“Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength.” ~Frederick Buechner
After picking the boys up from the nursery a couple nights ago, and after the usual celebration of our reunion, Connor said, “Mommy, I was scared!” My heart dropped a little and I stopped walking, knelt down and asked what scared him. He didn’t really tell me anything other than, “That door scared me.” I’m not sure what door he was referring to or what happened with the door, but whatever it was, it scared him enough to talk about it the rest of the evening. I comforted him, assured him he was safe, picked him up into my arms and we kept walking.
As we walked out of church, Ethan joined in and said that he was scared too. They proceeded to tell every one we passed that they were scared. It was equally as adorable as it was sad.
Because I didn’t know the details, I decided to just use it as an opportunity to explain that sometimes we get scared, even mommy, and when that happens, we can always pray and God will always be there. I told them that they can always come to me and talk to me about anything that scares them, and that if at all possible, I will protect them and comfort them and they’ll be safe with me. I explained that sometimes, like that night in the nursery, I might not be there, but God is always there. I encouraged them to pray anytime they felt scared or sad or worried, and reminded them they can even pray when they’re happy or excited. I prayed with them and showed them that all we have to do in those moments is say, “God, I’m Scared.” And He will comfort us and keep us safe.
They prayed with me and said, “God, I’m scared,” and I think my heart might still be in the hallway at church.
The boys loved this and got very excited about knowing God is always there, even if mommy can’t be. Ethan said, “God is so cool!” I wiped the tiny tear that found it’s way to my eye, agreed with him and we continued to talk about prayer, sing songs all the way home, and move on from the big scary door.
I am always amazed at how present God is and how He is continually communicating His love for me through my children. I am also astounded at how wise the boys seem to be and how receptive they are to all things God. I pray that never ends. Heaven is in their little hearts and I see glimpses of God’s face when I look in their eyes.
Lately, if I allow myself the time to think about it, I am consumed with fear. Luckily, I don’t have much time to think about it, but I realize it presents itself even if I don’t acknowledge it. As I look into the future at a road I know nothing about, I am scared. I feel like I’m walking around blind folded and all I know is that there are a lot of scary, difficult things ahead; but I can’t see them, I don’t know when I’ll step upon them, and at times, I’m not even sure where I am.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”- Psalm 23:4
I fear the times that I can’t be there to protect my boys. I’m scared of what will happen to them as we get further down this road. If I allow myself, I worry about the impact of not only the divorce, but the unhealthy influence of their father in their lives as time goes on. There are a million things out of my control, and the older the boys get, the less control I have over their safety. I know close to nothing of what lies ahead.
“Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
What I do know is that I don’t have to know all the details (though I want to). What I do know is that God has gone before me and He will go after me. I know that He will stand in every gap for me and my boys. And I know that all I have to do is say, “God I’m scared,” and He will be there, wrapping His arms around me, just as I told the boys He’d do for them.
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:9-10
Sometimes when we are most afraid is also when we are most brave. My boys make me brave. They believe in me just as they believe in God. Just as I believe in God. Today, I am reminded that all I have to do is say, “God I’m scared,” and He will comfort me. He will still the waters, lead the way and fight the enemy. He will protect us from the unknown doors that scare us. And for tonight, that is all I need to know.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson