What I Fear Most as a Mom
I grew up with a lot of fears. Fear of abandonment. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of my mom dying. Fear of flying. Fear of being raped.

I carried the habit of fear with me into motherhood. I was one controlling little mama when my babies came along. But now my baby boys are growing up, and I've had to loosen my grip. I've had to trust Jesus and others to keep them in their care.

By God's grace I've been set free from the spirit of fear. But I still feel afraid sometimes. One of my biggest fears is that one of my children will be sexually abused. Even worse, that it will happen and I won't know it. I've done all I know to teach them how to recognize a predator. To convince them they can come to me and JJ no matter what and tell us if something happens. To assure them that no matter what we will believe them and protect them.

It could just be the evening news that has me scared. But I think it's more. It's personal. Someone I love has been sexually molested and never told his family until he was in his thirties. For 20 years he numbed the pain with drugs and alcohol. Several of my closest friends were sexually abused and never told their parents until many years later.

I have reason to be concerned, but I cannot allow fear to paralyze me. I can pray. I can talk to my kids, and I can learn from others who know more than I do. Women and men who have been abused. Women and men who have taken their pain and become conduits of hope and healing.

Maybe you share my fear. Maybe you share the pain of my friends and loved one because your fear is based on personal experience. Please know, I am praying for you today. My friend Lynn is hosting one of my heroes and friends, Mary DeMuth, on her blog. I would love for you to read her story and hear the wisdom she shares. Here's a small excerpt:

"Healing from sexual abuse (and all sorts of other difficult issues) never comes in isolation. It comes in the warmth and circle of trustworthy friends and adults. It comes by crying and sharing your story with safe people. It comes from Jesus who knows what it’s like to be naked on a cross. I’ve experienced that healing in every possible way. I pray, too, that you’ll start down that path. Dare to let out what’s bottled up inside you."

If you want me to, I'd love to pray for you by name today. Simply leave your name by clicking the word "comments" below and type your name in the white box. You don't have to leave any details if you don't want to. Then I hope you'll visit Lynn's blog to meet Mary and let her words wash over your soul today. Simply Click here.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea... Psalm 46:1-2


Blogger Kathy S. said...

Hi Renee,
I had that fear to a degree, just enough I think, to be aware, prayerful and attentive to my kids. My sisters were abused by a cousin that worked on our farm and was left to babysit from time to time, so I determined to never have a boy babysit (I think my cousin was around 16) because I understood temptation, and opportunity go hand in hand. I am unsure why I was spared, I think because I was the oldest. But I will pray for you and with you for others. God answers prayer. Watch and pray and they will be kept safe.

Blogger Cindy in PA said...

Thank you Renee for your thoughts today. I just heard from an Andy Stanley sermon a quote from Martin Luther, "Pray and let God worry." I love that since my kids are now adults.

Son (23) just moved to VA to begin his first job as a teacher. Daughter (20) in college 1.5 hours away. Sometimes I'm filled with anxiety with their safety or choices that they make (that I'm not even aware of) and I pray often to God asking for His watchful eyes to keep them safe and for Him to guide them.

So I guess my prayer request would be for calm for my soul and a reminder that I am not in charge. Yet God is! Amen!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this one today. I was abused when I was a child and I live with it everyday. I thank God he has given me a life with family and loved ones to support me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


-sexually, mentally, and verbally abused as a child by a person who was like a grandparent and his wife babysat me; by that same man's grandson; my stepfather; my stepgrandfather; and the older brother of someone who babysat me.

Oh, Rebecca! What you have been through! I pray the LORD is restoring that which the locusts have eaten.


Blogger Renee Swope said...

I am praying for you Rebecca and Anonymous.

Lord Jesus, I pray that Your healing power would pour over the wounds inflicted by people these little girls, now women, should have been able to trust. I thank you that You are able to redeem even that which is so horrific and evil. Wrap these precious daughter's of yours in your righteous robe of love and whisper Your words of comfort and restoration into their hearts. I pray that Mary's story and ministry would bring hope to them. Bring beauty from these ashes Lord and remind them that they are beautiful and new in Christ. We love you and thank you in advance for the healing work You are doing now in their lives. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Cindy and Kathy, I pray with you as fellow moms for the blood of Jesus and the army of God's warrior angels to protect our children. May our worries turn our hearts to worship as we shift our focus from what we cannot control to the One who is in control. You are sovereign Lord and we love you. We trust you and find our refuge in You alone. When our hearts wonder towards worry, bring us back to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Blogger Sara said...

Hi Renee,

This must be the theme at P31 today and I must really need it, I also received Melissa's blog. I am trying to recover from this since the topic came up about 3 months ago. I have let one person find out what happened to me after blacking it out for 15 years with drugs(have not used in 13 years) and drinking. Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to talk about it!!! Blessings!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please pray for myself and my son. He was sexually abused as a 5yr old at a church we went to. We didn't find out until about 10yrs later and this has led to some very destructive choices. Please pray for continued healing and that God would take what Satan has meant for evil and use it for good, prya that my son will come back to God with his whole heart, and that I will be able to trust the Lord and wait on him

Blogger Jenifer said...

Just last week I posted something about this on my blog. I talked about this disabling fear I had with my children. Not just from sexual abuse but everything. I felt as though I had to be with them and watch over them 24/7. This is going to sound silly, but it is honestly what I did. From the time they were born I put an angel figurine in their windows and loud toys under the windows. My thinking was if someone were to break in their windows the angel would drop onto the loud toys to alert me. I also used baby monitors in each room. And I had my the volume on mine as loud as it would go and put it as close as possible to my ear. I was like this from the birth of my oldest until just two years ago (my oldest was 10yrs old and I still used a baby monitor).

Then I came across Psalm 121. It says in verse 3 and 4, "He who watches over you will not slumber, indeed He who watches over Isreal will neither slumber nor sleep." I learned that I could rest easy because even when I couldn't watch over my children, God could. I needed sleep, He does not.

Praise God that He is always watching over us and protecting us. I am so thankful that I can rest and let God be God!

Anonymous Lynn Cowell said...

Thanks so much for sharing with your readers my blog. This past Saturday I read "Priceless" by Tom Davis. I has really shaken my world. I have contacted Tom to see what I can personally do to be an advocate for young girls who are victims of sexual trafficking. Thank you so much for your part in introducing me to Children's Hope Chest. I am excited to see how I can be a part of the solution.

Blogger Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks for your sweet, open post. May the Lord continue to give you freedom from fear. And thanks for quoting me. I appreciate it. I truly believe we are set free in the context of good community.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just looking for the How to be a Better listener blog entry...:)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have come up against many fears as a mom...my children have been "molested" by an unseen predator...pornography...It has stolen their innocents and enslaved some....May the LORD set them free!

I need to be set free from the taskmaster of fear...to know that I know that I know that God is worthy of my trust...even when things look out of control....

Blogger Kerry said...

Renee, thank you for this posting, God meant for me to read this today and I am so thankful. I too have lived in fear most of my life, mostly over abandonment and still do to this day. It reeks havoc in my life and like you have found myself very controlling with my kids and my husband. I want so much to be released from this fear and trust God implicitly with everything. It is something I have prayed about for many years, but have not found healing for yet, but I am trusting God that it is in His timing and will serve His greater purpose! Kerry

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