I worry. About lots of stuff. But I’m a gold medal Olympic worrier when it comes to my kids.
The Internet really helps this problem (hahahahaha).
This second grade year has given me no shortage of fodder for my fears.
We’ve dealt with illness, injury, loss of self-confidence, anger, anxiety, school struggles, friend struggles, and that’s just since September. (Granted, there’s three of them, but c’mon.)
I’m reading Alli Worthington’s second book, Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry, and Overcoming Anxiety, tailor made for the woman battling fear (aka ME).
I just finished the chapter on fears for our kids. My stomach knotted up just reading it. Every single fear she identified, I struggle with: They are so vulnerable… What if someone kidnaps them? Molests them? Runs them over? Bullies them? Peer pressures them into destructive behavior? And what about their own intrinsic tendency to rebel against God, give in to sin, cause harm to themselves and others? And just freak accidents that could happen to them when I’m not looking?
Check, check, check.
This morning, I found myself in a vice grip of fear about one of my three as I picked it up and turned to Chapter 5. Even as I write, I feel a little nauseous.
You see, one of mine is hurting. And I am at a total loss for how to help. Fortunately, I have some amazing momma friends who have gone through similar issues and have provided deep and loving insight.
But no matter what steps you hope may help, it doesn’t ease the knot in your stomach when you look in a little face with tears streaming down begging not to go to school.
I was still processing what I read as I drove home, determined to find a way forward for both of us. A song by Lauren Daigle came on the radio:
You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
I talk a good game. Heck, I led a bible study at work yesterday championing trust in God’s provision. Urging those in attendance toward faith instead of doubt.
But when it comes home, I’m living in false freedom.
I prayed with my struggling one just this morning – that God would help bring joy into the day and offer peace over anxiousness.
But I am tied up. Tied down. Sitting in chains of fear and worry that have long been broken if only I’d shake them off.
(Easier said than done, don’t I know it.)
If the Son sets you free, then you are free indeed. (John 8:36)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
I will keep you and… say to the captives ‘Come out… be free.’ (Isaiah 49)
So, what do you do first when you’re far from free from fear? Alli offered helpful tips for me to put into practice ASAP:
- Decide if the fear is real or perceived – all too often, we’ve blown up the fear into something that is FAR worse than reality.
- Determine what level of control you have over the situation – Maybe it is really a legitimate issue your family is facing but you can’t do one stinkin’ thing about it, so that’s when Alli says she’s learning to say ‘Lord, I don’t know what’s outside this door. But Lord, I release him to you.’ (UGH!)
- Don’t feed the fears – I’ve found that talking to worrywarts about my worry magnifies it, so I have to stop.
- Lean on your battle buddies – I honestly couldn’t get through the twists and turns of what life throws at me without my unbelievable tribe of women warriors who walk alongside me. Inexpressibly grateful.
- Trust the One who holds their future – this is the hardest one. We can’t fix it all. And He won’t always ‘fix’ it. But God loves our babies more than we are capable and this is where we release and trust. And where we find real freedom.