My Biggest Fear

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Two weeks ago we made plans for Fall Break. My husband had a business trip in Parker, Arizona so we decided to go to Las Vegas. It’s not my favorite location for a family vacation, but there are some things about the city we all really enjoy and some activities we wanted to do.

My husband and I strategized our game plan for a family friendly trip. We figured out how to avoid The Strip at night to minimize the potential of exposing our kids to the rampant cards and handbills with scantily clad women, the drunken obnoxiousness, and general debauchery that I’m glad “stays in Vegas”.

Then the shooting happened. We both agreed to keep our plans. My rationale was that security would be even tighter, and it was still safer than the 7-hour car ride to get there. Being shot wasn’t my biggest fear about this trip. The fear of losing track of our daughter in a place with so much potential for human trafficking was much greater. The likelihood our almost 13-year-old being exposed to pornographic images scared me more. In other words, the same fears and reservations I had about Las Vegas before the shooting.

I prayed over our trip as we planned our activities. We had a great time and avoided the ugliness. We stayed at the south end of The Strip (photo is of the view from our room, which is the opposite side of Manadalay Bay from the shooting). We went to the Tournament of Kings, a family friendly show I highly recommend. We visited the Hershey’s store, M&M World, and sampled international sodas at Coca Cola World. That was the extent of our time on The Strip. The next day daughter and I went swimming and then we all went to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Afterwards we walked away from The Strip for a nice dinner.


I was surprised at how normal everything was. The windows have been repaired. #vegasstrong hashtags, posters for victim relief funds, and the memorial at the iconic sign were about the only reminders of the shooting. I think that’s a good thing.

God tells us to not have a spirit of fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). He also tells us “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) For the most part, I’m not a fearful person. I tend to face fear head on, and it usually leads to prayer. Often overcoming fear is very rewarding. But that doesn’t mean I never fear. Trust me, that’s all I felt when I found that centipede on my towel!

Do you struggle with fear or do you face it head on?

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

4 comments on “My Biggest Fear

  1. I used to think I was the sort of person to face my fears straight on, but now I find myself hiding from them more and more. I want to start praying about them and facing them again!

    • I get this! Some fears like heights are in some ways easier for me to conquer than something like asking for help. I loved your post about climbing the mountain!! It really resonated with me. I think it’s cool we both wrote on the same topic but about how God taught us in different ways!

  2. Love this! A good perspective on trusting God whether you are “safe” at home or in a new, more “dangerous” locale. Glad you were able to relax and have a good time with your beautiful family.

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