. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Unafraid Moms {Day 5 Life Unafraid}

I will never know the things I have made my children miss because of my own fear. Well, I guess I can know some of those things. For example, I have never taken my children to Chuck E. Cheese’s. All those germs flying around and stuck to all those games and the little pit of jumping balls. Ick! And, although I have allowed my children to ride those crazy carnival rides (the ones I pass as they drive down the highway on the back of a truck!), I have yet to let them ride the one that spins them around and around and around as they fly like birds for ten three minutes. Call me a terrible mom, but I have measured the risk, and figure that I would rather have my children miss out on brief stints of fun than end up with some communicable disease or underneath a broken carny ride with screaming, barfing children whose parents can’t find them in the chaos.

Indeed, I have measured the risk and chosen wisely sometimes. But more often than not, that choice has been less than. And it’s all because of fear. When I don’t let my kids take any risks at all, I actually keep them from so much more.  Namely, a chance for them to learn new things, to grow immunity and courage and the ability to figure out how to deal with chaos. And broken rides.

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I went to a birthday party at a potato farm on the top of a mountain. We celebrated a little girl whose parents were once told she would never walk. But she does. And that day, she walked through the potatoes and the big clumps of dirt. Walking is hard, and she falls a lot. Potatoes and clumps of dirt don’t help the process. All day, I watched her parents in awe. I wondered if I would have been so brave as to let my little girl, who already struggled to pick up her feet, walk through a field filled with so many obstacles. I couldn’t help but marvel at the parents who weren’t afraid to risk their daughter falling in order to give her something more important. I will never forget their bravery that day as they focused on the fact that their daughter can now walk, rather than what might happen if she were to fall.

I can’t help but wonder how many times I have been unwilling to risk an immediate pain or hurt for the promise of a much greater reward. And all in the name of fear. How often have I lost sight of what I really want for my children for fear of the scrapes or bruises or pain that I don’t want my children to deal with? And when I keep them from taking those risks, what am I keeping them from gaining? How many times have I let fear blind me to the truth of what is really good and important?

*This month, I’m joining a bunch of other bloggers in a challenge to write for 31 days on a topic about change. Having struggled with fear (sometimes paralyzing) for a lot of my life and missing much of the living that I know God wants for me, I am on a mission to live unafraid for 31 days straight, challenging you to join me. And I’m writing about it. You can catch up here if you’ve missed any of the days.

What do you say?

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