Someone asked me recently when I stopped being afraid, in reference to the vulnerable job of raising tiny babies.
That question kind of echoed around in my mind for the last weeks because I felt like I should have had a better answer than “never,” but today brought a fresh reminder that the answer truly is never. The fear just changes and if you are the faithful type, you cling to a Father who’s plans are for good because it is all you can do, short of hiding from life.
If we hide from life, isn’t that worse?
My oldest daughter left for school this morning and came back almost immediately with tears in her eyes. Someone was threatening to shoot kids at her school. Word spread like wildfire and social media had become a modern day version of “telephone.” We didn’t know what the original message was or how it may have been misconstrued, we just knew that the name of her school was trending on Instagram, along with words like “shooter” and “bullies” and “kill.” We sat down together and we talked, and then we prayed and then we decided to live our life. She had classes to attend, I had an example to set: we both needed to live life today, no matter how scary it felt.
The worry, new moms, never leaves us. As a mother, you will be afraid for the rest of your life, but the day will come, with enough practice, that you recognize that living life is worth the risk. If you had allowed the fear of motherhood keep you from having children, you would never know that love so deep it hurts. With greatness comes risk. Your heart will forever be outside of your body from the moment your baby’s lungs fill with their first breaths outside of your belly. You will forever be the most vulnerable you’ve ever imagined because you realize it is all out of your control and yes, that sucks, my friend. Every day, though, is preparing us for more and harder challenges. From that first night your baby sleeps in their crib, to the first day on the bus, to the first night they spend away from home… you will never stop being afraid, but fear will be overshadowed by pride as you watch your children blossom into who they are meant to be and fear will be a small price to pay for the reward of watching them grow. Love them well today. We cannot control tomorrow but I promise that the reward is worth the risk. We are raising the future, and when I look at my kid’s and their peers, I feel confident that we are raising them well.