INTRODUCED TO FEAR
I vividly remember the day I was introduced to the fear of not being safe as a little girl. We were out of town on vacation with another family. My friend and I asked for money to walk down to the store. We laughed the whole way there and giggled the whole way back. We didn’t have a care in the world except being a child on a mission for candy. The next day we asked to go again, but this time our moms were hesitant, and you could feel something strange in the atmosphere. We continued to beg them to let us go, and finally, they shared with us that a man had done something really bad and that the police were still looking for him. They allowed us to go but firmly warned us to ‘be careful.’ Our eyes were as wide as they could be the whole way down. Fear had shut down our joy, and when we got back to the cabin, we sprinted the last few feet as if something was chasing us. I was introduced to fear that day, and it remained with me for decades. Did a man do something bad? Yes. Was he still at risk of harming others? Yes. Was there a real danger? Potentially. But what I needed as a child whose brain wasn’t fully developed was not the introduction of fear but to be empowered with HOW to keep safe. John 10:10 outlines that we all have an enemy wanting to bring harm, but the rest of the verse is how we should position our parenting. Jesus has tools to overcome every strategy of the enemy. We can camp out in fear of the enemy OR the strategy and tools of heaven – we pick.
P.S. I am fairly certain my mom witnessed me partnering with fear in the days ahead but she just didn’t have the language or tools to help me. We can parent our children differently.