If you have been reading my posts, last week’s topic focused on the perception of fear, a subject that I could readily relate to. How many of you have had a child who was the opposite- fearless? That is another “fish to fry”!! My goodness, as a parent, you don’t want your children to be afraid, but at the same time you don’t want your child so unaware of any danger that the child plunges in head-first and is injured.
Here am I, the Queen of Fears, giving birth to my first child, who was the King of Fearlessness! Go figure! How in the world does that work out? Do the math, it just doesn’t compute! Yet, in God’s plan it does!
My first child was a child born from prayer. I had been trying to conceive for years. The doctor had stoically told me that I would not be able to have children. His words caused me great pain and agony. My greatest desire in life had been to be a mother. I had prayed, prayed, and prayed some more. I was a member of a prayer group that had prayed with me about this situation. I constantly read a plethora of books about prayer. My favorite author at that time was Catherine Marshall. She had written about the Prayer of Relinquishment. She had been bed-ridden for a year with tuberculosis. After praying for healing for a year, she finally threw up her hands to the Lord and prayed “Lord if it is your will for me to be sick on this bed for the rest of my life, I will agree to it. I give my will to yours. You make the decision for me. I leave it in your hands.” She called this prayer “The Prayer of Relinquishment”, where she gave her will, her desires, up to God and let Him make the final decision.
So, in following Catherine’s model, I finally gave my hopes, and dreams of being a mother up to God and told Him that I was leaving it all in His hands. If He didn’t want me to be a mother I wouldn’t be, but I asked Him to take the desire away from me, if that was to be the case. It was the most difficult prayer that I have ever prayed.
A few weeks later was Mother’s Day. One of my prayer group buddies sidled up to me at church with a bunch of pink roses clutched in her hands. She handed me the lovely bouquet of delicate rose buds. There were 3 light pink rose buds surrounding a 4th bud in the middle. She leaned over to me with tears in her eyes. She whispered that God had revealed to her that morning in her quiet time to go out to her garden. She was to pick the specific roses and give them to me as His promise that I would be a mother on the next Mother’s Day. How ecstatic I was!
God was true to His promise; I was a mother that next Mother’s Day! When my son was born I gave him to God, as Hannah did in the Bible. I knew that he was not my own, but that He was Gods. He was truly a gift from God. Therefore, when he was born as a fearless child, I knew that fearlessness was a special quality that the Lord had given him for His purposes. Hence, I had to learn how to deal with it, no matter if I was the Queen of Fearfulness or not. Funny thing, dealing with fearlessness helped me deal with my fearfulness. Interesting how that worked!
As my son would want to run into the water at the beach or jump in the pool, I had to teach boundaries and limits. He was always ready to go to the farthest extent of the boundaries and limits. I had no idea what that was like, growing up as a compliant little girl, who was afraid to put her toe in the water. But, I found out quick enough. I was off into a new life of adventure, one that I had never even contemplated. You see I had this nice little picturesque image of what motherhood was going to be like. Yet, God changed my vision and gave me an exciting new vision. A fearless older son, who taught his younger brother how to be fearless, as well. I think that my boys probably participated in every sport available to them, except wrestling. (They had enough experience with that at home!) They did all the others. We were at the pool, the gym, the baseball field, football field, lacrosse field, and track, and then at Young Life and church. Life was packed to the brim with constant activity. So, I had to have a new way of looking at life and risk. My boys certainly didn’t sit quietly at home. We had many visits to the ER with injuries. This seemed par for the course for a mom of two active boys. I learned about a whole new side of life that I had never experienced- athletics, taking risks, working on teams, and the logistics of being on a team. I saw how being on a team helped my sons learn how to work with other people and how to get along with others. They learned sportsmanship, how to be a good winner, and a good loser, how to be a good leader, and a good follower, how to follow the rules of the game, how to listen and follow directions, how to have good physical fitness, and how working hard and putting in practice hours paid back a good benefit. They also learned that often the game and the other team and the umps were not fair. Life is not fair. That is a hard lesson to learn, but it is true. The apostle Paul in Philippians 4: 12-13 states, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
When my older son was the quarterback of the football team in high school I used to go and walk around the track of the field before the game and pray for him and for the guys on the team, that none of them would be seriously hurt. I would pray Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and take courage. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will go before you and He will be with you wherever you go.” I’ll never forget going to one field to pray when it was the school’s Homecoming game. The school had crafted papier-mache tombstones and placed them around the field with all of our high school player’s names on them. When I saw my son’s name I almost choked and began sobbing. I have never been so struck by the ruthlessness of competition. I was crushed, demoralized. Part of me yearned to prevent him from playing the next day, yet in my spirit I knew that I dare not say a word. I was convinced that my job was to pray as fervently as possible for his well-being and for the team’s safety. It was also obvious that prayer was necessary for the team’s mentality when they saw the tombstones as they marched into the stadium. I prayed that it would affect them differently than it affected me. My prayer was that when the tombstones were revealed that they would become fearless warriors.
My older son has continued a life of fearlessness. He has persevered through many trials, and he has not given up. He has been called by the Lord to be a pastor and an evangelist. He has made following Jesus his number one priority, even when it hasn’t been easy. I am so proud of him and his commitment to sharing his faith with the lost; being a trailblazer who is making a difference in this world.
Below is the name of a book that was recommended to me as a good one to read, citing the importance of having the emotion of fear in our lives. Fear does have a purpose. It does protect us from stepping out of the boundaries that we should not cross. It is a healthy kind of fear to keep us safe. God has placed within us a discernment of knowing what is right and what is wrong. He desires to grow that discernment as to aid us in making wise decisions throughout our lives. In Psalm 34:4 David states; “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” I know that the Lord has rescued me from my fears.
May God keep you in the palm of His hand,