My husband and I were recently blessed with a trip to Mexico. We were very excited to have the opportunity, but with this opportunity came a lot of logistics to work out. We don’t live near family, but thankfully we had some relatives that were willing to fly out and stay the few days with our kids.
As a mom, before you can relax and enjoy, you have to make sure all the laundry is done, the house is clean, a list of meals is available (of food the kids will actually eat!), all the necessary documents are signed in case of an emergency, lose weight, buy some new clothes and the list goes on. The week before we left I had accomplished all that and was feeling very excited about being away from my kids for this first time in 4 years! Just my husband and me in a beautiful location- exploring.
But suddenly I got overwhelmed with fear; fear of the big “what-if”. What if something happens to one of the boys and we aren’t able to make it back quickly? What if something happens to one of my relatives, then the other one will not only be dealing with their spouse in the hospital but also having to deal with our kids on their own. What if something happens to one of us, and we end up in the hospital in Mexico? But the biggest fear I had was, what if we don’t make it back…ever?! Would they feel loved?
I’m not normally a worrier. I’m more of the mindset “whatever happens, happens and I’ll make the best of it.” Now, I’m not saying I don’t struggle with fears, but more often than not I’m able to pray, compartmentalize it and move on. I had never had this much fear over something. It was to the point that I didn’t even want to go to Mexico. I knew it was Satan attacking me, but even through praying and reading scripture I still couldn’t conquer these attacks. I texted a few friends who I knew would pray for me and told them my struggles. Instantly I was receiving messages back; messages of encouragement, prayers, verses and songs. I went to my quiet area, prayed and read some more and finally felt at peace and even excitement.
I crawled into bed that night and suddenly got that panicked fear. Even to the point I started crying a little. I got out of bed and decided to pray over my boys and give them to God…again! I went to each of them and put my hands on them and confessed my fears, submitted them to the hands of God and prayed that He would help them feel loved. While I was praying I got such a clear thought in my head it was as if someone had spoken it out loud, “I love them more than you ever could.” I was so overwhelmed with that truth and instantly comforted. I had a Heavenly Father who loved my boys way more than I ever would be able to. He understands, as a parent, any situation I will go through while I parent my kids. He allowed his Son to endure ridicule and lies being spoken about him. Jesus was bullied and beaten, he endured peer pressure from those closest to him. He fought Satan’s attacks. God watched as Jesus was tortured then put on a cross-killed. God allowed that to happen to Jesus because of His love for us, for my kids. He loves them, he loves me, more than I can even understand.
Anytime I got that panicked feeling of fear, I was comforted that God loves my children. We left for Mexico a few days later and had an absolutely amazing time. It was such a nice to invest in our marriage and focus on each other without voices interrupting or little bodies climbing on us. As you can imagine, our relatives spoiled the boys and all of them had a wonderful time. And not only survived, but thrived!
As parents, we will constantly be fighting fears as we raise our children. All those “what-ifs”, all those moments we want to rescue them from whatever turmoil they’re going through. But please be encouraged and rest in the fact that God’s love is deeper than yours. How you want your kids to succeed; He wants that for them on a bigger scale. When I was going through these mind battles I was reading Isaiah 43: 1-7. I meditated on those verses and read them a few times over those days. I find a verse that you can focus on and memorize when those thoughts creep in. Write it on sticky notes and put it on your mirror, by the sink, on the fridge and wherever else you spend time. It will help focus your thoughts back on God and his power. It could also be a tool to explain that verse/verses to your kids. Let them know that you’re struggling with something (be general if needed), that you have fears and that you’re trying to fight them. It will not only help you, but will also help them realize it’s ok to have fears as long as you fight them and not let them take over their life. Teach them how to deal with their fears, to not suppress them. Let’s be courageous parents and raise courageous children for God.