Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Finding Faith, Beating Fear

Hi Friends,

As we are in "shelter in place" now in our county and the world seems to have erupted with fear and anxiety over the Covid-19 virus, I was reminded of this little story from when my daughter, Bria, was trampled by her horse. As you choose today between faith and fear, I hope this story will help you to be the person you hope to be in the crisis that is unfolding around us.

Faith or Fear?
Marlo Schalesky

            The door burst open. Bethany rushed through, her thirteen-year-old sister screaming in her arms.
            I leapt from the couch. “What happened?”
            “Comet trampled her.” 
            Bria loved her new horse. She spent hours with him, and nothing like this had ever happened before.
            Bethany hurried to the couch and laid a writhing Bria on it. I knelt beside her. “Where does it hurt?”
            Tears streamed down her face as she pointed to her pelvis and upper thighs. “My lower back too,” she gasped.
            Ever so carefully we pulled off her jeans and examined the deep, already-forming bruises. 
            “Can you move your toes?”
            She did. “He, he got scared.” She spoke between sobs. “Didn’t know what he was doing. Ran right over me.”
            I frowned. “Do you think anything’s broken?”
            She gulped. “I don’t know. Ahhhhh!” A yowl burst from her lips as my fingers barely brushed the bruises. “It hurts. It hurts really bad.” She choked on a sob as I rose and turned to a terrified Bethany. 
            “I’m going to bring the car to the front door. Can you get her in the back seat?”
            Bethany bit her lip and nodded.
            I ran for the car and drove it as close to the door as I could. Bethany scooped up Bria and laid her in the back seat. 
            Then we sped to the emergency room of our local hospital. Bethany lifted Bria and raced her inside. I parked and hurried after them.
            By the time I entered, Bria was already sitting at the nurse’s station, describing in gasps what had happened.
            “I was leading my horse up the hill to the round pen like I always do. Everything was normal. But then something happened. Something rustled in the bushes. I don’t know. He got scared. I tried to calm him, but he wouldn’t listen. He pulled away. Then pushed me down. Trampled me as he ran off into the poison oak.”
            The nurse then typed in notes about her injuries and called for a bed. Moments later, Bria was rolled inside, given painkillers, and scheduled for numerous tests and scans that would happen in the following hours.
            Late that night a doctor entered Bria’s hospital room and smiled. Then he shook his head. “I don’t know how, but she’s going to be okay. There are no broken bones or internal injuries.” He glanced at Bria. “It’s going to hurt like crazy for several days, and I suggest you use crutches, but I don’t anticipate any problems with you healing right up.”
            After a collective sigh of relief, Bria was fitted for crutches, and we headed home. Halfway there, I glanced over at Bria. “What are we going to do about Comet?”
            She sighed. “He just needs to learn to not lose his head when he’s scared. He just needs to learn to trust me.”
            Profound words from a thirteen-year-old girl who just had the scariest experience of her life.  In all her pain, all her fear, she had kept her head. I had too (you have to when your kid gets hurt!). Comet had not. In his fear, he had hurt the person who loves him most in all the world. He had run right over her. 
            In Isaiah 41:10 (NIV), God tells us, “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.” 
            Unlike Comet, we need to trust the One who leads us to where we need to be. When there’s something rustling in the bushes, when we see something flapping out of the corner of our eye, we have a choice. Faith or fear? Do we stay calm and keep following the One who is taking us up the hill to the place where we can grow stronger? Or do we let fear dominate our actions so that we turn on the ones who love us and hurt them?
            Fear hurts, not only the one who’s afraid, but also everyone around them. It tramples, it bruises, then it runs off into places filled with poison.
            But we don’t have to fear. In the months since the accident, Comet has learned how to trust, how to have faith, despite his fears. We can too. 
            Even in the face of triggers, of things that have scared us or gone wrong in the past, God is asking us to trust the One leading us to higher ground.