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Fear is a Paralyzer

Early in my marriage I had exactly what I prayed for, a loving husband and three beautiful babies and yet I often cried in frustration.  I was so fearful of making a mistake with the huge responsibility of raising three helpless children who depended on me for their survival and development.  Was I going to damage these precious blessings with my impatience and stupidity?  These thoughts really weighed on me and I felt I was not passing the Good Mother test.  I prayed constantly and sought wisdom from the Bible and read every parenting book I could get my hands on.  And you know what I discovered?  Fear is a paralyzer.

Parenting out of fear creates reactions with uncertainty rather than actions with confidence.  Whether we have parenting worries or financial problems or any other out-of-control feeling, fear makes us grasp at decisions in desperation rather than in confidence.

Once I let go of my frantic need to do EVERYTHING RIGHT ALL THE TIME, I had many choices for action.  Confrontation with a loved one is an opportunity to connect.  When I had a tantruming 2 year old, I learned to model patience, teach love, and show grace.  Running away, even mentally, doesn’t help anyone.  As much as I wanted to shut myself in my room, pull the covers over my head and eat cheese and crackers in bed (who does that?) I learned to face problems with faith and courage and the support of Mr. K.  There is a solution to most every challenge though the best answer may not be an easy one.

Fear is a paralyzer, but faith is an energizer. Let go of what cannot be controlled and cast any anxieties on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).  I’m still learning how to deal with fear, but when I look back on all that God has taught me and Mr. K by relying on Him through the trials of parenting, I see how I have grown in wisdom and faith.  The kids have turned out pretty good, too.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

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