Fear Pt 3: Tourette Syndrome and Christ

You know how in those let's-be-honest-and-get-to-know-each-other games, somehow the question of, "What's your biggest fear" comes up?  The thing is, I don't think people are entirely honest about things like that.  Or maybe I'm projecting.  It's easy to say things like spiders or even being crushed by a 2-ton spring-loaded garage door because your parents never bothered upgrading to the metal type that can't kill people (not that I have personal experience with that particular fear or anything), but it's harder to say things that we really fear like "dying alone" or "never 'finding' love."

A few years ago, my unspoken fear was somehow getting a neurological disorder or receiving head trauma that would leave me retarded.  I never said it, but I thought about it.  I was never particularly pretty or athletic or popular, but at the time, I was at the top of my class.  I wouldn't go so far as to say as it "identified" me, but it definitely was the "thing" that I brought to the table.  I didn't want to lose that.

Four years later, I wouldn't exactly say that my fears came true, but my circumstances definitely came close.  Developing a motor tic my first year of college, the diagnosis eventually became Tourette Syndrome (TS) and though it hasn't affected my intellect itself, I definitely look retarded at times (in the most literal way.  I don't know what the PC kids call it now-a-days).  Even after my TS was diagnosed, I feared that it would get worse.  And it did.  And even now, it still continues to get worse.

But I've stopped worrying.  I feel that I've been through enough to make me fearless.  There's no need to worry because worrying never healed anyone, and you might as well make the most of what you have.  Also, I've become convinced that God uses our fears to show His Sovereignty.  What I mean to say is that our fears reveal the areas of our life with which we don't trust God and His Goodness.  We fear because we don't believe God will be enough.  I think God wants to break us of our fears, and the most efficient way for us to learn not to fear is to face them.

We have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  At first, we dread the cliffs and the darkness and the unknown, but at the end, we realize that our Shepherd was telling the truth all along.  When He said that He would take care of us, He meant it, and He had the power to follow through.  But we don't know that until we experience it for ourselves.

4 Response to Fear Pt 3: Tourette Syndrome and Christ

  1. I can't even remember now how I came to start reading your blog, but I'm reading it from Canada and I really look forward to it.
    Thank you for your transparency and courage in posting this. I will pray for your continued joy in the midst of whatever plans God has for you.


  2. Jo says:

    Hi Deborah!

    My symptoms actually got worse after writing that post, but reading your comment gave me so much encouragement. Thanks for reading the blog, and thank you so much for your prayers. It's really cool to think about how the blogosphere can help God's children bless each other, even across borders.

    God bless you,

  3. Jo,
    God is so good. I went to church tonight (despite my sense of discouragement) where we are working through Pilgrims Progress. I haven't been on a Wednesday night in months.
    Tonight in God's providence they started the section where Pilgrim has come out of the valley of despair and into the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
    The teaching and commentaries so echoed your comments about the fact that all of us will go through it and must go through it in order to know that He will be there, and He is all we need.
    God is so personal and kind in the way He emphasizes what we need by bringing it to us from many different directions.
    I'll keep praying dear sister,

  4. Jo says:

    All the time, God is good. I'm glad that you were encouraged by your church's Wed. night service and love how God uses different circumstances to speak to us during our times of need. I've always found 1 Peter 1:6-9 incredibly encouraging because it reminds me that our suffering in this world serves a purpose. The passage is so dense and full of truth, and I find so much peace by sitting and meditating on it.
    I'll be praying that your discouragement will be overshadowed by the overwhelming goodness and grace of Christ. May you be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being (Eph 3:16)

    With much love,