Ryan and I are in a community group through Fellowship Bible Church, the church we attend in Jackson. With the exception of us and two single ladies, it's all married couples. I don't find that weird or intimidating at all; I think it's fun to see how their relationships work, and I get the feeling that we're kind of in a marital counseling group - which appeals to my future-counseling-career self. Anyway, the study we're doing is Fearless, by Max Lucado. We're only one lesson in, but last night we started big with talking about our biggest fears. All the married couples have at least one kid, and as a result every one of their fears had something to do with their kids. Mostly they feared losing their kids, their kids suffering serious injuries, dying before their kids had grown up, or their kids being abducted. One father said that one of his greatest fears was what his son would get into, what trouble he would cause. He listed things like drugs, alcohol, getting in the wrong crowd, getting some girl pregnant...and so on. I began to think, "Geez, what is this kid already into that his dad is that worried about him?"
The kid is 12.
Once that was cleared up, the dad made it clear that his son had not yet exhibited any major tendencies towards fulfilling his father's fears; it was just the possibilities that scared the man.
Now, at this point I have to admit that I kind of worry about that now. Yes, it is a long way off to worry about who my future teenagers will become, but I just think of how much could go wrong with my parenting or despite of it. Ryan told me afterward that it made him nervous to hear the couples talk about the trouble they've had with their kids and the things they worry about. I told him that that's just how it is; I know I'll probably be just as worrisome as my mom is, and I pray that I will be able to see the fruits of my raising in my kids the way I think me and my siblings exhibit our parents'.
Obviously in talking about fear we discussed how fear can undermine our faith if we let it get to us, failing to give all our worries to God. We search for peace, but we constantly find something to worry about, something to control and bring into submission, when it is not our place to do so.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6,7
I want that peace so badly. Sometimes I find that I can obtain it for just a moment, obeying God and giving my fears to Him. Unfortunately, it never lasts, and I pick up the same old worries and fears I had before, not feeling "comfortable" without the all-too-familiar shroud of fear and doubt. We are all burdened by this in different ways, but the answer to our problem remains the same:
Give it to God.