I gathered the kids into my room and we all flopped on the big bed together. It’s our common chat place, the big cozy bed. I needed to let them know the plans for the next couple weeks and remind them that school is starting up again. As soon as I got the words out about school, all three boys burst into tears.
I could say they are just bummed they won’t be able to lay around, swim, eat, repeat — all day long. But that isn’t the case. Instead, they voiced feelings of anxiety and fear about the new year, everything appearing hopeless.
They are sad a friend moved up to middle school, scared about meeting the new group of kids coming in, worried the work will be too hard (“Mom, it’s SIXTH GRADE. It will be SO HARD.”). They worry they won’t find friends or find their tribe. After last year being the first year in public school, I understand that even this transition is still new. I totally get the fears.
I’m attempting to ease hearts and to find a way to help them, but I barely can do the things I’m asking of them. Things like “the only thing you can do is surrender your fears to God” and “have faith that it will ultimately be okay, you will be okay.” I feel like my words aren’t getting through and the angst in the room seems to increase. Could this be a lesson for me, too?
I lean in with my heart and listen. The Spirit whispers even closer.
I remind the kids that school is still a couple weeks away (we have a trip taking up those two weeks, so it feels like school starts in about five minutes because of the schedule ahead). I talk about being grateful for today and just focusing on today. We wipe the tears and I ask (beg) them to not argue with each other today and we go about our day.
It struck me so hard that the fears they have are the very same fears I still have, just in different circumstances today. I easily get myself into a place where I’m scared of the unknown, anxious about the what ifs and sad about the past that is behind me. Oh, that they could learn this surrender now, so that 20 or 30 years from now they aren’t doing the exact same dance with fear.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~ Isaiah 41:10
I know and I believe and I have faith — but sometimes my habit is still to run to fear. I tell myself to be grateful for today and just focus on today. I will be okay.
How often are you teaching your children or someone you are mentoring lessons you are still learning yourself? I find it happens all the time!Leave a Comment
The fear thing!
I am learning:
* To lock eyes with Jesus
* To refuse to hold hands with fear and to grip tightly to my Father’s outstretched hands
* To fill my mind and heart with solid truth rather than uncertain fear
I have no children of my own to learn from but in my role as a teacher of Special Needs children those are the things I see working for them:
Looking into the eyes of one they know is totally for them.
Holding hands with one they trust.
Hearing things that are loving and TRUE.
This happens in my house all of the time, thanks for sharing today!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
If it helps, I am 53 and still “coaching” my grown children on things/fears that I still have myself. Perhaps I have fear to a somewhat lesser degree because I can point to so many monuments of God’s faithfulness through fear in my life, but we are all works in process. None of us will have mastered fear this side of Heaven. Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith” and we will continue to grow in love and trust until we take our last breath on this earth. I look forward to an eternal life without any fear, but am thankful for the lessens I have learned and the trust the Lord has taught me thus far in life. Thanks for an honest and insightful post!
Heather M. says
Every.single.day…! In the Sunday School class I’m teaching, I feel like I need to hear the lesson just as much if not more than they do!
And now that my son is 18 and getting ready to start making a life for himself in this world, I’m twice as vigilant about trying to model to him how to make decisions about working, etc… even though I still feel like a kid in that area sometimes!
Thanks for letting us know we all struggle. Together we can all face our fears though because we know we are not alone.
HI Arianne and everyone! Thank you for sharing this today-it is just what I needed 🙂
There are so many scary things in life and I can overthink them so much. Its then that I get gently reminded that each one is just one small step in faith (not the hugh leap I fear) and that Jesus has faith in me ie. He is the faith in me. I have to remind myself that all I have to do is trust in Him, easier said than done 😛
Thank you for reminding me that none of us are alone and that it is okay 🙂 To quit dancing with fear and hold on to Jesus so I can really see this as it is through His eyes.
Hugs to you all!
I read this early this morning and really liked it, but did not think I had anything significant to say. Why? I think I keep my fears well hidden and buried.
Then I went running and of course my brain is working. What came to mind was regarding my 17 yr. old son, about to be a senior, then heading off to college. I have often said to him, a quiet introvert like me, “In order to have friends, you have to be a friend.” But how often do I example being a good friend? Sadly, not often.
Thank you for bringing these thoughts to my attention.
Nancy R says
I too have dealt with fears and anxiety all my life and have coached my kids, especially my daughter with all the tools that help me. The big one is to lean on God but that is tough, especially in a young adult who is working out her faith.
One of the huge helps is to face the fear–what are we actually afraid of and what would happen if it came true… Will we die? no Will mom,dad and God stop loving us? no. And then the smaller results–friends will laugh at us–but we then work on handling that. And then we make specific plans of what to do to for those fears. My daughter just went to do her Master’s out of province and is now having to get new housing. So she is freaking… well, she still has a place to stay for awhile, can look at new places but have to wait until Monday–so patience, which is tough, etc etc. She writes the specific fears down and then they become manageable.
When I was younger and worries would keep me up at night, I would imagine taking those worries and putting them on my pillow for God to look after. Each time I picked up the worry I would then visualize putting them back there. Habit formed and I now don’t worry so much at bedtime. Aging is part of learning to know who we really are and how to handle our quirks.
Hang in there. No matter what happens, God always loves us.
Fear is a horrible motivator. Shame and regret only drain us of the energy and willingness we need to receive the joys of today and face opportunities with curiosity and brave hope. Make decisions out of a place of Love and Compassion. Love for God, others, and yourself. Choose to be brave.
Angie Ober says
I am so excited for Atlas Girl to release! Just the little I have read here and there sounds like it could be excerpts from my life story. Thank you for bravely telling your story!
I struggle with this daily. Fear of so many things when Gods word says “Fear Not for I am With You…” I have been like this since I was a little girl but I raised a son who thinks and feels the complete opposite and always reminds me that if I am following GOD then I have nothing to fear. He doesn’t know about half of the things that I fear. BUT GOD does and he knows how I struggle and hide so many things. Oh Lord calm my anxiety and help me to show my son that I really believe what your word says. I need your strength to be able to cast my cares, trust and believe that I have nothing to fear as long as you are with me. Thank you for sharing what I go through too Arianne..
Meredith Bernard says
I am so with you here, Arianne (beautiful name you have!). I struggle. My kids struggle. We all struggle…and I get so mad that I can’t just get over it. But maybe it is the one thing that keeps drawing me back to God? Maybe it’s what He uses to show me I’m not in control and can’t be in control and don’t need to be in control? I appreciate your heart here today and it’s always nice to know we aren’t alone. Yes, you will be ok. We will all be ok. Because God has all of this and all of us. xoxo, Meredith
Beth Williams says
While I have no children of my own–I still have plenty of fears. I’ve seen God work miracles in my life. When problems pop up I still tend to rush to fear the worst! We were fearing a change for my husband–thankfully God kept him in His hands and things worked out ok–not the way we wanted, but ok. Now I’m fearing job troubles for myself. I should truly focus on God and what He can do in and through this trial!