for when you’re really scared

Written by Jonathan Pearson

Jonathan Pearson is a millennial determined to leave the world in better shape than he found it. He is the Communications and Online Campus Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church and Assistant Director of The Sticks. Jonathan is also the co-creator of He is married to Melissa and the two live in Orangeburg, S.C. You can find Jonathan online at and

August 24, 2012

Have you ever been scared? Not just a little scared or just said that you were scared to death of something, but really scared. The kind of scared where you’re genuinely afraid for your life?

I have. I was a young guy, about 17 years old and in my junior year of high school.

I began having headaches on random occasions. It really wasn’t that bad at first, just one here and there. They eventually became more frequent and more painful. The headaches got worse and worse and began occurring at an unbelievable rate. It eventually seemed like every day, I’d wake up with a throbbing head and fuzzy vision. I’d often have to sit in the dark with my eyes  closed to even make it close to feeling bearable.

I remember one night in particularly that I had been sitting in the dark, had taken headache medicines, thrown up 2 times, and had a salty wave of tears running down my face. I just wanted it to go away. I didn’t care how, I just wanted it gone. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to feel like a normal teenager again. I had fallen behind in school, I had been trying to make up work that I had missed from being out with the pain and I was ready for it to stop.

After a few weeks of the headaches and multiple calls to the doctor, I finally visited a series of doctors. For the next 3 weeks, I was in and out of doctor’s offices like most people are in and out of traffic. I eventually found myself sitting in a musky neurologist’s office and distinctly remember hearing these words in a deep doctor’s voice.

“Yes, we’re going to run a couple of more tests, we’re hoping that there’s no mass found.”


A mass?!

I was just 17 years old, hadn’t even graduated high school, had the rest of my life ahead of me, and this doctor was talking to my mom about a mass on my brain? My mom and I both left the doctor’s office that day in tears, praying it wasn’t the worst.

Several days later, we were due back at the doctor to hear and see the results. I still remember the nervous feeling in my gut as we opened the door. The doctor called us back and informed us everything appeared to be fine. My mother and I looked at each other, smiled, and hugged each other like it was our first time seeing each other. What a relief!

Over the next couple of weeks, after several trial and error steps with diet and medicines, we discovered that all of my pain was from a medicine I’d been subscribed to by my doctor for acne.

It was during that time in my life that I felt God’s love like never before. In spite of the fear, the tears, and the nervousness, I knew God was the one who took care of me in those dark moments as I sat trying to fight off the pain. I knew God was with me in those moments when doctors feared the worst. I knew and I know… it was God.

(Photo credits: e-MagineArt)


  1. Sandra Heska King

    Oh. My. Word. Scary stuff! All that, and the answer was right in front of your face.

    I had something similar happen years ago. So, so sick. Having to lie down to rest before I could drive home after work. Terrible nausea. It wasn’t until I started to break out in hives, we realized it was a med.

    My son has struggled with vertigo since he was 17–five years now. Never knows when it will hit. Affects his job, of course, since he is a mover/driver. They still haven’t found the answer, but we know it’s not a mass.

  2. Diane W. Bailey

    I use to get migraine headaches that sounded similar to what you were going through. They eventually went away, but I remember the fear of death. Isn’t it funny that i’m never afraid of death until I think it is too close.


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for when you’re really scared

by Jonathan Pearson time to read: 3 min