“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
The phone felt frozen in my hand and I struggled with what to say. The caller on the other end, my sweet neighbor Cariann, repeated her question, assuming I hadn’t heard her. She asked if my children wanted to go with her family to a party. My mind raced, immediately listing reasons why I shouldn’t allow them to go. I am an amazing statistician when it comes to analyzing the data before me and concluding that “Danger Lies Ahead!”
MOTHER KNOWS BEST
I politely declined, explaining that I just “wasn’t ready” to let them go somewhere without me. She understood and graciously accepted my answer. I explained to my disappointed children that they would not be going to the party and the reason why. My heart sank a little as I looked into their precious faces, watching their hopes of enjoying a party with friends slowly dwindle. I assured myself that I had to follow my “gut,” telling myself that God entrusted them to me and it was my responsibility to protect them. Too many things could happen. It only takes a moment for tragedy to strike. I comforted myself with saying, “I know best.”
A HEAVY HEART
I went about my day with a heavy heart as I knew the kids were wishing they could join their friends. Recently I’d been studying verses related to fear and anxiety and I felt God whispering them to my heart. Offering up a tear-filled prayer for courage in the face of my worries, I acknowledged that even when my heart races and my fears threat to overrun me, He is always in control.
Peace overwhelmed me as I dialed my neighbor’s number to ask if the invitation was still open. She said it was and I announced to the kids that they’d be joining their friends after all. My news was met with a chorus of cheers. My oldest didn’t react as I’d anticipated, though. Instead, he opted not to go and we both watched as all his siblings ran joyfully across the yard to our neighbor’s waiting van. I knew Rocco was struggling with the fear of being away from me.
A TEACHABLE MOMENT
I sat him down and explained that I didn’t want him to miss out on amazing opportunities in life because he was afraid. I told him that I missed out on a lot growing up because my own mom was fearful, and I reminded him what God is constantly reminding me: God is in control. I was thrilled when Rocco decided to go. I watched him run across the yard and join the others and as they drove away. Even though I’d still miss them, I knew they were in God’s hands.
More than my own victory over fear in that situation, I was overjoyed that my son chose to trust God instead of living in fear. We’d done it! We’d both taken a huge step forward in faith, and I knew it was only the beginning!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Think of an experience when you were called to let your son do something that made you nervous.
What was your gut reaction? Was it to be overprotective or to let him have the adventure?
Are there more areas where you can allow him to spread his wings more?
Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Overcoming Fear chapter!
Mandy Pagano is mom to 4 always-hungry, never-tired boys and 2 sassy little girls. She and her husband Joe live in the Pittsburgh, PA area where they homeschool their children. When Mandy isn’t teaching, juggling soccer schedules, or doing a thousand loads of laundry a week, she can be found working as the Coordinator for her local MOPS group, teaching preschoolers at her church twice a week, and writing. She blogs at SuburbanStereotype.com and also at DeliberateWomen.org, an online ministry she founded with 5 other ladies. She is also a full-time contributor for Ungrind.org, Time-WarpWife.com, FruitfulFamilies.com, and OvercomerOutreach.com. Most notably, Mandy is a hot mess who is loved by Jesus. She still shakes her head every time she realizes a Holy and perfect God can love a train wreck like herself.
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This is so me. FEAR is huge but definitely not bigger than or God!! My son in pre k, I pick him up already because of fear in him riding the bus, this particular day I was running a little late so I called a lady that also does pick up and also happens we go to my church. I know she is punctual and loves Jesus. I wanted to meet her as close as possible so he would not be riding with someone else for long, that wouldn’t work because she had another child to pick up so we met at a central location. We were in contact the whole time which eased my fears and anxiety. She brought my son safely to me as God held my hand and watched over us all!
Trusting that God will protect my son as he leaves for his first deployment soon (non-combat but still in a dangerous area of the world). I pray that God will be the stronghold that I CHOOSE to run to instead of my husband or an email or phone call from my son. That I will not need these human things to calm any fears I might have- that I would trust in God alone.
Yes, I had huge fears about my son being away from me. His father and I divorced when he was under a year old and he’s not very involved in his life. Furthermore he is far removed from Christ, speaks negatively about any religion and would not instill any type of faith in my son’s life. Up until the last month I’ve been terrified God would take me from my son and he’d be sent to live with his father even though my family would fight with everything they had to obtain custody of him. I was sick to my stomach wo th worry, always wondering if I had cancer or some other disease that would take me away from my son. I spent too much time begging God not to take me away from my little one and not enough time trusting that he wouldn’t. Recently, in scripture, I’ve b e n reminded that if I have undoubted faith in something God will see that it happens. That has spoke volumes to me and I’ve overcome my fear. I believe, with everything in me, that God will not take me from my son and that he wants him raised to be an obedient, Godly man. This topic only strengthens my belief even more. Thank you Father for another reminder.
Wow, you have taken my thoughts and wrote them for me. Thank you. I have the same/similar fears. I’m still working on them tho, I feel like fear is winning sometimes. I tell myself I don’t want to pass fear onto my boys and that helps me in decision making. This chapter is for me to pay about for myself including my son’s.
I was reminded of your beautiful post this evening. My four year old daughter and I are watching Polar Express and she said her favorite part is when the little boy decides to get on the train. I had to stifle my immediate reaction which was “oh, no, you never go with adults you don’t know and you never climb on weird trains that just show up at your house!” I felt like God helped me to take a deep breath and bite my tongue. Sure, I want to train her to be wise, but I also believe God makes us with a sense of wonder and intrigue and curiosity and I want to trust that and trust Him and not quell that in her. My son is fearless, he just goes full tilt into everything. Sometimes, Yikes
I am fearful for my dad too much it’s so hard for me to let to and just let him be. I hate that he’s growing up and wants to be away. He’s always going to sleepovers and camps and wants to walk a little further in the housing area and I have found myself saying no and then after seeing the disappointment saying yes. When you see that smile on their face, it makes you feel so much better and when I tell my son I’ll be praying for him. He is so thankful and it mektsmy heart.