Facing My Fears – Or Not

I’m terrified of heights.

Really. Really. Terrified. As in “panic and freeze” scared of heights.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to a trip out west. I knew there were mountains – but I guess 14 years had dimmed the memory of how high they were.

It started coming back to me as I watched the kids climb around the Veduvoos and later as we traveled down the pass from DuBois into Jackson Hole.

But the real terror hit when we took Teton Pass into Idaho. I went into full panic mode. Traveling around those sharp curves as we climbed up and down the mountain – I freaked. My foot kept slamming the imaginary brake on my side of the Suburban.

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When I looked out the window I saw steep mountain sides – and thin little guard rails. I tried to close my eyes – but I soon discovered that not knowing what was coming next was worse than knowing.

Then my dear wonderful husband stopped at the top.ย  He thought we needed some pictures. ย  He actually allowed my sweet babies to get out of the suburban and walk to the edge of the guard rail.

But wait. There’s more!

He then let our children go down a trail to a snow field and have a snow ball fight – in flip flops.

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They were having the time of their lives – just making memories.

Mom, however, was not.

All I could see was the height – the danger. They were on the side of a mountain. Do you see the dark line near the top of the snow ?! That’s where they were!

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To say I was scared would be an understatement.

But I somehow kept it all together the entire week. I even managed to climb a mountain, and endure the mountain passes in Yellowstone (you know the ones that hang you out over nothing while supported with steel posts?) without totally losing it.

(Although I would tremble at the sight of the steep grade signs and often go to my “happy place” as we careened around the steep curves.)

Yes – I managed to keep it together – until we hiked Harney Peak – the highest point east of the Rockies located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The hike itself wasn’t that bad – after all – we had just finished a mega 9 mile hike in the Tetons just days before. This was nothing.

Until we got to the top.

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The views we spectacular! I guess. If you weren’t hyperventilating from fear. The rock look-out at the top was really cool – if you like rock structures perched on top of rock cliffs at 7000 feet.

I was doing fine – very proud of myself for accomplishing the hike when I looked out and realized that my children had left the relatively safe rock walls of the look-out and went exploring on the surrounding rocks – with their father.

They were prancing like mountain goats at 7000 feet.

I had a meltdown. I yelled over to them “You better come back – that’s illegal!”

The guy next to me said, “Actually it isn’t illegal.”

I looked at him and said, “I’m the mom.”

He said, “You’re right – it’s most definitely illegal!”

Little Buddy yelled back, “It’s okay Mom, just go to your happy place – we’re having fun!”

It didn’t help that complete strangers would be enjoying the view from the Look-out and suddenly exclaim, “Whose crazy kids are out there on those rocks?!”

Umm… they are mine.

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Oh yes. They are mine.

Those are my sons – the little dots on the rock with their arms stretched in a victory sign.

And they are having the time of their lives.

They were doing what God intended for them to do – climb rocks – conquer mountains – explore their world.

What was I doing? Freaking out. Holding them back. Trying to tuck them back in safely.

I failed.

I let my fears win. I sat in a miserable heap on the stone steps overcome with panic and worry.

Where was my faith?

The Almighty God created those mountains. The Almighty God created my precious children. The Almighty God – that I love and serveย  – had everything under control.

But I didn’t trust Him.

Psalms 111:6-7

“..a righteous man will be remembered forever.

He will have no fear of bad news;

his heart is steadfast trusting, trusting in the Lord.

His heart is secure,

he will have no fear…”

Another life lesson learned.

I’ve linked this post up at Friday Fails over at My Blessed Life.

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12 Responses

  1. I have a few comments…
    First, the top of my bucket list is a trip west to see all that you saw! What amazing scenery!
    Second, I liked you and your family, until I saw that Yankees shirt. As a die-hard Red Sox fan, I may never read your blog again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kidding…about reading the blog, not about the Yankees.
    Third, thank you for the reminder. I worry about my daughter’s safety so much, but she is God’s child. He will take care of her better than I can.

  2. Oh Melinda, I feel for you! I struggle with fear constantly where my children are concerned. There are many days when my family is ready to send me packing, lol. I know it isn’t what God wants for us, but it is a struggle that is hard to beat.

  3. Amy – rest assured my daughter is not a Yankees fan – or any other fan. She has no idea who or what the Yankees are. She just liked the shirt and thought it looked cute! ๐Ÿ™‚ I do think she knows what baseball is – at least I hope so. She can make a mean creme brulee though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You are exactly the way Iam when driving through mountains! I hate those steep grades! My husband and I are headed out west here pretty soon…we are driving to Montana!

  5. I’m terrified of heights too. Although I do a really good job of hiding it. I can go to the top of mountains, but I don’t look when we get to close to cliffs. I totally feel your pain.

  6. I’m afraid I would have been the exact same way. I hope I can remember your story someday when I’m faced with my WeeMan climbing his own mountains – in spite of my trying to stop him.

  7. I can totally understand.
    I have fear of heights also.
    You took some awesome pictures tho.

  8. Thanks for stoppin’ by for a Latte’ during our Farmwives of America blog hop. I’m always happy to tell others about Agriculture. Looks like some great pictures here.

  9. That made me laugh…but the pics were gorgeous!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. […] I – of course – started hyperventilating at the thought. You all know how I feel about heights. […]

  11. […] In the winter. Remember me? I’m the one who freaked out on Teton Pass on a sunny day in […]

  12. Hi there, Came across this blog while searching for “I Hiked Harney Peak” Tees for my grandkids. I have hiked Harney many times, I hate heights and I want to tell those of you who freak when you see the kids out there that they are almost certainly not on an edge, as it appears. In fact, the ground out there undulates gradually. They would have to work awfully hard to seriously hurt themselves out there. The tower is scarier than the perimeter. Hike it, enjoy it, and don’t forget to stop in the beautiful town of Hot Springs while you are in the area.