Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fear and Faith

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, 
and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.
 Proverbs 1:5 NASB

I like to say I am not afraid, and for the most part I think that is true. However, there are these little pockets of fear that keep popping up, places that need light, that need to be exposed. God keeps exposing them, and I learn to work through the fear and my faith grows. It may not always seem like it at the time, but God is good.

I also like to say, "I know my child better than anyone else."

As you are pausing on that one to ponder a moment, you probably feel the same way.

I'll give you a minute, but we both know where this is going.

Before this does go much farther let me clarify; there are many times as parents who frequently find themselves in positions where we are advocating for our child, that it is wholly appropriate to stress the fact that in those circumstance, we DO "know our child better than anyone."

You know what's coming now don't you?

The big BUT!

But, we don't know our child better than God.

I could never...

I will never...

know my child better than God. 

God thought of him! He created his entire existence and planned out every single day, before He "knit him together" inside me. Yet, there are times when I am fully walking in the words of my own mouth, "I know my child better than anyone."

Often when things are said over and over again they become so ingrained and familiar that they are accepted for truth. That thought that "I know my child better than anyone" can become so second nature to us that we forget that we actually DO NOT.

Why is this a problem?

It's a problem because when we think we know everything, and when we think we have all of the answers and know best...

We don't listen to others and we don't learn.

We become arrogant and a little self righteousness is probably going to creep in there too. However, the thing that most quietly invades into our existence, because it a close companion of those two characteristics I just mentioned, is fear. As parents of children who walk a path of challenges and vulnerabilities, we are no strangers to fear.  

Fear can often be disguised as protection. 

Protecting our children is woven into our DNA, it's born in love. Occasionally though, we find ourselves comfortably ensconced in "protection" and realize it's born in fear. I discovered myself in just such a place recently.

We have lived in our current state for a few years now. When we relocated here our son Cooper, who is Autistic, had a challenging transition period adjusting to his new school. This was hard on everyone, myself included. It has taken a great deal of time and hard work but Cooper is settled into a good routine and doing well. I know my son. I know what he has been through. I know what he likes and doesn't like. I have for years said, "No" to him participating in Special Olympics, because "I know my child better than anyone." No one has ever really fought me or questioned my reluctance to let him participate. In fact, on more than one occasion I have heard, "You know him best." 

"Of course I do!" played confidently in my head. I felt pretty good about "protecting" my child through this.

I was arrogant.

AND...

I was afraid.

I was protecting him from something he probably wouldn't like, because I was afraid of what could happen if he went. I was afraid it would be a disaster, that he may become overwhelmed, and agitated, that he may bolt. I was afraid all of the hard work would be undone and that would be all people thought of when they thought of him...the hard parts.

I was so sure that I knew what I was doing that I saw no point in even entertaining the idea anymore, he just wasn't going to do it. No need to subject him to something he didn't like. 

This year I received a phone call from my son's teacher about Special Olympics, but he didn't ask me if I wanted to sign Cooper up. He was calling to tell me that he had already signed him up. He thought he could do it, he thought it would be good for him. He thought they should at least try. 

Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed." (NKJV)

You can do a lot with this verse, but for now we are just going to focus on the "walking with wise men" part. Often as parents of children with disabilities we struggle for community, for surrounding ourselves with people who truly understand what we go through and what our lives can be like.

God knows that we struggle and God is good. He is so good that sometimes he will place the wise to walk with us, where we are so accustomed to walking alone that we think we need the counsel of none.

When I heard my son's teacher say they were going to Special Olympics I was immediately filled with excitement.  God knew I was never going to say yes. He also knew that my son could do it. He knew that he was perfectly capable of going, of making it through events and even participating, and He also knew the right person to place in the position to say yes. 

God is a great orchestrator of people and events.  

So I pray for us today...

God our Heavenly Father, You are not only The Beginning and The End but Father you are the orchestrator of every step in between. What an overwhelming and humbling realization to know that You are in the details of our lives. God help us to be willing to grow in wisdom, to recognize those willing to come along side of us and do Your will. To speak Your truth and say "yes", where we so often only say "no". God You know where we are weak and that the only way for there to be a "yes" is for you to take that question away from us. We are grateful for Your patience and Your faithfulness in walking every step with us, Amen.

~Beth

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful reminder - maybe a little "ouch" in there for me :-) but that's why I read these posts! Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Melanie, it was “a little ouch” for me too! 😊

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