Fear and faith

Hello, my friends!

What a lovely day it has been here in West Virginia. The sky has been clear, and a crisp breeze cooled the air just slightly. As one of my sweet friends at church told me this morning: I’d like to bottle this weather up and take it home!! This is the kind of day that one just wants to savor. Sundays are usually a bit hectic for our family, but for some reason, though still busy, today felt special. Must have been the weather. And the fact that Jeff Gordon won the race! That’s two in a row. Maybe he is getting his old magic back. Seriously, I am not Nascar crazed, but my ten year old is. And, well, I like to stay connected with what he cares about. And Nascar it is. The child is obsessed. It is so wonderful to watch him find something he enjoys. What a blessing it is to share it with them. My little guy has had some trouble finding his place in this world. He is a bit different than most boys his age. He couldn’t care less about sports. He’s a little bookworm. Selfishly, I love this about him. We have read some marvelous books together. Books got me through some very lonely times when I was a young girl. So, I’m afraid I’ve failed to discourage this trait in my little guy. I remember my parents ordering me to leave the house on beautiful days like today, because all that I wanted to do was stay inside and read. My son is the same. My solution? I take a blanket outside and we lay under our pear tree and read together. I pray these will be special memories for him. I cherish the times my mom shared something with only me. This passion has not been without it’s challenges. The first thing my son does in the morning is read the paper. He has done this since he was in the second grade. Initially, I was very cautious. I censored what I let him see. But over the last year or so, I’ve grown careless. This has proved problematic. Especially since recent events. I tried not let him see the headlines following the VA Tech shootings. But he found the place that I’d stashed the front page. Of course, as it turned out, all of the kids at school were talking about it, so I was thankful that I at least had a chance to prepare him a little before he heard about it at school. But ever since, he’s been having fears at night. He pleads with me and his father not to leave him alone in the dark. He has even been waking up in the middle of the night and calling for me to sleep with him. This has not happened since he was three or four years old. It’s been very difficult. He is afraid that an adult will kill him. When I reassured him at first, he said to me, “Don’t you understand, mom? Bad things happen every day.” yes, I told him, this is true, but one of the great things about being a Christian is that we trust God to handle these things in life; to give us strength to make it through difficult times, to even deliver us if He so chooses. I don’t, he responded. I don’t trust God. I said something lame about him being young and how his faith will grow over time, but I was shaken. I was shaken by his honesty and his insight. And I wondered, how many adults would have the courage to say such a thing? And, do I? Do I really trust God? Here I have been, trying to help my son in my own flesh. Trying to reason with him and offer my own strength to him. After that day, I just began to pray. Jeff and I are both psychologists. There isn’t much that is off limits in our house as far as topics of conversation. I believe that difficult issues are a spring board for life lessons, for deeper conversations. Every night now, Teddy prays for the families of the victims at VA Tech. And I know that it is still on his mind. So I lay down with him every night. For the first time in a long time, his need for me is greater than his need to be cool. He clings to me. And instead of saying, there’s nothing to be afraid of, or pray; I tell him what a special little boy he is, and how God blessed my life when He sent me Teddy. And I feel him relax in my arms. He is closer to God, because I showed God to him. I didn’t just tell him about God. I let His love flow through me. We still have a long way to go. And I know that there will be many more battles. But I pray that these times will be his strong foundation. I pray for wisdom. I pray for strength. God is not only working on Teddy through this, He is working on me.

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