To fear the pictures would be nonsensical. Illogical. Silly.

But sometimes grownups do the same thing as my daughter. We do things the hard way or we make bad decisions because of some irrational fear lurking in our minds–because of our perception rather than reality.

In that journal entry three years ago, I analyzed myself to understand what illogical things I do because of an irrational fear, and I have continued to try not to base decisions on fear. For instance, am I telling my daughter no, you can’t go do this or that simply because I’m afraid of something I have imagined? Am I making choices about how I parent my children based on a foolish fear of what others might think? Do I respond illogically to my husband because of a 3D, full color, scripted scenario I have created in my mind? (Whew, I just blew this one more recently than I care to admit.)

Lord, help me to base decisions on truth, not on some fear or anxiety I conjure up in my overactive imagination. Help me to truly take every thought captive in Christ — to measure each one up against Your truth, then to act on Your truth only and throw out the rest.

© Janice Powell 2013

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5


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