Quaking in my Converse®

FDR once said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Obviously, he was too busy being Mr. smarty-pants president and not with raising his 6 children. I have two teenagers plus a tweener right now and I can heartily assure you that I fear more than fear itself.

The past few months, I have likened raising children into adulthood to walking along the edge of a cliff. It is slow going, laborious, scary as hell, nerve-wracking and many days, just a rather unpleasant experience. Every day, here I go, one foot in front of the other, not exactly seeing what lies up ahead; never knowing for sure if I will loose my footing and take a tumble or make it safely over to the other side. Most often, I am so hot (under the collar- that is), bewildered and frustrated, I am totally unable to take in any scenery (if there is anything beautiful worth seeing). But every once in a while, (oh, say, when there is a blue moon) a cool refreshing breeze blows, bringing with it a smile of relief and refreshment; giving just enough respite to keep me going. Then I begin to say to myself: “one step at a time” like a mantra over and over again.

The high and lows come in dizzying cycles. Just when I think: “Oh ok, I am getting the hang of this walking along the edge of a cliff thing”, SHABAM! an evil wind of change comes blowing, threatening to either knock me on my booty or off the ledge, plummeting to my undoing altogether! I relegate myself to sit down, collect my nerve, soothe frazzled emotions (drink some wine maybe) and take a deep breath before going on.

Accompanying me every step of the way is FEAR- downright abject doses of it- the kind that makes my tummy feel swirly and my knees weak. And here’s the million dollar question that runs continuously, like an electronic banner through my frontal lobe:

How will my kids turn out in the end?

I can almost hear what some of you are saying to me right now: “You think too much. You don’t trust God enough. You forget that your children belong to Him anyways. Don’t you just pray when you feel afraid?” Yes to every query! But that still doesn’t change the fact that every day when my children are away from the safety cocoon we call “home”, they are doing, saying, thinking, acting, only God knows what/how.

A friend spoke some wise words to me this week (as I was taking a chillaxing break on my little cliff edge). She said: Stop striving to be the thermostat keeper of the home, always adjusting the temperature, trying to keep it a perfectly, comfortable 78 degrees. In other words, some days it’s gonna get hot, real hot. Other days, it will be so chilly, it may feel as if your toes would fall off. Stop trying to control every point in your children’s existence. OUCH! That hurt my control-freakish nature. But I was forced to admit that if I have nurtured my kids in light of my faith, to the very best of my ability (keeping in mind own mile-long list of faults and failures), I have to trust that they will turn out OK- whatever that looks like. (Which, in all likelihood won’t match my cookie cutter impression of what I’d imagined).

If I’m being honest, and I am, my fear is holding me, gripping me, sometimes paralyzing me. It is the very component that keeps me walking the precipice, frightened. I wage an all out mental war with myself not to jump off or just sit down and say, “Forget it. This is WAY TOO HARD!”

For now, all that keeps me going is prayer and the reminder that someday, in the not so very distant future, I will be ambling down a serene path, unafraid, knowing exactly how my kids turned out.

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2 thoughts on “Quaking in my Converse®”

  1. This is very good, Rebekah, and speaks to the point in life where I am too. God is ALWAYS good. I have been trying to choose to see the difficult times as hallowed ground. The darkness before dawn. And also, I read in a book that thanksgiving always precedes the miracle,for example, when Jesus thanked God for the loaves and fish, the thanksgiving preceded the miracle. Today, I am thankful that one of my children woke up on the warpath and a few minutes later, asked forgiveness. A miracle indeed. Love you, my friend.

  2. Thankful that God does the miraculous in seemingly hard hearts! Thank you for all of your timely encouragement in this season we are in. May we be iron sharpening iron!

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