By Contributing Writer, Leigh Ellen.
You know that feeling when your child is playing with new friends at the local park, and suddenly you do not spot them anywhere You call their name, and still, they do not come running to you like you expect them to. For some mothers, it is easy to brush off. Then a few minutes later the child runs up to her asking for a snack or drink of water.
However, I am the mom that starts to panic inside. The worst case scenario begins to play through my head. Did someone take them? Did he/she wander away? Was he/she hurt?
I have always been a “worrier,” but having kids has taken my fears and worries to the next level. We love our children so much that the “mama bear” in us wants to protect them every second of every day.
We want control
God is working in my heart to show me how to trust Him more in this life. Whether it is a future move, friendships, my children, or my marriage, God is calling me to let go of my fears and focus more on Him.
That day at the park, when the panic fades, and my child is safe by my side, I begin to see my problem. My problem is not that my kids will need to learn more safety rules or be more obedient. As important as that may be, my problem is that I want all of the control of what happens to my children.
I believe God made us “mama bears” for a reason. No matter how hard I try to keep my child from harm, I cannot. We live in a sinful world full of uncertainty. That is why we need the grace of God to bring us peace and comfort when we are afraid of the unknown.
The anxiety and fear that we experience can cause us to forget who is control.
We must learn to trust God and always remember that whatever happens, He is trying to draw us closer and closer to Him. We must see our need for Christ, and sometimes that is revealed to us best when we are struggling.
When fear and anxiety cause anger
I may be the world’s worst backseat driver. I’ve always dealt with anxiety on the road. This fear kept me from getting my learner’s permit the year that I was supposed to.
I also grew up in a small town and driving on the interstate was not something we did often. So, when I married the city boy that drove on interstates his whole life, conflict arose. The nervousness and tension that I get can sometimes make me get angry at my husband for not staying in his lane or getting too close to the cars in front of us.
My anger can also cause me to get angry with my children when they want to try something new because I am afraid of what could go wrong.
I am here to share with you that you can find freedom from this stress. I have learned that in these situations, it is better for my children to experience a childhood full of adventures and fun than to keep them “safe.” And when I say safe I mean wrapping them in bubble wrap and having a play by play of what’s going on while they are off enjoying life.
We can so easily allow our anxiety to become anger and day by day we lose our joy as mothers. I don’t know about you, but I do not want my children to remember me as the mom that was always unhappy.
They need to see a mama that cherished this life with them. I want them to know that mom had a much bigger love and purpose for the Lord that always came first.
Surrendering our children to the Creator
If I have learned anything about my fear and anxiety, it is that the peace found in giving our children to Lord is the most freeing feeling.
When we place our trust in God above what makes us afraid, we can experience His goodness and faithfulness in a whole new way. We were not called to be able to protect our children. We are called to give them to Christ and to serve as a helper, working alongside the Holy Spirit to point our children in the right direction.
Ultimately, He is in control and His plan will accomplish great things for His glory.
I cannot imagine losing one of my kids, but I do know that God’s plan is so much bigger than mine. When we place our anxiety and fear in His hands, we can learn to appreciate each moment that we do have with our children.
Are you struggling with fear and anxiety? What helps calm your heart when those feelings arise?