Do Not Fear

When Eva, my first born, was a week old I remember being home alone with her while my husband took my stepdaughters to see the fireworks. I had been unsuccessful with nursing and our little girl had lost more weight than we liked since leaving the hospital. We had just switched to formula and were working to build her weight back up.

Anticipating a quiet evening with my freshly bathed baby girl, I remember sitting on my bed, the feel of crisp, clean sheets and her swaddled in my arms.

As any mother knows, this little slice of heaven didn’t last long. Within minutes my little Eva didn’t smell so sweet. Not wanting to risk changing a messy diaper on my white sheets and comforter I made my way to the nursery. As I finished cleaning her up and prepared to put the new diaper on, she began to poop again. Quickly, I positioned a new diaper underneath her, and cleaned her up, only to have the process begin again. Soon, the changing table was buried beneath a large pile of diapers, wipes, and poo. It was like something out of a movie or commercial; but I wasn’t laughing. To the contrary, I was worried. I was envisioning all the ounces we had worked so hard for being thrown out with the dirty diapers. I was certain my little girl would be dehydrated, that perhaps there would be no end to this marathon of diapers and poo. I seriously wondered if my little girl could “poop to death”.  Growing alarmed I called my husband and demanded that he come home – immediately. The fireworks hadn’t even started yet, they had just found a good place to sit – but I was beyond reason, I was insistent. The message was clear: “Come Home Now!”

Then I called the pediatrician’s office and left a frantic message with the on-call service. By this time I had convinced myself that my daughter would “poop” herself to death.

Within minutes our pediatrician called me back; close to my age and a father himself he was calm when assaulted with the mounting fears of this first time mom. My daughter was pooping, a lot. Surely, something was wrong. Certainly, her life was at risk.

The conversation went something like this . . .

Dr. J:   “Is she vomiting?”

Distraught Momma:   “No.”

Dr. J: “Is there blood in her stool?”

Distraught Momma: “No.”

Dr. J: “Does she have a fever?”

Distraught Momma: “No.”

Dr. J: “Has she been feeding well?”

Distraught Momma: “Yes.”

Dr. J: (After what seems like a long pause.) “Sometimes, it takes babies a little time to get their systems operating regularly. She should be fine; feel free to call back if anything changes.”

Distraught Momma: “Uh, okay. (Mumbled) Thank you.”

By the time Rob walked in the door the pooping had stopped and a level of reason had returned. He looked from me to our quiet (still breathing) baby and didn’t say much.

Almost seven years later I am able to tell that story with laughter and disbelief – but that’s the benefit of perspective. Truth be told, that’s not the only time I’ve been so gripped by fear for my children that reason has gone out the window. It is not the only time during those first few years that I became irrational and let my mind wander into the shadows of “what ifs” because of fear for my girls.

Satan is good at identifying strongholds and he stick to what works.

When it comes to our kids, we mommas are vulnerable. There is nothing that can strike fear in us like the thought of some harm coming to one of our babes.

There is no joy in fear. There is no peace in fear.

Jesus did not die on the cross so that we might spend our days filled with fear. His blood was not shed so that we might spend our days helicoptering around our children “shielding” them from the unknowns lurking around in our heads.

I come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

An abundant life, a full life, is not one marked by fear. God does not call us to live in fear; in fact, He commands us not to fear.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Fear will steal your joy; it will limit the amount of “life” in your life and will cause you to lose your focus. Fear will keep us from His work; it will hinder any efforts to further His kingdom.

Fear clamors for our attention and deafens our ears to the Holy Spirit.

Satan is no match for our God. Trusting God is the only solution to our fear; we must believe He is who He says He is. And when we are tempted to fear we must pray that He causes us to trust Him more; we must pray that He increases our faith; and we must pray for courage.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm91:1-2, NIV)