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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The 4 Letter "F" Word......F.E.A.R.

It's the day after Christmas, and I'm feeling the "day after Christmas" letdown.

All the build up. all the preparation, all the shopping....it's all done. Presents are open, candy is eaten, and now we look forward to the first signs of spring.

Tonight I was getting the kids ready for bed. As I was standing in the bathroom with them while they brushed their teeth, I told our oldest that I would like him to swish with some peroxide. His "big kid" teeth are coming in, but they look a little yellow.

I explained to him that his dad and I both swish with peroxide and his younger sister has used it to help with canker sores.

He started to sip it, looking like I asked him to drink cyanide. He took only about a rain drop's worth and refused to take more. I could feel my blood pressure rising and I knew it was a matter of seconds before the steam shot out my ears and my head whistled like a giant tea kettle.

I heard that tiny voice inside begging me to calm down, but I went from 0 to 100 in 3.8 seconds.

I told R to "get out of the room!" and then proceeded to tell him how frustrating it is when he refuses to do what I tell him to do.

"Have I EVER told you to do something that will hurt you?!" I railed, hoping he'd forget about vaccinations.

"WHY can't you just TRUST ME when I tell you to do something?!"

And on and on.

He cried. I yelled.

And then I collected myself enough to go sit down and count to 10.

I finally got it together enough to apologize to him.

I said I was sorry first, and asked him to forgive me for yelling at him. But then, of course, I got in my obligatory parent lecture about WHY he should trust me and how I have his best interest at heart...blah, blah, blah...when I started actually listening to myself. It was very humbling to realize how many times I do the same thing to God.

While God has never asked me to swish with peroxide, He has asked me to do things that were foreign to me and outside of my comfort zone. And it didn't matter that I KNEW He had my best interest at heart. I still allowed my fear to control me. Even the times I gave it a shot, I only did it half-heartedly and trembling with fear.

It really put it into perspective for me seeing R so hesitant to do what I was telling him to, even though he knows he can trust me.

It absolutely infuriated me to have him disobey me like that. And to doubt me.

And I wonder how many times I've disappointed God. Thankfully, He has a much greater ability to control His temper and forgive me. Otherwise, I'm sure He would have smited me long ago.

I thought of the verse in Luke 11 that says: ""If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing--you're at least decent to your own children. And don't you think the Father who conceived you in love will give you the Holy Spirit when you ask?" (V 10-13, The Message).

I'm going to do my best to remember this when God asks me to step out of my comfort zone. If He asks...it's always something good. Either as a blessing, part of my journey, or to refine me. It might not be the most pleasant thing I've ever experienced, but in the end, I know He'd never hurt me

And speaking to my fear of any negative feedback I may receive from more boldly speaking my faith:

"I'm not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I'm going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large minded Master has already said." (1 Corinthians 10:29, The Message).

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