Have you ever seen the movie, Tangled? It’s a modern-telling
of the fairytale, Rapunzel. This movie is a favorite in my house, and
recently it has helped to teach me an important lesson. In the movie, the mother hides her beautiful
daughter away in a tower in an effort to protect her from harm; in doing so,
the mother has prevented her child from life.
The young girl has never experienced grassy fields, wind in her hair, or
the bliss of picking your first flower.
Even more detrimental is that the girl has never known what it is like
to have friends. The mother’s fear
prevented the daughter from experiencing any form of love.
1 John 4:18 says,
“There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear, because
fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. “
I’d never really thought about it before, but if perfect
love casts out fear, then the reverse is also true. Fear casts out love. In an attempt to protect ourselves from
getting hurt, we wall up our hearts for fear of being disappointed, rejected, or
abandoned. While the walls may be
effective to protect us from emotional hurts, they also prevent the potential for
The counselor in me wonders what happened in young Rapunzel’s
mother’s life to cause her to fear the outside world as she did. I wonder if someone she loved rejected her,
or perhaps someone she loved abandoned her, leaving her to fend for herself.
We all have past hurts that threaten to smother our current
relationships. I have experienced
multiple losses in my lifetime, and sometimes I fear that the people I love will
also go away; when this fear creeps in, I try to appear tough and
self-sufficient -- sometimes to the point that I push others away. While I know my fears are irrational, if I
linger on them too long, they threaten to block out love.
So, what is the moral of all of this jargon? Rapunzel found love once she decided to step out from behind the walls, and take a risk. Yes, I know. Rapunzel met her prince, but some of us are hiding behind walls so thick that we block out any chance of friendship.
Scripture tells us that God is love; this
means the nearer we draw to the Father, the less power fear has over our
lives. While people will disappoint us,
God loves us with an everlasting love, and he promises to never leave or
forsake us. In times when we find it
difficult to trust others, we cling to our trust in God. As we trust in him, he helps us to love
others and begins to cast away our fears.
Labels: Fear, Mental Health