I decided that for one of my first posts, to give an excerpt from something I wrote a long time ago. I was asked to speak on the topic of “worry and fear” a few years back at the church we attended. Racism was still a new issue for us and this is what I was learning at that time. Since then, we have experienced far worse than what hurt him on the playground, but my reaction is still the same:
LOVE, above all else.
…The scariest thing in the world, is probably parenting…Until you truly understand that these little ones do not belong to us, but to the Lord. It is terrifying to drop your child off at school and know that it can be a hostile environment BECAUSE he is different, even among kindergartners. I can’t shelter him from it and knowing that leaves a pit in my stomach. The “Mama Bear” in me wants to guard him and keep him on lockdown, and then go punch those kids in the face, and give their parents their due. But those are all fear reactions. They don’t help, they only hinder God’s ability to heal us and draw us to trust him more deeply.
I can trust that God has gone ahead of him, preparing Eddie’s way and has allowed every interaction he will have, whether hurtful or joyful. I watch how he withstands and even forgives hurtful remarks/treatment as long as he knows that his teachers, his parents, and his God are rooting for him and defending his cause. As he develops his trust in us all, he flourishes despite or maybe because of the circumstances. His vivacious Liberian spirit always bounces back with intense joy! We all can take a lesson from him: if we know that our God is for us, then why should we flinch in the face of adversity? Those of us who are Christ-followers sing the songs, we know the scripture, but HOW do we mean it?
I will tell you how Eddie does it. He holds his head up high with dignity in the moment, staring it in the face. When its over and he is “safe” again, he falls apart and let’s every muscle in his body crumble. He unleashes the burden with his tears as he is in my arms because he knows I will help him carry it. That is trust in its most perfect form. Like the Hillsong worship song says, “The riches of Your love will always be enough” to keep Eddie from becoming hardened and bitter in a world that is at times, hostile toward him. I have to depend on that as his parent, like a mantra. And nurture his trust.
The Lord your God who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes and in the desert. There you saw how He carried you, as a Father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deuteronomy 1:30 &31
No matter the circumstances in your life, whether in the midst of uncertainty or trials, or life is good….God has gone before you, preparing your way and your battles have been fought and the victory is won. We have no need to fear or worry. In His wake, He leaves in our path only what He intends for us to encounter. He will supply everything we need in all circumstances, He carries us and gives us the words, the strength, the resources, the courage…whatever it is we need as long as we hang on to Him tightly and let go of our fear.