The one thing I continue to ask myself when things get tough in the parenting game is, “Am I making this decision based on my fear OR based on my faith?” I have been using it as a guiding point since the girls entered school. Is it easy to operate like this? Absolutely not! But, I am learning the alternative creates more worry than God ever wants for our journey. I even ask myself if I am operating out of a need to control what happens next. Come on, don’t lie and tell me some of you DON’T do this! When everything lines up perfectly we feel almost liberated don’t we? If it is anything I have learned since becoming a mother, anything and everything can go wrong and anything I thought I had under control changes very quickly. I had to start asking myself about the decisions I was making for the girls. What was my motive? Was my motive to make myself more comfortable? Was it to lead them in a direction that was using their sweet little hearts to glorify God or even lead them closer to knowing who they are in this world?
“When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I” Psalm 61:2
A few examples this past year come to mind. We have always had the girls in the same class at school. But, we decided this past year to give them a chance to be in different classes, with their consent of course. My insides were filled with every “what-if” possible. What if they can’t be without each other? What if one has a great teacher and the others struggle? What if I can’t keep up with three different teachers, homework and little classmates? What if I was displaced and uncomfortable? I was noticing my fear was out of control. I knew God was pushing me to let them go down this path. I prayed for clarity and the first few months I felt a little out of control. My fears were running rampant. I remember reading one time this:
F.E.A.R. – Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise
I think I would rather rise than run. What about you?
After a few months of getting my act together and noticing how the girls were coming home growing in different ways, I knew that my faith was bigger than my fear. They have all had blessings for teachers. Ones that who have really brought out the best in each of them. I don’t necessarily like to do 30 different spelling words a week, BUT, it is what it is and it’s not the end of the world. We have had some bumps in the road dealing with some matters of the heart. Things like being excluded from friends, being challenged academically, just not wanting to go to school somedays (especially days there was a substitute), – overall emotions of an 8 year old!
The fears will get larger as they get older. I fear that MY fears may keep them from being who they are meant to be and I do not want that for my girls. So, I am facing this head on now.
The second situation happened recently when we lost a friend of our family. My dear friend lost her husband suddenly. It was a conversation that brought a lot of questions in our house. It also brought up attending a funeral, which they had never done before. Again, in came that fear. Fear wanted to protect my girls from dealing with emotions that made them sad or fearful themselves. A sweet friend of mine with twins reminded me of something very important. That our faith tells us that our goal is to raise up girls who are compassionate, put themselves second to support another human and experience even the hardest things in life that build their hearts for God’s kingdom. This time, a big God told me “good job Mom.”
Do any of us want our children to feel pain? Of course not. But, how many of us want our children to be equipped when this painful worldly earth we reside in deals them a hand that is less than desirable – and everyone says – AMEN!
I encourage you to look at the end game when you look at your children. Think about WHO you want them to be in this world. Let that drive your decisions. There will always be the fear of them making the wrong decision and the pain you will feel as a parent. I am going to lean in the best I can and teach my girls that fear and faith have something in common. They both ask us to believe in something we cannot see. Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable and receives the impossible.
Put your own parenting fears aside and CHOOSE FAITH.
I invite you to share your own experiences and help us empower one another in this game of parenthood.