Tag Archives: panic

Post 202. The Threat of War

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In June 2002,  the US embassy put out an advisory for all foreigners to leave India. Pakistan was threatening to drop a nuclear bomb on Delhi.

The thought of leaving our community was horrible.  “Not even an option!”  Tony made some calls to our relatives who advised otherwise.  They felt it would be irresponsible of us to not think about our children.

We made some emergency plans which in retrospect were quite silly ones.  If a bomb was dropped, there was no way on earth we were going to be able to drive our car from Delhi to Mussoorie.  We couldn’t even drive to our local market on a normal day without getting stuck in a traffic jam.  The panicky pictures we painted in our minds and to each other were all horrendous and futile, bordering on comical.

We lay awake wondering:  If we left the country, when would we ever get back?  What would happen to our Delhi community?  How could we abandon our family?  Could we take them all with us?  What about our kids?  They were our priority.  We were torn.

The threat came and went and came and went..  and with it our fear.  Love for the community grew.  Were we going to run away like hirelings? No.  We were shepherds. Our kids were our first sheep and we never wanted to put them in danger.   We were also in love with the “community sheep” who would have been harassed and helpless without a shepherd.

The test was real.  Would we run away at the first sign of trouble?  Would we pack up our things, head for a safe, foreign land and leave behind those who had no option but to stay?

One night as we lay in the dark, peace descended on us.  We decided we would only go if the Indian Government demanded it ( and even then, we wondered how we could camouflage ourselves without looking too much like Peter Sellers in The Party 🙂

The kids each got a new backpack with a few emergency items, which they kept on their beds.  Within a couple of days, the snacks had been eaten during midnight feasts and the bags were used for storing things.

“They” say, “Most of what we fear never happens.”  I have found this to be very true.   Fear can be paralysingly real.  It has the power to control.  It has the power to stop us dead in our tracks.  It disturbs our peace and limits our ability to experience freedom and love.  It affects our destiny.

We decided, after much turmoil and stress, to grab fear by the throat and hold it against the wall.  When we looked it in the eye, we were surprised at it’s timidity.

It’s fear.

PS.

See more of my posts on fear.  Yes, I’ve had issues 🙂

Post 168 and Post 169

 

 

 

 

 

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Post 35. Stop panicking. Please

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I also had a stint in the cleaning department.  The least desired department for obvious reasons. I was determined to enjoy it and by any means, not look like Sadie the cleaning lady.

Every day there were carpets to vacuum and toilets to clean. There were also vacated cabins to clean out.  Our greatest dread was the single guy’s cabins.  After two years without a mummy some of them really let themselves go.  When we opened the cabin door we were hit with a gorgeous fragrance of smelly socks, kimchi and ammonia.  Better to put a match to it, I thought.

We shone windows, portholes, public toilets and emptied rubbish bins from the offices.  We really got around.  The other dreaded job was cleaning the engineer’s toilets.  The smell and seasickness were never a good combination.

The poop deck was where the nursery was.  There was a cute little room with toys and books and an enclosed area with a jungle gym for them to play in.   When my cleaning stint was up I was asked to work there with the toddlers.  I was in my element.  It was amazing how much communication went on.  There we were, from all over the world, speaking different languages yet somehow able to understand each other.  A hug here and a smile there seemed to make up for all the words we didn’t have.

One of my favourite things to do was to spend time with the couples and their kids.  I did a lot of babysitting.  An American couple had twins and I was asked me to be their nanny.  I jumped at the chance.  I loved those little boys.

The twins.

I walked around the ship with their heads on my hands and their bodies tucked under my arms.  That way they could see my face and I could talk to them as we walked along.

It was a challenge when they needed their nappies changed at the same time.  One day, they were lying on the bed, screaming their heads off.   I kept saying “I’m here, I’m here.  Don’t panic.  I know what you need and I know what I am doing.”

As I said that, God showed me how often I had been like that with Him.  I was anxious about my future, finances and many other things.  All the while, He was standing over me. He knew exactly what He was doing.  There was no need to panic.