There are a few words that I would not use to describe myself - outdoorsy, quiet, non-opinionated (not a word, I realize) and brave. I struggle with fear. I have my entire life. It is definitely one of the ways Satan uses to keep me from a life of freedom. I have memorized Scripture, prayed a million trillion prayers and sung enough Jesus songs to keep all of us safe, but I still struggle with it. I am getting better. Lots better really. But it is still a struggle at times for me. Since I have become a mom of course my fears have really centered around my children. It's kind of funny because many of my fears are totally unrealistic events that will almost certainly never ever happen. Once when I was on the phone with my sister while Aubrey was about 2, I said, "Hold on. Aubrey has something in his mouth. Oh, it was just a quarter." My sister said, "JUST A QUARTER!!! SARAH, HE COULD HAVE CHOKED TO DEATH!!!" I, of course, realized this, but I just don't sweat the small stuff. The big stuff however, gets me.
My son went on a field trip last week. For some reason, the night before I thought to call another mom who was going on the trip. (I was not able to go because I had previously committed to be a mentor mom for MOPS and it was our first meeting.) She is a nurse, and I thought it would be good for her to just be aware of what was going on with the food, animals, etc. that Aubrey would come in contact with. She was happy to help keep his pack with his Benadryl, epi-pen, etc. I had just finished my meeting and I got a text saying that she didn't want to worry me, but she thought Aubrey was having an allergic reaction. From what she said originally, I thought a little Benadryl would help stop it. She gave him some. After about 10 more minutes though, she texted again and said, "Call me." That's when my hands got sweaty. She said that Aubrey's reaction was not stopping, and though his breathing seemed fine, his hives were spreading. She wanted to give him more Benadryl. I of course said yes. I turned my car around by this point and was going to head there, but she said not to, that she would bring him home to me where we could decide what to do. By the time he got home, his reaction was going down and we both felt much better.
She and the boys figured out what happened. The field trip was to ag day at our county fair. At ag day there is a peanut room where they show the kids how peanuts grow and how to make peanut butter. (this is Georgia, after all). As Aubrey went in and realized what they were doing, he got nervous. The other mom took him out of the room and he was fine. However, one of his friends ate one of the peanut butter covered crackers they gave the kids. As he came out, he put his hand on the back of Aubrey's neck asking him how he was doing. This is where the reaction started before it spread down his back, up his neck and around to his mouth.
This wasn't an easy thing for me to think about. I really had a hard time letting go of the thoughts and "what ifs" of the day. And while I want Aubrey to be brave, it's something I need to work on just as well. Jen Hatmaker wrote a post a while back about brave moms and brave kids. I want my kids to be brave. I don't want to live in fear, even of a peanut allergy. My husband and I always say that we don't want to live lives ruled by fear of the allergies. (or anything else for that matter) It can truly be paralyzing.
So, I tell my children to be brave. We have recently changed churches and schools, both major changes that have necessitated lots of bravery. And they have done beautifully. I'm trying to model it and let go of things. Let Jesus hold them for me. Even big, scary things like food allergies. And plane crashes. And bridges falling. And the scary guys behind me at Walmart. (All things I worry about. Ridiculous. I know)
This song has become a quick favorite of mine. Although it really centers around saying things when it is hard, I think it is a great reminder to be brave in all that we do. And sometimes saying something is the hardest thing to do. It is something I want my children to hear and I want to sink into my soul. "I want to see you be brave". They can stand up to the bully, they can deal with their allergies, they can walk down the dark hallway at home. "If God is for us, who (or what) can be against us?"
Watch the video though. It's funny.