“I wasn’t allowed to do that as a kid, so I’m not going to let my child do it either.” Does that thought ever cross your mind?
Growing up, it was a rare occasion for me to be away from home .. for sleepovers, school trips, or college. It didn’t matter if everyone else was doing it. I wasn’t everyone else. As a parent, I now understand why I wasn’t allowed to do such and I think I turned out okay. So I figure I’ll just apply the same logic with my kids and they’ll turn out fine too, right??
Several months ago, I found myself in a challenging position. My oldest daughter had an opportunity to attend a leadership program with classmates from our homeschool community. Frankly, it was an amazing opportunity and I knew she would learn a great deal. But it was 3 hours away from home. And she would be gone for 5 days. Eek! What’s a mom to do?? Well, I’ll tell you what I did: I was filled with anxiety and fear. On the one hand, I didn’t want my daughter to miss out on such a chance. On the other hand, I didn’t want anything harmful to happen to her away from our supervision and care. Tears flowed during this difficult decision making process.
Logic quickly entered this indecisiveness through the form of my husband (typically the case in my home). He helped me understand that we have to do what’s best for our children based on how God leads us, not solely by how we were raised. He highlighted the benefits of such a program and how it would impact our daughter in preparation for the future. My wise husband also reminded me that rather than having a spirit of fear, we should have one of power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Our prayer should be:
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior” (from “Oceans” by Hillsong United)
The truth of God’s Word freed me from the anxiety and helped me think with clarity. It helped me see past the fear and grasp onto the assurance that as God’s eye is on the sparrow, He watches over my daughter. We prayerfully agreed that we would send her to this program, confident that she would grow and develop from the experience. I may have still had a knot or two in my stomach the day we dropped her off, but I honestly had peace and trusted that she was in God’s hands.. always has been, always will be.
True to what we believed, our daughter had the time of her life. She was excited by the classes she attended daily. She had a mouthful to share with us every night when we called her. She couldn’t wait to show us around when we went to pick her up and our daughter enthusiastically shared her desire to return next year.
And to think, that would not have happened if I clung to my beliefs filled with fear. Instead, we witnessed our daughter flourish and we are so proud. To see her thrilled by such an opportunity reminds us of the amazing future God has in store for her.
I know most of us live by the adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But I hope my experience demonstrates that just because something worked before, doesn’t mean it can’t be better if you try something different. Don’t miss out on experiencing God’s best. Move from your tears of fear to trust in our Father.
(While writing this, the background music was my daughter singing a song she wrote about trusting God.)