I have a secret

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I have a secret. I’m afraid of the bathroom.  No, I’m not afraid of a creepy crawlies that could be under my toilet seat…. but that IS rather terrifying…I must say.

Nope…I’m afraid of the shower….is there a scientific name for that?? Hold on! Let me Google that.

Ablutophobic….

WOW… thanks Google…glad you could give me a label.

You see, a few months ago I took a step. Yep…that’s all I did. I took a step out of a shower, not my shower, I was away from home…and my life was altered so quickly.

In a split second stepping out of a shower the towel under my foot slid rolling my ankle…dislocating it and fracturing my leg and ankle in 3 serious breaks.  SNAP! That quick. I just took a step. I’ll spare you the details that followed…but they are rather interesting … including a house full of ladies in their pjs and two very confused medics.

Anyway, God has used the last 3 months to teach me ALOT! I’m still journaling. I’m still listening, and I’m still processing. But this Fear… the specific fear of showering, well that needed to be dealt with. I’m a shower every day kinda gal. It wakes me up, I enjoy the quiet time of a shower, the hot water, it’s a recipe for a great start to my day.

I was managing just fine with showers at my home, being very cautious. Then I went on a family vacation. To a lovely cabin nestled in the woods on a lake. Unfortunately the shower at the cabin was an exact replica of the shower from a few months ago. I knew I had fear brewing about showering but this brought it to a whole new level. It caused me to replay that tragic step. The split second and how quickly my circumstances changed. So it was an easy decision to skip my shower the first day. But after two days of suntan lotion and bug spray this needed to happen. I’m still very unstable standing without my air cast on, but I did it. I showered. Painfully. I showered. I was shaking and close to tears. I was gripped with fear. I know some may think this sounds ridiculous. Actually I felt ridiculous, but it was real, and it was crippling me. Just like when my four year old wakes scared of the spider in his dreams. His fear was real, kind of crazy for me to understand because I didn’t dream it, but I know he is scared.

Later I sit to read a devotion that I had been reading on spiritual warfare. We know that God warns us..

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12

This specific day in the devo was talking about how the enemy will send his spirits to wreak havoc on you, to separate you from God. Using a “Spirit of Fear” being one tactic.

Excerpt from Spiritual Warfare by LeClaire on YouVersion Bible app.

“As an adult, after I had suffered many traumatic events, fear dominated my life. Fear’s false feelings were no longer just feelings. I had a legion of fear spirits that impacted every area of my life and manifested in diverse ways.
Fear is your nemesis. It is a master weapon in the enemy’s hand that defies God’s promises in your life. Fear comes to stop you from advancing in God. But you can be free from its stronghold in your mind. You can take authority over fear when it tries to rise up against your soul.”

I had never looked at it this way. I thought of fear a something that was rising up inside of me, an emotion or feeling. I know that the enemy can take a seed that is in our emotions and use that against us. It was time to call it out. This was an attack.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

This wasn’t from God!

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18

God is love, we know love because of him…this was a tactic to separate me from the freedom found in Christ alone. I began to speak these verse out loud, and praise God for these last few months. I can feel him refining me, and I thank Him for that.

God has taught me about the spirit of fear and how the enemy can use the simplest things to wedge that gap, and separate me from the peace found with God.

Actually God is teaching me a lot through these last few months of trials. I’m still listening, still processing, still learning, still healing. Everything from being humble, being still, being patience… not just with others but with myself, about the value of a good shower but most of all about how I am Loved, I am embraced, I’m never alone, yet the value of alone time, and about the ever present, unlimited power of God living in and around me.

In conclusion you will be happy to know, God is giving me victory in Him…one shower at a time!

Mary Bender.jpg

Mary Bender and her husband Norman live in Greencastle, PA.  They have three energetic boys, and one adorable little girl.  Mary counts herself as being truly blessed to be saved by Christ, who equips her to be a stay at home mom to her four “littles.”  In addition to being a wife and mother, Mary uses her God-given gifts to serve in women’s ministry at her church, LCBC, and as a life group leader.  Mary also uses her passion for women’s ministry for serving on the board of directors for “The Connection.”  It is Mary’s desire to serve and encourage women to have genuine faith while building a home and raising her children.

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