JOURNEY THROUGH OCTOBER: CONQUERING FEAR

~week two~day 2~

Parenthood is a very romantic thought when you’re young.  Being a mama or daddy, for most, sounds like a call to love.  You find the one you love.  You eventually bring little people into the world because of your love.  It all makes a lot of sense in light of love.

But as the weeks and months and years pass, you come to find that parenting is as much about bravery as it is about love.  No one tells you in advance about the fear you will put aside when you ride in the ambulance to get your peanut’s finger sewed back on.  No one gives you a shower card telling you to be brave and wise when the thermometer hits 103 or 104 during the night.  And, the lonely year your sweet offspring spent looking for friends to hang with on the playground – – you didn’t see that coming, but your love made you brave.

I must not (will not) leave out the bravery of childbirth.  Frankly, no one tells you about the reality of childbirth before you experience it.  I think it’s mainly because they know there are no words to describe the persistent traumatizing pain.  But I also think it’s because they don’t want to tattoo fear into your joyful anticipation.  Childbirth takes bravery.

Fear and retreat sound like good options sometimes.  But the love in you tells you that you can be brave so that your kids will also be brave.  You do things against your grain like letting them fall sometimes.  You don’t always swoop them up when their heart is hurt, but let them grow under your wings.  Parenting takes putting aside fear and putting on bravery.  It all makes a whole lot of sense in light of love.

JOURNEY THROUGH OCTOBER: CONQUERING FEAR in DR

~week one~day 5~

Last summer, our whole family visited my brother in Dominican Republic.  Going somewhere new is brave.  Traveling with your whole family is brave (but we love it!).  Adventure and nature make you brave.  I have some great stories of bravery from our summer trip.

My favorite story of bravery was my sister in law up on the mountains zip-lining.  I had no idea she hated heights.  She didn’t look scared at all.  She geared up to go with the GoPro cam strapped to her helmet.  I would have never known she was scared until I heard her whispering her bravery mantra to herself between taking deeps breaths.  “I can do this.  Yes, I can do this.”  And then she jumped off the ledge.  Flying across the line.  13 times.  Fear was behind her.

Another great story of bravery was my 81 year old grandma walking the ramp to the wood ledge over the deep spring.  About 10-12 feet above the water, she listened to us cheer her on and jumped!  The cool water meet her and she came up for air smiling ear to ear.  No doubt she jumped, in part, to keep alive the adventure my late grandpa was well known for.

We saw other kinds of bravery.  In the slums of Santa Domingo, we visited a family whose kids were sponsored by Compassion International.  About eight people and a few pets lived in a tiny metal semi-permanent structure built over the city’s sewer system.  I think of the mom as brave.  She was brave because she was navigating her faith around her husband who reminded me of the old Temptations song – – Papa Was A Rollin Stone.  She faithfully brought her kids to the Compassion school.  She let strangers in to see her circumstances if only for an opportunity to share her story.  She let us pray for her mainly because when the needs are too great to meet, you have no option except to bring it to God.

I think we’re made to be brave.  I think fear is meant to be conquered.  I think we have it in us to tell ourselves to be brave.  To jump off ledges into air or water.  Whether we are 8 or 80.

Journey Through October: Conquering Fear

Join me as I journey through October facing fear. I will share with you many short posts recalling my own battles. Sharing bravery. Remembering scripture. Treasuring wisdom.

Dreams are reached through facing fear and persevering through pain.  Pain is by no means desirable. But with God. The very, very dark and desperate becomes bright, full of hope and inevitably beautiful.

~week one~day one~

It was not clear to me when I slammed the first book shut. I had just turned the page and landed on chapter 6 – – From Anxious to Peace: Conquering Fear. Forget Chapter 6, I said to myself. I don’t want to know what I am lacking in the way of peace. I don’t want to open up this topic so God can conveniently use it to refine me, prune me. Nope. Been there, done that. A few hundred times.

I cleverly excused myself to the other book I was reading. The second book needed reading for my Monday bible study anyway. I am a smart girl and I have my priorities straight. I don’t like pain. I will keep the first book shut For A Long Time.

The first book remained closed on my shelf. I continued to read the second book. Some time passed. I reached Part 3 of the second book. The title is God Knows My Fears. Slam. After all, I was a few chapters ahead of my bible study’s reading anyway. No need to get any further ahead.  For now.

It was not yet clear to me why I was slamming books shut on Conquering Fear.  But clarity was on its way.  Truth was reaching for me.  Wisdom was calling.  My answers were on the very next page . . .