It made me so sad, but I could identify with what Andrew was feeling. As a little girl, I had so much anxiety. I worried that my parents would forget to pick me up at school. I was afraid something would happen to my mom. I was constantly worried about what my friends or teachers or parents thought about me. I was a fearful child, but I always thought it was because I had lots of real reasons to be afraid.
You see, my parents divorced and my dad left home when I was two. From that point on, I feared my mom would leave, too. When I was 10 years old, my dad decided that my brothers and I needed to live with him and his wife for the school year. He lived 30 minutes away from my mom. It was the most traumatic year of my life. I cried and worried all the time. I can't even describe how anxious and afraid I was that something would happen to my mom and I'd be alone forever.
Because of my childhood fears, I easily empathize when my son describes his. But what I don't sometimes understand is why he has similar fears although his childhood and family life are so very different from mine. As a momma who was robbed of half her childhood and adulthood joy, I don't want my children to miss a day in the amazing life God has for them, or ever be held hostage by fear or worry. Andrew is an incredible kid who brings joy to everyone he meets. I sensed that the enemy was truing to use fear and worry to still, kill and destroy my child's joy, hope and peace.
Not only had Andrew declared he wanted a "anxious-free" day, he also said he wished he was someone else who didn't worry because he feels like no one else does. Feeling like the "only one" is a lie from the pit. Although I couldn't take my child out of the battle that waged in his mind, I could surely equip him for it! I wanted to give him the confidence he needed to fight courageously so I assured him that other kids worry; they just don't talk about it on the playground. I reasoned that worry and fear must be a normal part of life since God tells us not to so many times in the Bible. I also told Andrew that God tells us what to do, when we do.
I wanted to equip him with God's plan of action.Then that verse came to mind where Paul tells us to demolish all arguments and any pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, by taking every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5). I knew it's what my little man needed to do, but it seemed like a hard concept for a kid (even an adult) so I tried to put it in terms he could understand.
"Andrew, when you have a thought that makes you feel anxious, catch it like it’s a baseball.” I then cupped my hand like I was holding a ball and told him to look at it and ask, “Is this something Jesus would say to me?” If the answer is “no” - then throw that thought back into the outfield! Then we talked through some of his thoughts and fears:
Worry says: “Your mom isn’t going to be here when you get home.”
Would Jesus say that?
Andrew replied, "No."
Then it’s outta here!
Worry says: “Your teacher isn’t going to like your science project!”
Would Jesus say that?
Throw that one away, too.
When we finished talking through each worry, I shared Philippians 4:6-9 with him, and we prayed together - telling God Andrews concerns, asking Him to replace his worries with promises and thanking Him for what He's done in the past and would do that day. And we claimed God's peace that passes understanding when we bring our concerns to Him. After the Amen, Andrew looked at me, smiled so big and said, "Thanks Mom!" as though all his worries were gone.
Mom, the most powerful thing we can do is pray for our children, equip them with God's promises and show them how to apply them in daily life. I also think it's important to talk with them about times when we worry, too, and tell them how we take my thoughts captive by taking them to Jesus (and if we're not, we need to start!). Funny thing, the very next week I was worried about something and remembered this lesson and applied it in my own life. I was able to tell Andrew and he encouraged me, too. I think that is what being a D6 (Deuteronomy 6) mom is all about - loving God, learning from God, and sharing with my children what God's teaching me and how He's transforming me with His Truth each day!
Copyright 2009, Renee Swope - All rights reserved.
This Week's Mom Give-Aways
We're trying to figure out how many resources we have left in my D6 give-away stash, so this week Leah will be drawing names from each day's comments to be part of this week's give-aways which will include some or all of the following: D6 Mom Tshirts, "Total Money Make-Over" by Dave Ramsey, Finding Home by Jim Daly, George Barna's "Revolutionary Parenting", Angela Thomas' best-seller "My Single Mom Life", and a year's worth of Family Devotional Magazines from D6