My kids quickly put the river rafting trip behind them. Not I. Here’s the rest of the story….
How can I explain, without sounding neurotic, how my stomach tightened into a knot after I dropped them off at the river that day? Or the second-guessing panic that drove me to the regional park, hoping to watch my children float by in their raft.
While I waited in the empty parking lot, a young couple sat in the shade, watching their son ride his bike. Safety helmet on his head, training wheels removed from his bike for the first time. It was a milestone in his life.
I applauded his success and told the parents. “Wait till your son is driving a car!”
Glanced at my watch, remembering the last words to my teenage son.
“Keep your life vest on!”
A mom’s measly attempt to control a favorable outcome.
BUT I’M NOT IN CONTROL. My teenage son is past the age I can sit in the shade, watching his every move.
And I don’t know how to let go…of the fear.
Waiting dredged up morbid thoughts. I returned to my campsite and lounged by the lake. Whenever a fearful thought popped into my head…BAM! I hammered it down like those alligator heads in an arcade game.
And then I prayed. Captured the fearful what ifs creeping up my neck, each nagging thought, my lack of control, and “cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me.” (1Peter 5:7)
You know it all, Father. You’re the sovereign God. You love my children, and you know “the days that were ordained for them, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalm 139:16)
“You will not fail them nor forsake them.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) No matter what happens. I choose to trust you even in this.
Hawks circled overhead, weeds rustled in the warm breeze. The knot in my gut loosened as my “mind dwelled on whatever is excellent and praiseworthy.” (Philippians 4:8)
For three hours, I “sat in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
Not knowing I’d dial 911 before the sun set.
But by then, my prayers, and God’s promises, had prepared my heart.
Like the boy who rode his bike without training wheels, I was confident and better able to let go of the fear.
And carry on……..
Because I knew I was not alone.
And neither were they.