As a child, I wasn't scared of many things. The dark? It's just an empty space without light. An unknown creature lurking under my bed, waiting for me to go to sleep? They'd never have space to hide under there as it was full of toys, books, and thingamabobs. 

However, growing up, there are a few that make me stop and ponder: being alone, getting lost in an unknown place (with no money or means to communicate), our next-door neighbour coming into the house while my parents were gone, and the possibility of finding out my friends were talking nasty things about me behind my back.

Needless to say, I've carried some of these fears to the present 'me' and from the posts in all the groups I'm a member of on Facebook (some weird, some actually making me need therapy), I've come to the conclusion that I'm not the only one experiencing these very real, adult fears in life. 

Instead of the monsters hiding under our beds, they've gone out in full view, in broad daylight, staring us right in the face. 

Here are some of mine.

1. Ending Up Alone

I can't ever describe how this thought makes me feel. Ever. Don't get me wrong though - I like my alone time a lot. I'd rather be cooped up in my room reading a book or watching a movie than be out partying, but I like connecting with people and making friends just as much as the next person. Which leads me to the main point of this fear - ending up with no one to spend my life with. 

Okay, okay. We're all for independence and "needing no man/woman", but isn't it just sad to not have anyone to come home to and share your day with? I'm quite sure that at some point, coming home to a pet won't be enough, at least for me. 

Yes, it's cool to have a place all to yourself and do whatever you want, but we were built for companionship. God could've left Adam by himself with all those animals for pets, but He didn't. Even God acknowledged the need for a partner. And I quote:
"The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." -- Genesis 2:18 
That being said, don't mistake this fear for unbelief or hopelessness. I fully trust God with my future as He knows what's best for me, but being human, you can't avoid running across this thought when you're deep in your head thinking about your future, right? 

Only God knows what my life will be 10, 20 years from now and I need to have faith in Him. Again, I quote:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11 
As long as we walk in Him and obey God's word, our future's set to be amazing regardless of what happens. I don't know. It's just one of those fears that keep me awake some nights. Some things to think about before I turn 30 next year.

2. Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft

I shop online a lot and these days, scammers are improving their methods of duping people into giving away their personal information. Now, I pride myself to be extra careful and I know my way around background-checking sites and companies before giving anything of mine away. However, there are still some people who are extra crafty and dodge all the red signs. 

The reason why this is even part of my list is the subconscious fear of being mistaken for someone else or not being recognized at all. Let me explain this a little.

I've been out of the country a few times and regardless of how complete my papers are to start with, I am always anxious that someone will find reason to keep me in the airport. Or keep me locked up somewhere. Or worse, mistake me for someone who's committed serious crimes. While this sounds ridiculous, it's not far from reality. 

And it's not just about your personal or credit information either. People can pretend to be you and mimic your personality and quirks. According to Oberlo, 59% of the whole population use Facebook regularly and there are 2.80 billion active users monthly. How many people share your name? How many of those accounts have a profile photo? How many of those accounts without profile photos live in your area?

I know I'm sounding paranoid at this point but again, this can happen. 
Consider these identity theft statistics: In 2019, 14.4 million consumers became victims of identity fraud — that's about 1 in 15 people. Overall, 33 percent of U.S. adults have experienced identity theft, which is more than twice the global average. -- IdentityForce
See what I mean? I'm being entirely rational here, too. With a lot of us transacting more and more online (also due to the pandemic), the risks of identity theft have increased substantially. Let's just be extra careful with what we do on the net, okay?

Here are some resources to help you minimize your risk:

3. Never Having Real Friends (or Losing Them)

I hate even bringing this point up but it's another fear I have. I have been a people-pleaser all my life and it's caused me great joy and great pain multiple times.

You know when you meet someone, hit it off with them, hang out and bond, then have this insane thought that they're just putting up with you because of pity? Yeah, it's a nagging thought I have every time I'm with friends. 

Granted, I've only felt this a couple of times with my current circle of friends. I'd have a long conversation with them, log off, and go into "full assessment of whatever I just said" mode. Did they laugh at my joke because they found it genuinely funny or did they just do that to make me feel better? Am I being annoying as heck or do they understand that I really just care for them?

Keeping friends has become a game of hot and cold in my head. If I do A, will they always respond with B? If I text them today and call them tomorrow, will I look too clingy? What if I just leave them a message and wait for them to reply even if it takes a month or two? Will that make them feel like I don't miss them enough?

I genuinely love my friends. I may not be showy about my affections but they do mean a lot. I guess the real root of this problem is that I feel like I'm not enough for them. They're all so amazing and I'm this third-tier, clingy, needy potato. What ends up happening is me buying them gifts every now and then to make sure they stay friends with me. It's bad. It's pathetic.

I'm not the perfect friend and I've done some things that have made people probably cross me off their list for good. Just have to accept my mistakes and work harder to be better as a person. This might well be the reason why this is part of my fears.
"One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend." -- Proverbs 17:9
I pray that one day, people I've wronged will find it in their hearts to forgive and that this fear won't become a reality. Regardless of how big or small a mistake I've made, I hope it doesn't bite me in the butt more than it already has.

4. Disappointing People

As I'm going through this list of fears, I've come to realize that most of my issues are internal, my frame of mind, my actions, my perspective. This fourth point ties it all up.

Like I said previously, I'm a people-person. By a mile. I go out of my way to please people even if I end up tiring myself out, putting myself in situations I regret instantly or down the line, or at times, humiliating myself. It's unhealthy and I've grown out of that, but I still can't get rid of the thought that I'll end up disappointing the people that matter.

The choices I've made (and are still making) are somewhat anchored to pleasing others and showing them that they didn't waste their time on me. That they didn't waste their investment and that their compliments were facts.

Dwelling in this mindset for years has taken a toll on me but it's something God can heal. Time and time again, I am constantly reminded that I just need to focus my thoughts on God and His promises and that would be enough to take me through the struggle.
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." -- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Thing is, I don't have to prove anything to anyone, but just live for God by His grace and serve the purpose He's given me. It doesn't matter what other people think about me. It doesn't matter if people think I've "wasted" years on a course whose industry I didn't even end up working in. What matters is if I'm aligned with God's plans.

That's easier said than done, though. 
"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." -- Psalms 138:8
While I'm still working on getting over this fear, relying on God and knowing that there's no need for bells and whistles when it comes to serving Him needs to be the top priority. As long as I make the Lord happy, there's no need to worry about disappointing others.

5. Losing my Parents

I've lead such a blessed life in the fact that both my parents are still alive and together. My parents have been with me all my life and all the decisions are made with them in mind. That's why the thought of losing them upsets me.

How do people who have lost their parents do it? I ask this not to be mean or insult anyone but to understand how one goes about their day with pieces of their heart missing. I can't even bear the thought of losing one, let alone both of them. 

I know people who grew up with a single parent and they're strong individuals who know what they want and have an amazing sense of purpose. I don't know how they do it. Just the thought breaks my mind.

Here's where faith, yet again, comes into play. None of us know the future and when we'll be leaving this earth, so why stress over it? Why be scared of things not going your way when it is God's way you should be seeking?
"For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's." -- Romans 14:8
Our lives are not our own. If God took me tomorrow, it would be because that was His plan and maybe I've already done what He put me here for (which I highly doubt).

If and when this fear is realized, there's nothing left to do for comfort than turn to God and dwell on His word and promises. At the end of the day, He has plans for you and even if you feel like your world is falling apart, the Architect's got you.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." -- Isaiah 41:10

6. Dying in an Unflattering Manner

Probably the least frightening on this list, dying in an unflattering way is something I've mulled over countless of times. I'm already not attractive alive, can't my death happen when I look good (or make me look good, at least)?

Here's a short list of ways to die that I am horrified of: 
  • In a public restroom while doing a number 2
  • After a rigorous exercise at the gym where you're all sweaty and pungent
  • While taking a bath ('cause you're stark naked)
  • With your makeup half-done

Death isn't something to laugh about, so do take this point lightly. No insult is meant here. That said, I'm really not afraid of dying itself, but how it happens and what needs to be done after the fact.

I've seen an interview of a mortician on Youtube and if every single one is like that person who was interviewed, it would seem like they're all very respectful of the recently passed as they prepare them for burial.

I'm actually mortified that they'd look at my dead body and go, "Oh thank God this creature died. What a horrible bundle of mass!" Okay, okay. Maybe not those words exactly, but you get my point.

I think the best way of going would be in my sleep where I'm in my silk pajamas, my skin freshly-prepped for the night.

7. Ending Up in Hell

While I don't have a fear of dying, I do sometimes get anxious about ending up in hell. Being a Christian and all, this shouldn't be the case as I've accepted Christ into my life, but one can't help but go back to that way of thinking, you know?

I've never had a fear of dying even before I became a follower of Christ, but I did have some pretty deep worries about where I'd end up. My faith wasn't as strong and I was unsure about whether I was doing enough to "get into" the good list or not (which, by the way, isn't something you can do - you can't 'do good deeds' to get brownie points to heaven). You do good because you have been saved, It's an effect, not a cause.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -- John 3:16
This verse has been ingrained in my head since I was 9 years old, and I've never not believed it. Being human though, the devil does sometimes plant ideas in my head making me doubt my salvation and "fall back" on my Christian life. 

The good news is that once you genuinely accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you can't lose your salvation, so rejoice! No chance you'll end up in hell, kiddo. ;)

In conclusion, there's really no reason to be afraid.

Fear is for those who have no God. I don't mean to be blunt, but I don't plan on shutting up on matters that, well, matter. If you don't believe in God, follow His Word, and dwell in His promises, then you should be fearful. What's left for you once this world passes? 
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." -- 1 John 4:18
Perfect love casts out fear. Read that again. God's love is so great - magnanimous - that there's nothing to fear when you walk with Him. He's got you!
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." -- John 14:27
God has a different standard. When He gives, He gives in abundance, 100%. His word promises us peace beyond what the world can give, joy beyond happiness and temporal, earthly solutions. In the same way as He takes care of all creatures, He'll provide whatever we lack as long as we continue to abide in Him. I'd say we're at the winning side of the pond here.
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears." -- Psalm 34:4

Boy, this post went a different route. Initially, I hadn't planned for this to be quite an inspiring post but rather a look at the fears some adults (or all) may have hidden in their subconscious. Mid-way in, I realised that God wanted me to talk about His goodness and promise, and it just happened naturally. 

I hope this post prompted you to reflect on these things. 

These monsters under our beds are dead meat in the hands of God. :)