© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
35 Why Am I Afraid Of People? By Phil Scovell "What's on your mind to pray about today?" I said to Carla as our prayer session began. "I still feel a little bit of fear from time to time," she replied, "but something that is really bothering me right now, that I just don't seem to be able to figure out, is my feelings about being around other people. I am often fearful," she continued to explain, "that someone is going to judge me or say something about me that will hurt my feelings." I knew this feeling quite well, of course, from personal experience. I had been healed in many different areas where this feeling had infected my life. This type of fear, and it is fear based without a doubt, includes the fear of not being accepted, not being good enough, and is easily seen in perfectionists. This woman, by the way, is a perfectionist and has been all her life, she confessed more than once, so I was pretty certain where we might end up as we prayed. Within seconds of opening in prayer, Carla said, "I see my kindergarten teacher's face just all of the sudden." I prayed more and Carla reported she just saw herself in class but nothing else came to mind. I prayed a little more but she reported the same and said, "I don't feel anything wrong in this memory." Since this apparently was a theme Carla experienced throughout her life, I knew there would be other places this pain would be surfacing so I prayed for further expansion of her memories by the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, Carla said, "I'm on the playground. The girls are playing jump rope. They were taking turns stepping into the swinging ropes at just the right time and taking over as the other girl just as quickly stepped out." She continued by saying, "I had never tried this before but wanted to and so I did but I messed up and the roped stopped twirling. My kindergarten teacher, standing near by, spoke harshly to me and told me I didn't know what I was doing and to get out of their way. This really hurt me," Carla reported. "Over the years," she said, "I have thought about this experience hundreds of times and have always wondered why she was so mean about it. I was a very shy person when I was little and what she said, and how my teacher spoke to me, really hurt my feelings." Praying, I asked the Lord to show her His truth and the Holy Spirit spoke to her in her thoughts and said for her not to worry about this any more because He was there when it happened and she did absolutely nothing wrong. "Furthermore," the Lord instructed, "your teacher was in the wrong and had problems of her own." I run across this type of woundedness in nearly every person with whom I pray; including myself. I told Carla this same thing happened to me when I was about 10 years of age. We had sort of an antiques day. Students were to bring old and unusual things to school to be placed on a display table. All sorts of neat things were brought to the classroom that week. The teacher made a big deal about the no touching rule. She wanted no one to touch a single thing for any reason. One day I was the only student in our classroom for a few minutes after lunch. You guessed it. I picked something up off the table to get a better look at it and immediately felt convicted. The next day, I sat in my seat during class and debated over and over again what I should do. Finally, my Christian upbringing got the best of me and I slowly got out of my seat and walked to the teacher's desk. This was my favorite teacher of all my elementary school teachers. I quietly explained to her that I had broken the rule and had picked up one of the items. Instead of saying, "Well, Philip. I appreciate your honesty and since nothing was damaged, we will let it go this time. Just remember not to touch anything again and thank you for being truthful," just the opposite happened. Her face turned angry and her voice sharp. She said, "You know the rules. You should never have done that. Furthermore, you should have never told me you did it in the first place." I was heart broken. My favorite teacher not only reprimanded me for telling her the truth but busted me as if I were a common criminal. I quickly and quietly hurried back to my seat and more confused than ever about her statement that I should have never told her in the first place. I had no idea what she meant and was heart broken. The very weak I prayed with Carla about her similar experience with her teacher, my own childhood memory had come to my mind. When it did surface in my thoughts, however, it didn't hurt but it didn't feel right either. I prayed and said, "Lord? Why is this memory now coming to the surface after all these years? I know what happened but why did you bring this to my mind?" The Lord clearly said, "Because I just wanted you to know that you did the right thing by telling your teacher. She was wrong and you were right." Instantly I was set free from a childhood memory which contained the penetrating pain of rejection and confusion about honesty. Both these childhood experiences were carried throughout our entire adult lives. We knew, whenever the memories came to mind, they hurt but we didn't know why until the Lord spoke His truth. How could these harmless incidents have caused any problems? The lack of acceptance, the element of harsh unanticipated rejection, the confusion of a child, the lack of concern on the part of the teacher, all created a place for woundedness. In Carla's case, this became a theme that repeated itself hundreds of times throughout her life until she decided, at a very early age, if she was ever going to be accepted, she would have to be perfect in all that she did and so she was. In her heart, however, she knew that this was impossible so she had never measured up to the expectation of others. I often have people schedule prayer sessions who tell me, once we get together, that they really don't have any bad experiences. I well remember the first time I sat down to pray with a man in his office. I began by telling him I came from a wonderful Christian home with wonderful Christian values and that I was a happy child. Thus, I didn't have anything wrong back in my childhood. After a few prayer sessions, I found out just how wrong I was. When Carla told me she was always fearful of what people might say to her and that she was fearful of being judged harshly and when she told me that she didn't feel comfortable in crowds, I already knew the type of experience we would find in her childhood. I prayed for the Lord to take us to where this all began and He did and Carla was healed. Was this just a small thing? I explained to Carla that these things which seem so frivolous and harmless often are huge stumbling blocks in our lives and especially when the experience becomes a thematic, or repetitive, experience which is built upon over and over again. I have little doubt that nearly everyone reading this testimony has had something already come to your memory that is similar to what I have just described. Call me and let's pray about it so you can be set free.