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

               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

               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

               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.

          Phil Scovell
          Denver, Colorado USA
          Mountain Time Zone

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