Monday, August 11, 2014

DRACULA MOON


Monsters.

I sorta like to be scared by them.

Back in the day (my day that is!), there was a rash of monster movies. Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Phantom of the Opera, Creature from the Black Lagoon, to name a few.  In my humble (and correct) opinion, these were *true* monster movies.  (I am not a fan of re-makes).

And, in a pre-special effects world, a world without computer-generated creatures, these movies were classics of makeup and lighting and cinematography.  I think the fact that they were filmed in black and white made them even scarier.  Properly creepy, they scared the wits out of me.

Especially Dracula.

For weeks I was unable to close my eyes at night without feeling his warm, batty breath on my neck!

Somehow in my mind, he was the one monster who could actually be real.

And so, to this day, I am still a little spooked by what I call a "Dracula Moon."

A "Dracula Moon" is a full moon surrounded by wispy clouds, or fog, or a halo of moist air.  (Check out my photo below and you'll see what I mean).

A regular full moon is also a bit eerie, as it brings the risk of a random Wolf Man appearance.

But at least you can see well by the light of a silvery moon.

A "Dracula Moon" is not a bright moon.  It is a shadowy harbinger of ominous monster-lurking (or flying).

Part of the reason I still look up in the sky and feel a tingle along my spine is because of one true fact…

I am still afraid of the dark.

Yup, I admit it.

I am a nighttime sissy.

And you know what?  It is really, really freaky up here in the mountains!  There are no neighbors next door, no streetlights, no neon-lit main street, no fancy backyard lighting.

Just an inky sky…

…and whatever else is lingering nearby just waiting to jump out at me!

I've mentioned before that our house is located at the top of a winding, switchback road.  And I hate when I have to drive home after dark.  It doesn't happen often (on purpose) – but occasionally I have to do it.

Let me tell you, there is no way that I can drive fast. 

And so, when I go slowly, and especially when I have to slow down around the curves, all I can see is what is lit up by my headlights (on high-beam, of course).

I am surrounded by trees and boulders and ravines and things that go bump in the night.

My hands get a little sweaty, my heart beats faster, and my mind races to all sorts of things.  Beasts that will jump out at me, or scary robbers trying to hijack my car, or monsters looking for an unwary and hapless victim.

And, if I am ever unfortunate enough to drive home on a night lit up by a "Dracula Moon"let me tell you, I am looking for wings.

Silly, huh?

A little, maybe.

But fear of the dark is real.  And fear of monsters is instinctual in a way, don't you think?

Found this on the web:  Fear of the dark is usually not fear of the darkness itself, but fear of possible or imagined dangers concealed by darkness.  It's linked to a fear of the unknown.


Yes, that is it exactly.

But, where does this fear come from?

I think it comes from something that the enemy places in our hearts and minds.

The prince of darkness reigns on this earth, and fear is one of his most effective tactics.

He moves in darkness, and hates the light.

And he delights in scaring the children of God.

Trust me, I know.  For I am a worrier, a fretter, a stewpot of *what-if* thinking…and I get scared very easily.

It's my thorn.

And the enemy knows how to poke at and stir up and wound me at my most vulnerable spot.

F reaking out
E ndless anxiety
A ngst-ridden thoughts
R unning away


He is a monster.

But truly, I don't really need to be afraid of him.

For I have the Light of the World with me.

I have found that if I turn on a Christian radio station while driving up the road, I'm not afraid.

If I pray while I'm driving, I'm not afraid.  (Eyes open, of course!)

If I sing while I'm driving, I'm not afraid.

See, the truth of the matter is this – if I focus on the Lord, I AM NOT AFRAID.

This is Truth that can, and must, be applied to all aspects of my life.

Fear is really just the devil taunting me, and tempting me to look at all my inadequacies, my inabilities, my lack of control over anything.

And this is the root of fear.

It stems from that old prideful desire to be our own gods.  To run our lives.  To do what we think is best.  To rule and reign and make life into our own image.

And when we come face-to-face with the fearsome reality that we are not in control, well, we can crumble.

I have battled an onslaught of anxiety since my dad died in January.  It's been overwhelming at times.

And yet…

AND. YET.

I am also finding out how much I am loved.

Loved by a sovereign God who loves me perfectly.

"There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear…" (1 John 4:18, NIV)

He is the One who controls my future.  He is the One who battles the darkness of fear.  He is the One who overcomes the powers that taunt and tempt.

Yes, the enemy may say, "Boo!"

But the Lord says, "Be gone!"


Truth be told, I'll probably always be a little afraid of the dark and monsters – (I still jump into my bed from about 2 feet out – nobody’s grabbing me from underneath the bed!)

And I'll probably always have to battle my tendency to worry.

And I'm sure I'll always have a "control" issue!

But, I do not need to fear…

For the light of the moon, even a "Dracula Moon," is still just a reflection of the sun…

…and even on the darkest night, the Son is still shining!





Fear not!
I am with you always,
even to the end of the world.



"I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you...[and will] release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." (Isaiah 42:6-7, NIV)

"For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6, NLT)

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves..." (Colossians 1:13, NIV)

"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people...As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9, NLT)

"For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord.  So live as people of light!" (Ephesians 5:8, NLT)

"'Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.'" 
(Acts 26:17-18, NLT)

"In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:4-5, ESV)

"'I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.'" (John 12:46, NASB)

"'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 1:12, NIV)

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

"Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me." (Micah 7:8, NKJV)



What are you afraid of?  And how does God help you overcome your fears?



Linked today with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, UNFORCED RHYTHMS, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, SOLI DEO GLORIA, TITUS 2 TUESDAYS, UNITE, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAYS, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, CAPTURE YOUR JOURNEY, WOMEN HELPING WOMEN, WORDS OF LIFE WEDNESDAYS, WINSOME WEDNESDAY, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, THRIVING THURSDAY, EVERYDAY JESUS, THRIVE AT HOME THURSDAY, HEARTS FOR HOME, GRACE AT HOME, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, FRIDAY FIVE, ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, WEEKEND BREW, RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY, STILL SATURDAY, SATURDAY SOIREE, SUNDAY STILLNESS, GIVE ME GRACE



BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

31 comments:

  1. we were once caught in a terrible storm and my oldest started repeating over and over, when I am afraid I will trust you. Hearing her, calmed me down and got us home safe.. She hit it right on. Hugs Sharon. Have a great week.

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  2. those moons and those images - they can stay with you a long time. i pray that peace finds you surrounding your fathers death and beyond.

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  3. Beautiful moon shot, Sharon. I love the moon... but have never liked "monsters" or movies of horror/terror... the ones that make you scream (and I have to laugh, as I was typing 'scream', it came up 'scram', which works too, huh?) Also like your acronym of FEAR ... but certainly not all the anxiety, fear, etc. that you're going through (still) ...nor your mountain drives in the dark ... nor any 'thorn' ... however, I love how you battle fear and how the Lord says "be gone' to the boos. (cute and witty as ever)... Yet the best is still your ending to this "Dracula Moon".

    Isn't is said that the worse fear, is of fear itself ... I once made the mistake at an Aglow meeting, to say I had no fears (for prayer) and I soon after was given many episodes in my life to instill "fear" and more fear in me. I think I sing too when fearful ... a song from my childhood pops in my mind of Psalm 23 ... sometimes without me even knowing that I was dreading fear ...or impending fear ... I find it loves to sneak up on you when you least expect it. God is always with me, with His "boo, be gone" ... and "I shall not fear ..." I will trust in Him! Having your Bible verses as ammunition to recite seems to help and drive the "dracula" fears and such away ... if not, suiting up in my full armor in prayer and drawing closer to God in song, praise and thanksgiving does it for me. The Son is always shining! (I find much comfort in that and that :He is with me" much bigger and better than any spooky stuff and even the eerie eves ... "He is near, He is with you" stirs up my confidence and "fight". Praying still for you Sharon... with love and a BIG HUG
    on this moony Monday ...let His SON shine ...

    Today's forecast: (wherever you are)" God Reigns and the Son Shines!!!" just believe in your heart and confess with your mouth ...

    Many blessings, Peggy

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  4. I'm a nighttime sissy too. There are certain TV shows I won't watch once the sun sets. And I never intentionally watch a scary movie.

    "Fear of the dark is usually not fear of the darkness itself, but fear of possible or imagined dangers concealed by darkness. It's linked to a fear of the unknown."

    Yes! That's it. I haven't thought of it in that way before. But yes, we have the Light of the World with us, in us! I praise God for that. And for you, Sharon. Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. Oh, I love a moonlit night and especially with a few clouds drifting across the moon. Last night's was spectacular!

    And I love my rural home far from city lights where I can better see the moon and stars.

    But it's not so much the dark that I like...it's actually the ability to better see the natural light of the moon and stars...to enjoy how they reflect the glory of our Creator...juts as the moon reflects the radiance of the sun.

    Blessings to you, Sharon!

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  6. Here's another one for you Sharon:
    F alse
    E vidence
    A ppearing
    R eal
    I loved your "Boo!" and "Be Gone!" part! Just perfect!

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  7. I think I have that same thorn of worry, Sharon. Knowing some of the roads you have to drive on, I think I'd have the same attitude driving on a dark night home, wondering what is around the corners. I like how you try to conquer it with prayer, singing, and Christian radio station. Great thoughts too that the enemy wants to keep us in the dark, but we have the best light that shines in Jesus who is bigger and brighter than anything we will face!

    betty

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  8. I loved the that part about fear of the dark being a fear of the unknown. I think those of us with good imaginations tend to be more fearful than the more left brained folks. They seem to be able to use their reasoning skills while people like me (and you...) use our active creative skills.

    I know I'm too fearful. It has been the thorn in my own flesh for so long that I don't even realize it's there anymore. I just limp along accommodating it. It will just sort of callous over for a while, and I'll think it's better. Then, "it" gets tired of being taken for granted or something and starts to amp it up a little just to remind me that "it" is still there.

    For that reason (and just because I loved it) I loved the part in this where you said, "Boo!" and "Be Gone!"

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  9. (If there are typos in that, please ignore them. I have a stiff neck and shoulder today and typing is bugging it. I'm all gimped up.)

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  10. What a lovely photo of the moon with the wispy clouds around it. There are times when we need to take that drive at night, even when we usually would not like to do so. Playing Christian music or listening to a Christian program is a great idea. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a True Story.

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  11. Oh, how the enemy amplifies our worries and fears, but you're right, when I turn my focus to the Lord, His light overcomes the darkness.

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  12. Believe it or not, I am afraid of bugs--oh, not the kind you can readily see; I mean bugs that for the most part do their dirty work in stealth mode, like bed bugs or deer ticks or head lice. Ewwwww! I shiver with the heebeejeebees just thinking about them. It is an unreasonable, but very real fear that I must pray into submission so that it does not affect my actions. Thanks for your honesty, Sharon, and for your words of encouragement.

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  13. I do think though that fear is an emotion that God gave us. Sometimes to fear is a smart thing. Of course when we fear things you don't need to fear is something different. But we all do it don't we? I think it is human and it makes us closer to God.

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  14. Hi Sharon! I see what you mean about that Dracula Moon. It does look a little creepy! One vote for living without all that light pollution: you get to see so many stars. Have you been seeing the comet showers this week? How about the moon? It's been so cloudy here I haven't seen a thing.

    I'm not too creeped out by dark, but I noticed that when I visited my friend in the country, I did wonder what would jump out at me. So I understand your hesitation. It is a grace to know that you have figured out how to overcome the fear. That's wonderful! Anxiety and fear are not fun things to deal with, they can really mess with your mind and mood. I'm so glad you found what works for you as you put your trust on The Lord.
    Bless you and all your shenanigans,
    Ceil

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  15. Good one! Yeah, we're on the same page. Love the wisdom in this along with the honesty. Everyone is afraid, at least at times, in this life. I believe that "Fear of the Lord" is actually the reverence to know that He controls all things and deserves reverence in that He controls everything in His creation. When we fear the things that He will either cause or allow we're missing the meaning and heart of our Father.

    Great post, Sharon! That picture is great!

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  16. Death and loss can stir up a whole host of fears and anxieties, can't they? Ones that have latched onto us from years back and maybe ones that seem to have come out of nowhere. You have such a good grasp on this, it seems, and even in the throes of the fear, you have sight. The Light is navigating you through the dark. Maybe you are more like that dracula moon, clear and shining as wisps of fear move across and eventually pass.

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  17. First of all I want to tell you that your photo of that moon is amazing! That is something I have not been able to do yet...get a good shot of the moon. When I was a teen I was into the show Dark Shadows...do you remember that? lol! I really am not afraid of the dark for the most part and I do love to see a full moon, that is unless it is shining through the curtain and I am trying to sleep! I certainly can relate to your fears about driving up that road in the darkness though. I feel this way when driving in the rain at night. Singing and praying certainly helps me get through it! Thank you for being so open and honest in this post, Sharon. God bless you, friend!

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  18. Sorry to hear you are struggling with fear and anxiety. Ugh. Been there......I refuse to watch anything that fuels my fears or sets off my amygdala (fight or flight). No fear of dark if Joel's around :).
    I read somewhere that fear is mostly False Evidence Appearing Real! FEAR. I try to hold on to that.

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  19. Hello. I think this was really good. I have never much thought about it! I never watch scary stuff, always like to have a flashlight in the car and such! Fear is a funny thing and it can grow in the dark! I did love the way you used Godly things to push it back! Way to go sister...
    Love, Roxy

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  20. Ah . . . sitting here in the middle of a thunderstorm with lights blinking wondering if we'll be sitting in the dark soon. I think the worst of it is past. But, I'm with you on the fear tactics being a bit of a bother. Never did the monster movies as a kid - don't do edgy or monster stuff as an adult. Rather keep all things good and beauty - know what I mean? Now - I honor you for driving up to your mountain home at night - wow! That would freak me out. I keep lots of night lights on - my house is warm and inviting even during the night . . . because of just a bit of light. Oh! Light of the World - how we need some light to shine in the darkness of this present day.
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  21. I sing and pray and my lights are on high beam, too. Can you picture God listening to all of us crazy scaredy-cats making joyful noises alone in our cars in the dark? I bet he smiles...

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  22. Hi Sharon, Again I relate to much - thanks for sharing.

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  23. Oh, I do not watch those scary movies. Nope. Not a one! But I loved your message, as always. Especially this >>> Yes, the enemy may say, "Boo!" But the Lord says, "Be gone!"
    You are a delight, friend.
    xoxo

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  24. Oh I love this post! My blog is all about following the Son today and the source of Light. So glad you linked up before me so I was able to have this blessing today.

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  25. First things first, Sharon... Yes that moon is creepy. And now I will have to stop myself of thinking about Dracula in the dark tonight.

    I love this analogy and the FEAR acronym-- I can totally identify.

    When my husband is gone for days/weeks/months on end, it is always at night when I start to get twitchy. If I let my brain run too wild, watch out-- the enemy jumps out to scare me.

    But as you mentioned in this post, I have learned to pray him away. God is always with me-- and God ain't got nothing on dracula.

    Thanks for sharing this over at #EverydayJesus. Blessings!

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  26. First of all, I'm glad I don't have to jump into my bed because of the boogeyman, my back can't take jumping anymore. Haha! Secondly, I'm glad I don't live in the middle of nowhere because I just visited and I get the whole creepiness you're speaking of. Thirdly, I'm glad you have your eyes fixed on Jesus, the light of the world who destroys the darkness. ��

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  27. I found a spider in my shower this morning and talk about fearful... Ha! I do pretty good with fear if I'm in my house before it gets dark. I read too much of Jeffery Deaver. "Fear is the devil..." So thankful that we can plead the blood of Jesus when fear threatens. I've found it frightens the devil, too! ~Pamela

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  28. I use to be afraid of the dark. I can still get jolted sometimes if I hear a strange noise or sense a dark presence. I am thankful that God leads me through the dark and the unknown with His light.

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  29. I am still afraid of the dark. I have confessed this to my kids, they were glad to see that even adults have weaknesses.I try to leave a few lights on in the house.
    I will comment back ­ http://www.oldefashionmom.com/

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  30. Great writing. Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  31. I used to be afraid of the dark and although I loved the idea of scary movies,from a cinematic point of view, I couldn't watch them. I still don't watch them but now it's because I intentionally focus on things that are lovely and true. I live by Phillipians 4:8. It's the perfect scripture for us scaredy cats.

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!