My boys are 11 and almost 13 now. They are at the “eye rolling, not wanting to listen to anything mom says” stage. Even though I sometimes feel like pulling my hair out, I love this phase (“love” might be an overstatement). This phase in my life reminds me of all the advice and instructions my mother gave me that I never listened too. One of her instructions I ignored was to not watch horror movies. At the time I didn’t realize why she didn’t want me to watch them, so I told her I was going to my friend’s house to “play.” In reality we were watching horror movies until the sun went down, which meant I had to run all the way home through a dark tree-lined street. When I arrived at our porch breathless and sweaty, I waited for a few moments to compose myself before I could breeze into the house and tell my mom what a wonderful time we had playing.
Of course my fear was totally irrational. The movie was about a cursed cradle. Even if there was such a thing, what did I have to fear? We didn’t have any cradles at home. Now I am not afraid of cradles or images from horror movies. I am afraid of images from the news: child abductions, sexual predators, marriages that fall apart, job loss, war, terror attacks, gun violence, drug and alcohol abuse, bullies, and so many more issues that threaten my peace.
It is so easy to let fear overtake you. I know I have and I still do. I have spent many sleepless nights worrying, filled with fear of what might happen. The only solution I have found is in the word of God. Psalm 34:4 states, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me from all my fears.” My mom’s advice has helped me deal with fear; don’t watch horror movies and seek God through prayer and his word. Some of our fears may come true. Circumstances and choices might lead us down the wrong path. Choices and circumstances might lead our children down the wrong path. However, at the end of all the paths is a door. Don’t be like me and wait at the door to compose yourself. Rush through the door, your father is waiting.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:9