“In him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
I stand in the back door watching as my four year old makes his way across the top of the monkey bars for the first time. The kids have tied a ribbon to one of the bars and use it for Diego-style climbing on the slide. This makes them happy and me nervous. I stand there with my heart in my throat meditating on the inherent risks of summer. My blood pressure rises and anxiety settles into its familiar perch in the muscles of my shoulders and neck.
The weight of shepherding kids through summer is overwhelming. There’s the burgeoning independence, the inherent dangers of pools and lakes, not to mention the lesser evils like bee stings and poison ivy. It’s tempting to lock the windows and doors and crank up the AC rather than have the difficult conversations about “stranger danger” and why playing in the backyard is safer than the front.
I pull away to check on the babies crawling through the living room at lightening speed and wonder, yet again, how we’ll all survive this summer. I try telling myself to expect at least one trip to the emergency room, as if planning on it will make it any less alarming to endure.
I could spend my whole day this way, the whole summer caught up in worry and fear. But underneath it all I hear God’s still, small voice whispering and I know deep down this is no way to live.
So I choose instead to meditate on the love of God. Surely God loves my children more than I do. And this love gives me the confidence to step out onto the shaky bridge that leads from fear to trust. Like my son on the monkey bars I train myself to stop looking down, imagining how bad a fall would be, and learn to enjoy the view.
I go ahead and buy the baby gates, two for good measure. And along with them outlet covers and life vests. But I refuse to buy into the fear, choosing instead to trust in the one who gives life and breath to us all.
For some more great posts on fear, check out my friend Matt Tuckey’s blog, Y Thoughts. What helps you move from fear to trust?