As I talk with women across the country about parenting issues and we talk about our kids, the same theme seems to surface. As moms we’re afraid for our kids. Whether it be a school shooting, falling in with the wrong crowd, cutting, or drinking and drugs, pregnancy, or a failing test score, we have fears that can hijack our brain in a nanosecond. We hear something and we’re automatically on high alert wondering if “it” could happen to our kid or if our kid won’t live up to the dream that we have for them.
We put tracker’s on our kid’s phone and their cars to monitor their every move. In China there is a movement in the schools to track a student’s attention by a brain monitoring device that alerts the teacher and the parent when a kid is not fully engaged. The hypervigilance in our parenting isn’t healthy for us or for our kids. That isn’t what God wants for us.
Think about it for a minute, and I hope you’ll dig deep.
What are your fears for your child?
Would you take a few minutes and list them? Really think through them. And I want to encourage you to put them on paper.
What are you afraid of for your kid? It doesn’t matter if our kids are 6, 16, or 26, we’re bound to have some fear–an expectation that might never materialize or a hope that might be taken away.
Sit tight with that list as I share a story.
Over a decade ago, I had a long list of fears for one of my kids. That list seemed to grow year by year as I watched the transition from elementary to junior high and then into high school. I became overtly watchful as behaviors surfaced over which I seemed to have no influence. I watched as this teen struggled with acceptance from classmates even though she could be outgoing and personable. She was intelligent enough to grasp concepts that other students didn’t quite understand, yet seemed to be in a constant state of flux from motivated to uncaring in her academics. She struggled with the nuance of relationships wanting to be seen for who she really was–a gifted individual–yet at times lacked the confidence to really shine.
And as a mom, I saw who she could be yet she didn’t seem to want to embrace it.
And I worried.
Fear had a grip on me when it came to this child. And I didn’t quite know what to do with it.
Yes, I would take it to the Lord. Yes, I would pour out my heart to Him. Yet I couldn’t move from that state of worry and fear. I was always waiting for the next phone call or the next email from a teacher or parent. At times I felt as if I could somehow see a dark future yet didn’t have any control over it. Just when I thought things were getting better and I could breathe the next difficulty would surface throwing me into a state of stress.
Instead of being focused on God, I was focused the circumstances of what could happen next. After all, that is what worry and fear is all about.
Fear is about the future–what might happen.
Today, a mom read a scripture verse that she felt God was speaking to her through. And I went, “That’s it!” That’s exactly what we need in our parenting when we have those times of fear.
He (the righteous) will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear…
I don’t know about you, but that is what I want in my parenting. I want to have no fear of bad news. That will only happen if I am always trusting that He knows what He is doing in my child’s life. My heart has to be steadfast on Him. If we are secure in our hope in the Lord, then we have no reason to fear.
God is writing each and every one of our kids’ testimonies and it might not be what we would write. We need to remember that God goes where we go (Joshua 1:9) and that He will comfort us (Isaiah 51:12-13) regardless of the outcome.
So now that you’ve heard a piece of my story, I hope that you will take your list of fears and offer them up to God as you confess your doubt and worry. He is our Rock where we can take refuge (2 Samuel 22). By turning them over to Him (which may need to be done on a daily basis), we will have peace that He is with us regardless of the situation.
We may want certain outcomes for our kids’ futures, yet God is the one writing the story. We don’t know the purpose of our child’s future from God’s perspective.
So what about that child that I worried over? What did the future look like for her?
All my fears became truths. Worrying about them didn’t change them. Yet God used them in a powerful way. God used her to change me. God had her ministering to people that I would never have been in contact with were it not for the friend group that she chose. And God showed me that His ways are not our ways and I can always trust that He knows what is best to bring Him glory.
“Let go…and Let God”,