“Fear Not, I Have Redeemed You, I Have Called You by Name, You are Mine.” Isaiah 43:10
It is one of the verses from a silly song that my kids used to listen to over and over. The A-Z scripture verses. It was the letter “F” and it is the one that sticks with me four or five years later. It is kind of funny how with each child has come more fear. More concern over their lives and more over mine.
I used to be quite fearless. I was confident in the idea that I would try anything once. I was certain if given the opportunity I would bungee jump off a bridge or jump off a cliff into a pristine lake. I loved to have my heart race. I was surprised then, when I decided to work part-time at a camp several years ago, and they asked us to try everything once I was faced with fear. I was working in the high ropes course, and there was a zip line. I had never been on a zip line. They asked me to try it, and with trepidation I stepped off that ledge and flew at an insane speed down through the air attached only by some tiny wire thing to another tiny wire thing. I was quite certain I was going to be dead from a heart attack by the time my feet touched ground. Once I reached the end, I was greeted with eager individuals, “That wasn’t so bad was it!” “Don’t you want to do it again?” I looked at them in disgust! Absolutely! Positively! NEVER! I could feel tears stinging my eyes. And the director reassured me that this did seem to happen once people became parents.
And, it is probably a good thing, to have some fear, not the fearlessness of an eighteen year old who thinks they are immortal. But it has taken over some parts of my life. Flying for example, I HATE to fly, I do not know why that in my late twenties it finally occurred to me that planes fly through the air and being someone who knows nothing about physics or science, this makes no sense to me HOW they fly through the air. So, flying for me now is a horrible experience.
The place I hate fear has taken the greatest hold is in my children. They are taking on my fears. Fear of storms and spiders, sickness and the unknown. It makes my heart break. I want their lives to be full of hopes and dreams, not darkened by fear. Because I have these hopes and dreams for them bigger than any I had for myself. I spoke with my daughter last night about how this fear that sometimes cripples her to the point of not being able to leave the house is so far from what God has planned for her. And she knows, this is not the life, the life to the fullest that God has planned for her.
I share the few things that have changed my view on fear. The first is something my mom always said, when I would say that God would protect me. She would say that I was right, that as long as I was not testing God, He would protect me… now jumping off a cliff, that was testing God, but being wise and using good judgment, there is no need to live in fear. She is right after all my travel and adventures, the one major injury I sustained was walking down my basement stairs in my home. It was not while climbing on a mountain or white water rafting. It was carrying a bread machine down the stairs while talking on the phone. Also, I remember a woman sharing at a retreat her fear of flying after nearly crashing. She said God spoke so clearly to her that she could not fellowship with fear and God. There is only room for one. I would so much rather fellowship with God. And I will fight fear for my children, with them, holding to the promises we are given. Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”