I had a revelation today. It happens occasionally:) I have a problem with anxiety and fear. (No, that’s not the revelation!) It’s something that goes way back and even runs in my family. I am trying very hard to battle it with prayer and bible verses because I do NOT want it to rule my life.
Lately, we’ve seen evidence that Samuel is following along in my footsteps. That absolutely crushed me. If I had to pick one fault of mine (and there are MANY!) that I do not want to pass on to my children, it’s my tendency to worry. As soon as I came face to face with this in my son, I started acting because I have a lot of life to live.
So this morning, the boys were happily playing outside, racing around on their scooters. Suddenly Samuel burst through the door with his scooter and declared that he was done playing because there was a BEE outside. Zakkai came tumbling in after him but I could tell, in typical Z-man fashion, that he really didn’t care as much as Samuel did and was only following him as a dutiful younger brother would do. He quickly got over his brief bee-scare and was back outside within a minute or two, calling for Samuel to join him.
No amount of convincing on my part could get Samuel to step foot outside for many, long minutes. “But what if it stings me?”
“What if it chases me?”
“What if it flies inside my mouth?”
“What if it stings my mouth?”
“It’s going to HURT!”
“I CAN’T go outside!!:
“What if it thinks I’m a flower?”
“My sweatshirt is wet. What if the bee thinks it’s pollen on my sweatshirt and stings me?”
All of these are almost verbatim from Samuel’s overworked brain. Now, granted, Samuel was stung by a bee last summer at my mom’s house so he knows that it hurts.. He was treated immediately and hardly seemed fazed by it.
While I was trying to reason with him, trying to make him think logically (“Samuel, the bee knows the difference between a boy and a flower. Trust me, he does not think you are pollen!”) trying everything I could to get him to stop with the “What ifs”, it struck me.
That’s exactly what I do. I have spent so much of my time being so afraid of the “What ifs” in life that I miss the real, pulsing, wonderful, hectic life right in front of me. I have been stung before by life. And it hurts. But every time God gives me the grace I need to handle it and I grow from it.
Why should that stop me from living my life FREE? I can’t stand by and watched my little boy miss out on a beautiful, sunny day and the chance to ride around on his scooter and be free just because of a fear of something that might happen.
It was a big moment for me. To literally see myself in my child. I can picture so many times Ben or my mom saying “But, Heidi, that hasn’t even happened. You have no reason to believe that could happen. You need to trust God. You need to stop worrying. etc” And I fight so hard because that fear is so tangible to me, so real. But I saw with such clarity today that I’m the little child, huddled inside on a beautiful sunny day with life going on around me, afraid because something bad might happen.
Chances are, I might just miss out on some really good things while I’m so busy taking my burdens back from a God who says He’ll carry them for me.