Last night, my oldest daughter, Kamryn, went to a local carnival with a friend and her family. I called to check in on her and instead of the usual “Hello”, she answered with excitement:
Mom, I am on a ferris wheel!
So we chatted about how she had ridden all the carnival rides already and she was having so much fun. It brought me back to my teenage years, living in a small town, and a carnival rolled through. It was like a slice of life rolled in with it!
And the whole conversation with Kamryn was fun and exciting and easy flowing.
Then as soon as I get off the phone, it happened.
Fear set in.
Dear God, please don’t let her to die on the ferris wheel.
What if she dies on the ferris wheel?
Oh God, she is going to die on the ferris wheel.
So so so irrational.
When Kamryn was an infant, she began overnight visits with her father, who I was never married to. We lived hours apart from eachother, so it was not an every other weekend arrangement. But he would consistently see her whenever he could.
And everytime, on my 3 hour trip home alone, after dropping her off, I would be in a state of panic.
Dear God, please keep her safe. Please Dear God don’t let them have a car wreck. If they get in a car wreck, please don’t let her get hurt. Please Lord don’t let her to get sick. Oh God, what if she becomes ill. Please keep her safe. Please keep her well. Please let me see her again, alive.
The prayers were panic-ridden, relentless, and tear-stained. And they lasted the whole ride home. It was exhausting for me. And probably God too.
I learned alot from those trips though. Sometime about 2 years into this, as I was doing my relentless panic praying routine, God whispered in my heart:
Dear one, what makes you think I am not with Kamryn when she is with her dad, the same as I am with her when she is with you?
Silence in my soul.
My whole world changed.
My heart settled. I was so relieved. I was finally released from my ritual of panic praying!
I was humbled and embarrassed. How prideful could I have been to think I was the one protecting Kamryn, and not God. And that without me there, it was inevitable all would go wrong.
I learned so much on those lonely trips home, with hours spent praying in a frenzied panic. But I would not have learned anything if God had not whispered into my soul.
No telling how long He had been trying to teach me this lesson, but my fear was so great that I would not listen. And finally He just burst into my brain and left me a direct message.
You just got to love Him. 🙂 I can just imagine Him in His great throne thinking:
Here she goes again. Will she ever realize that I am there with Kamryn all the time, not just when Kamryn is with her?
Well, I did finally realize. But only after He blasted past the fear that was creating a fog around my heart. That fog of fear was making it impossible for me to listen to Him, to remember that I do not need to live in fear, because I am a child of God. But God stayed true to His love, and He drew the fog away.
On that day, I stopped parenting in fear. I stopped living in fear. And I stopped loving with fear.
And anytime I would feel the fear set in, my prayer would be:
Dear Father, I know you are in control. Please help my heart to settle down and not live in fear.
So I was kind of surprised last night when all those irrational panic prayers began rolling around in my brain, about Kamryn’s imminent doom from the top of a ferris wheel.
But it didn’t take long before I remembered I do not parent out of fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
I am not perfect. But my Savior is. And so when I find fear mixed in with my love, I pray for love to win and for fear to catch the next train to nowhere. I no longer pray in panic with an undying relentlessness. I pray for me to remember that fear does not control me.
I pray for my children to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Because if they can do that, then they can get through life, no matter what comes their way.
I pray for God’s will to be fresh on my heart. To be fresh on my family’s heart.
Because my Savior lives and my Savior is Love. And He is in me.
The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
My Beautiful Kamryn doing the typical teenage picture of herself. This was probably her 100th picture of the day 😉