“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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