My heart fell a fraction of the distance his did when his body plunged off the platform of the bridge. All I could hear was his voice calling out the further he fell, while the white snow covering the deep narrow valley enhanced my focus on him above the wide shallow riverbed below. I could hardly stand to watch as I clutched tightly to my prayer. Earlier that week when he told us he wanted to bungee jump, I felt sick from fear. I wished in that moment, that my son didn’t want to do these crazy things.
This event was a defining moment for me; to give my fear, of my son’s desire, over to God. In these times of fear I start praying, giving my concerns to God knowing that He will oversee everything according to His plan. I remind myself that just because I have fear around bungee jumping doesn’t mean I need to shield my son from it.
In an earlier time of raising my children, my daughter and son were playing with toys until my son slapped a stuffed toy over his sister’s head. I immediately took the toy and slapped it over his head telling him we don’t hit. Fear struck me as my thoughts raced around about how hitting back doesn’t teach no hitting. And when I heard the “thunk” on his head I was petrified and terrified that one of the hard plastic eyes had struck his head leaving a small bump. The fear I felt overwhelmed me for what I had done.
I immediately called my dad at work and with tears flowing and hardly a breath to speak, I shared with him what I had done. I was scared thinking the worst: “People that do these kinds of things go to jail.” Devastated! I couldn’t hardly breath I was so distraught by my actions. I couldn’t even think clearly about what I should do. He was only about two and a half. My dad assured me that as parents, we all make mistakes we regret. The pain I felt was overwhelming and I felt so ashamed.
Fear is overwhelming when we don’t know what to do with it. In this case, I felt the need to tell someone what I had done wrong. Confessing to my dad helped me get grounding. Not only did my kids need consoling but I needed to get myself collected to continue my responsibility as a parent. It was a teaching moment for all. I needed to give grace to my son and myself saying mommy was wrong too. He needed to learn how to apologize by my actions of telling him I was sorry and that I love him. I needed to have him understand truth that we treat each other nicely. He told his sister he was sorry and we all gave each other hugs. In this moment I prayed to God for forgiveness and to help me control my actions.
Another time in my life my boss asked me what my worst fear was and I said, “Flying with you.” He immediately responded and said, “What days do you have open on your calendar next week?” I knew where this was going. That next week I was flying in a Cessna 150. I definitely was afraid of this small plane and his piloting! We flew up to the San Juan Islands and I wasn’t quite sure where we were going nor did I talk much. I was scared and it seemed like he was too since he had just accomplished enough solo hours to fly having a passenger.
When I spotted the landing strip at the Roche Harbor Resort airport a sense of calm came over me. I loved that place and I thought, “Oh good, I can get out of this plane.” No sooner than I thought we were landing, we were taking off again. Talk about a rush of fear! I asked him with a bit of stress under my breath why he did that. He told me it was a “touch and go.” So what that means is a plane touches down on the landing strip and immediately takes flight again. Feeling extremely anxious by now, I wished he would have explained what he was doing.
We can’t say no to what we fear when we don’t have the right tools. Whether you face this with children or not, if you don’t want to do something you have no interest in, then say no, even if it is your boss. Take a leap of faith. If your boss intimidates you, speak out your concerns. Relying on God’s Word for guidance is a great way to learn about overcoming fear.
However fear strikes us, knowing what to do with the emotion attached to it, is what keeps us at peace. ~ Susan Husa
Fearing God with reverence and trust in all that we do should lead our actions. Anytime we are outside of doing what God truly would guide us to do is sinful. As sinners we can be thankful for the fear we have in disobedience as a follower of Christ. This fear is like a compass which steers us in the right direction. If we fear God, we acknowledge His commands to Love. We accept his son Jesus and His sacrifice. We bow our heads and remember that this act of love is what has set us free from condemnation. Christ in us enables us to transform as we practice what we learn, one step at a time.
We can’t control what other people want to do. We can’t control what other people do to others. We can control what we do. In all of these scenarios, if we acknowledge fear with reverence to God, it is He that will lead us by His Word to that place of peace as we bask in His Truths. A great time to acknowledge The Lord’s Prayer.