Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The Story Behind My Bigfoot Obsession

Okay, you asked for it and I will tell you the story.  Actually, I did tell a shorter version long ago, embedded in a blog post about fear.  It all started with a movie I saw as a teenager.  I think it was probably The Legend of Boggy Creek from what other people have said about the movie.  For many Bigfoot researchers, it was what began their interest into Bigfoot.  For me it was what brought about a terrifying fear that lasted for years and years.

The movie is a documentary based on the true stories which came out of Fouke, Arkansas about a large, hairy beast that was terrorizing people in that part of the country.  I saw the film at the movie theater with my (then) stepsister, it probably wouldn't have had the same affect if it were on TV.  Even though I had to be around seventeen or eighteen, there was something about it that planted a deep root of fear.

After seeing that movie, I could not be in or near a forest without getting on edge and thinking their was a monster there.  That would be fine if one lived in a large city but most of my life I have lived in heavily forested areas.  Oh, I would remind myself that it was silly to feel this way but if one has a deeply embedded fear, logic does not prevail.

It didn't affect my every day life all that much.  Even when we lived in Western Michigan where I would hear the tales of Bigfoot living in the Upper Peninsula.  I felt a little creepy but at that time, when we went hiking my husband was usually with us. Not that he could take on Bigfoot even though he is quite tall but remember... fear is not logical.

However, when we started homeschooling, Christopher and I hiked on trails a lot.  It was a way to calm down a hyperactive boy and we both enjoyed hiking. I felt like someone or something was always staring at us.  I recall many times looking through the forest thinking I saw... something.  It didn't stop me from hiking or picnicking by the forested area but it did make me feel uncomfortable.

Somewhere around that time, I read about or heard a sermon on facing our fears head on.  How the best way to rid ourselves of those embedded fears is to shine God's light in the darkness.  So I decided to go head to toe with Bigfoot... not literally, of course.

I still avoided movies about evil and monsters (as I still do today) but I no longer avoided anything just because it was about Bigfoot.  I remembered how our family had watched and enjoyed Harry and the Hendersons (the furry cute guy in the photo above).   I decided that would be my image of Bigfoot from that moment on.

I started learning more about Bigfoot and knowledge is empowering.  I learned that Harry (aka: Bigfoot) sightings were extremely rare and that it was highly unlikely that if Harry exists, it would be in any forest where I hike.  You would think that would be obvious but has fear of anything ever gripped you?

About ten years ago, a good friend told me how much she had enjoyed Frank Peretti's (then) new novel called Monster.  Who is the monster?  You guessed it.  Her only warning was not to read it alone or at night.  I decided to try reading it to see how that whole fear thing was going.  If I could handle Peretti writing about Bigfoot, I had come a long way.  It was very good and I was fine but I would not suggest reading it at night, especially if you are alone.

In my quest to continue facing my fear head on, I watched documentaries and real life shows about Bigfoot (never monster movies).  That is when I fell in love with Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet.  It was really just what the fear doctor ordered.  Not only did I learn more about Bigfoot than I ever anticipated, the four Bigfoot researchers are fun to watch.  The three long time researchers have all had alleged sightings, the one skeptic has not.

It was Finding Bigfoot that led to watching other documentary style shows on the subject.  Even Survivor Man now has a Bigfoot related series.  He has not seen one but he decided to do a series because of unexplained events that happened when he was deep in some forest areas.

Do I believe Bigfoot exists?  Well, there have been hundreds if not thousands of sightings of Bigfoot like creatures through the centuries so it is entirely possible.  Speculation abounds as to what the creatures would be although most researchers believe they are an unidentified primate. Documentaries have suggested anything from aliens to Biblical Nephilim to just plain old overgrown apes.

However, what facing my fears has done... besides developing a real fondness for Harry-like creatures, not that I would want to see one in person mind you... is to overcome deeply embedded fear.  I can walk past the forest on the gravel road and not "see" monsters like I once did.  I still wouldn't want to walk past the forest at night just because it is creepy at dark.  Just saying...

I believe it was God given wisdom to stop running away from monsters in my mind and shine a light on them.  Fear exists in darkness even when that darkness is all in your mind.  Thoughts can seem real.  Most of what we fear never happens.

Most fears are what the enemy of our soul has planted in our minds and our thoughts play it out as a movie that is truth.

Don't get me wrong, this world is still fallen and there is evil.  Bad things do happen to good people.  But God doesn't want us to give evil more than its' due.  God and Satan are not equal.  Only one of them is the Omnipotent Creator.  We are to keep our thoughts on God and read His Word, not giving in to the possibilities that are in our thought life.

Now when friends and family send me Bigfoot related items (like last week, thank you, Carol), it brings a smile instead of fear.  Do you have any embedded fears?  Those which have taken root and in some way bring hindrances to your life?   Ask God for wisdom and He will give it to you.  Perfect love cast out fear and He loves you.  I don't promise it will be easy and for me it happened over a period of time but God wants to pull up those roots of fear and give you freedom.

Mentioned in this Post
Monster by Frank Peretti... here.
Harry and the Hendersons... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate Links.  I thank you.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great post. Such an inspired waya God gave you to deal with your fear. And fear is very real but God has not given us the spirit of fear. This was such a wonderful article. Thank you for posting. Blessings, Sharon D.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great post. Such an inspired waya God gave you to deal with your fear. And fear is very real but God has not given us the spirit of fear. This was such a wonderful article. Thank you for posting. Blessings, Sharon D.

Vee said...

So your "obsession" with Bigfoot is a head-on facing of fear? Got it. I have a very vague memory of your discussing Harry and the Hendersons before. I do think that it is wise to face things head on.๐Ÿ• I can't read Frank Peretti...too scary! Last one I read was about monsters and campers and wild bears??? ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒThanks for telling all this again...I'll remember when you reference BigFoot next time.

Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoyed your post. I too had an "unreasonable" fear. I eventually decided to face it head on too. I was always afraid of the dark. When I got married to my farmer, I was expected to milk the cow. Uh huh, a city girl milking the cow. And in the winter, that meant milking that cow at night - dark, black nights. I had to walk down to the barn in the dark, all by myself :D, then after milking one side I had to wait for the calf to finish sucking. I decided to lift my eyes to the stars and think about our wonderful Creator. I bought a star book and taught myself the constellations as I lay out on the dark hillside waiting for the calf to finish his supper. To this day I love to lay out in the dark and watch the sky and find the constellations. And, after watching the Louie Giglio DVDs, Indescribable and How Great is our God, where he shows us just how huge the stars and planets are - it just amazes me what a wonderful and powerful God we serve. Pam (SD)

olderandwiser said...

This article on fear really spoke to me. Thank you for writing it. Fear can be crippling and take the joy out of life. I've had a problem with fear most of my life and read many books on the subject but your article is one of the best I've read. It was very encouraging. I know that God did not give us a spirit of fear and would have us to live our lives free from the shackles of it.
I also like the scripture from Jeremiah at the top of your home page. I never heard of that verse until I read it on your page. I'm going to make some prints of that verse and frame them to give away and hang in my own house.
Thank you again!

Keri said...

Oh my goodness, facing your fears is my favorite topic to discuss! After being controlled by fear and anxiety for most of my life, I finally -- two years ago -- sought professional treatment because I felt God was telling me it was time to deal with it once and for all. The main focus of my treatment plan was facing my fears, commonly referred to as exposure therapy. Over the course of many weeks, and after being properly prepared and equipped for the experiences ahead of me, I had to make a list of as many fears as I could think of, then place them in a hierarchy from least- to most-frightening. And then I had to (gulp) put myself in each fearful situation as many times as it took for me to become desensitized to it.

I don't want to write an entire book here in your comments section, so I won't go into more detail, but the story has a very happy ending. I am now free from the fear that controlled my life, and I know it's because God led me to this type of treatment that involved facing my fears. It was tremendously helpful that my psychologist was a strong Christian, so there was much sharing and discussion of faith and Scripture throughout the treatment. But it was the exposure therapy that was the key to overcoming a lifetime of fear. I tell my story to everyone who will listen, whenever there's even a slight opening in the conversation (hence my need to comment here). ;-)

And now, I'll never again hear or see a reference to Bigfoot without thinking of how you faced your own fear in this way, and that will make me happy. Thank you for sharing this back-story of your obsession.

I hope you and your hubby are both back on your feet again after those nasty bugs that got you down!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this touching, personal post. I wish that I had realized before this article that your mention of Bigfoot was not a joke. Fear can be agonizing. (MD)

netablogs said...

That was a great post! Very inspiring. Most (maybe all) of us probably have some sort of fear in our lives that keeps us from having a fuller, happier life. I remember reading a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. That was helpful to me (although I could use another reread!).

Anonymous said...

Thank you. We have been watching Charles Stanley's sermons for years and have a couple of his writings. Just ordered this. Husband ordered on his kindle and my book arrives tomorrow (I prefer actual books for reading). I used your link.

Sherry said...

thanks for the explanation, brenda ...
and here i thought you were simply a tich "off."
hehe... ♥

the ocean. used to body surf. a LOT.
then saw Jaws in the theater. i never went past my knees
ever again forever and a day. no. way. utter fear.