Day 5 ~ Goin’ On a Snipe Hunt

(Original post 3/11/19 – Updated 2/22/21)

I was about 7 years old and it was one of those warm summer nights where all the neighbor kids were gathered on our front lawn playing cross the line and freeze tag. Most were considerably older than I, but they let me hang around and I thought I was the coolest kid ever. It was getting dark and someone asked if I had ever been snipe hunting. That caught my attention! I’d heard of this secret rite of passage before but was always told I was too young. I jumped at the chance to plead my case for being old enough and nearly fainted with excitement when someone said if I wanted to hunt snipes I’d have to have something to put them in. After running in the house for a paper sack, I asked what a snipe looked like, and the only definition I was able to get was it was small and fast and if I caught one I would have to put it in the sack quick or it would get away.

By now it was mostly dark (snipes only come out at night) and I was slowly and quietly creeping along the driveway, looking for something small and fast to snatch up for my sack when I looked around and realized I was alone on this snipe hunt – everyone was gone…..and even at the ripe old age of 7, I realized I’d been bamboozled! For a timid kid who was afraid of the dark, this was easily my most terrifying moment, and quite frankly, still brings a few shivers!

I share this story not to just feel the collective, “Awe…poor kid!”, but because I want to look just a bit at fear and what it can do in our lives. The kind of fear my solo snipe hunting induced was the typical fight or flight….ok, mostly flight kind of fear. Something scares you and your instinct is to run away, and that certainly has its purpose! But there are other fears that may not be so easily recognized that can seep into vulnerable places in our hearts and minds and really take up residence if we’re not aware.

I’ve been dealing with this “low-grade” fear for a few years now, but it’s really something all its own. It’s kind of a cocktail of anxiety, dread, nervousness, hesitancy, reluctance, doubt…..just small doses of each all mixed together to make up this sense of things just not being okay.I think what it comes down to is I just don’t know what the future looks like. I don’t know how I’ll feel next year or how well I’ll do in school. I don’t know if the dreams I see unfolding are ever going to become realized. I wonder if there will come a time when I don’t feel so broken and worry that it won’t. I miss the certainty with which I once faced everything in my life and the perfect assurance that we would all be okay. These aren’t “fight or flight” fears, but pack a punch just the same.

I love and trust God more than a thousand languages could tell, and I am just as sure that He loves me like crazy, so I’ve been working on all of the above very intentionally (except for the Snipe part – can’t fool me twice!) because I know that as I continue to trust and heal and learn to trust some more, this sense of things just not being okay will lessen, and that’s the goal! So, I’m going to share with you a secret weapon in this song by Francesca Battistelli. I sing it in the car nearly every morning at the start of a new day and put fear in its place. I’m not about to give up without a fight and it’s crazy, but I actually do feel stronger and braver after claiming “my own identity” and declaring that I don’t have to be a victim to these feelings, even as I work through them.

Life hands us things we never expected or wanted, but it’s my ongoing experience that it’s in the toughest places that God holds onto us the tightest. There is joy even in sorrow and healing even through brokeness. My prayer for all of us in this season of Lent is that we don’t give up – that we allow God to remind us who we are and that there are good gifts and amazing victories ahead – even if we can’t quite see how it will all turn out.

God does. And that’s enough.

So much love,

Shellie <3

*Note – must be sung very loudly and with extreme attitude. =)
The Breakup Song
Francesca Battistelli
Sick and tired of being sick and tired
Had as much of you as I can take
I’m so done, so over being afraid
I’ve gone through the motions
I’ve been back and forth
I know that you’re thinking you’ve heard this before
I don’t know how to say it
So I’m just gonna say it, yeah
Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Take a minute, let it settle in
You probably never saw it coming
Something’s gotta give so I give up you, oh
There’s no room for you here
Yeah, I’ve had enough
The “No Vacancy” sign on my heart is lit up
In case you didn’t hear it
Here it is again,
Oh, fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Is there anybody out there just like me?
Anybody needing fear to leave?
If you don’t know how to say it
Sing along with me
Sing fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong, brave
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Whoa, goodbye, goodbye fear
Whoa, you will never be welcome here
Songwriters: Bart Millard / David Garcia / Francesca Battistelli
The Breakup Song lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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