Note from Kat: This post is from my good friend and monthly contributor Liz Griffin.
This photo of me was taken when I was discovered numerous 3-inch jumping spiders in my bedroom in Africa. That was pretty frightening, but I’ve learned that motherhood can be much more scary…
When the nurse practitioner told me that it could be cancer, my mind went blank. I started having strange symptoms two weeks ago. Went to the doctor’s office the next day where the nurse told me that we were gonna do labs and numerous ultrasounds to check for a possible tumor on my thyroid, pituitary gland and check for breast cancer.
Clearly, like any good mom I totally freaked out. How was I going to tell my kids? What would their life look like if I have to do chemo? I can’t bear the thought of not being there to raise them… It was the ultimate of mommy fears.
I’ll save you the drama, but the following week I got the results back and everything was fine. It was a simple benign problem. Thank you Jesus. However, my poor heart had to fight every day waiting for those results. Fighting to choose trust over fear.
I think every mom can relate to that battle. Maybe not a personal health scare, but some kind of send-your-heart-into-a-panic tailspin of fear.
What if I have a miscarriage?
What if my child is developmentally delayed?
How will I be able to financially provide for my kids education?
We feel called to missions, but what will happen to my kids if we move overseas?
Will my kids be alright without a father in the picture?
What happens if they grow up and choose not to follow Jesus?
Could my child get cancer or some other fatal illness?
The list goes on. So many things can overwhelm us with worry and anxiety.
It is only natural to try and protect our kids from harm or pain. I mean, they are our kids. But there comes a point where our thoughts and action move beyond being responsible parents to become fearful parents. Trust me, I know. I am a regular over in the fear territory.
It is a tricky line between being a wise mom and a fearful mom. I thought I’d share with you a few practical tips that I have learned to keep myself in check.
1. Evaluate if you are being wise or fearful.
Wisdom is responsible, fear is not.
Let’s take the early years…As a mom it is good to know developmental milestones and talk to your pediatrician about any concerns. That is wisdom. But a fearful mom (ahem, me ) will read numerous articles about problems my child might have in the future, go over developmental checklists from multiple websites to see if my kids are on track, and compare my kid to all the others on the playground.
Wise moms notice problems, fearful moms look for problems.
2. Start your day off with a devotional time.
When I am getting consistent time in the Word and in prayer, my fear level drops dramatically.
I am more on guard when fear tries to sneak in and I remember that with God I can overcome my anxious thoughts. One great way to make this a part of your life is to jump in with Hello Mornings. In fact, Kat has even written a free ebook to help you get your mornings under control and off to a solid start.
3. Tell a friend.
I know it can seem silly and embarrassing even to admit you are dealing with fear, but I promise you aren’t alone. Being in ministry I am constantly talking to people about dealing with fear. Fear of pain, death, rejection, tragedy…you name it. As moms it is no different.
If you feel yourself tempted to Google your child’s symptoms for the 5th time, call a friend. Ask them to pray for you to have peace instead.
4. Memorize Scripture
The Word of God is true. Our vain imaginations are not. All over the Bible we are encouraged to be disciplined in our thoughts. Pick out a few verses to memorize. When your imagination wants to run wild – in all the wrong ways – quote these verses and remind yourself to stand on God’s truth and not your feelings.
“Finally, brothers & sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9
5. Pray for someone else
Fear tends to make us self-absorbed. A great way to break out of that is to get in someone else’s boat. If you find yourself worrying about your children , pray for someone you know whose kids might be having a hard time or recently received a difficult diagnosis.
I am thankful that all my tests came back normal, but some of you out there may be battling an illness. If so, leave a message in the comments so we can pray for you!
I don’t know know what kind of worries you are facing at the moment. Financial struggles, a broken marriage, health challenges, kids having trouble in school or just plain anxiety. But I do know that God is faithful and we can trust him to take care of whatever we or our children are facing.
Have you dealt with fear as a mom? What have you learned along the way? Click here to join the discussion!
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Elizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband and two kids.Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car & browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on Twitter @larkandbloom.