The Day God Gave Me Freedom From Fear and Worry
You know that moment when someone says, “don’t I know you?”, and you panic because you’ve forgotten someone you’re supposed to know? Yeah, that happened to me a few weeks ago. Someone I knew as a friend of a friend was re-introduced to me. I hadn’t seen them in many, many years and had no idea where life had taken them. When I was introduced my first thought was, “wow, I didn’t expect your life to go there.” And it was a good thought.
Please forgive me for being judgmental. I’m a type A personality. If you’ve met me for half a minute, you already know that. Personality tests were written for me. I take all those tests on Facebook even though I know what it’s going to say: controlling, task oriented, highly motivated, has little time for anyone who isn’t highly motivated or shows emotion. *sigh*
For many years, I’ve had trouble reconciling the fact that people who are not highly motivated to move ahead in school, careers, and life actually do move ahead in school, careers and life. At the age of 6 I decided I wanted to be called by my first name not my middle name and effectively changed my name. Making goals and achieving goals is just who I am.
A few years ago, I came face to face with a person I love more than life itself who has none of this internal bursting forth of motivation and task-mastering I so value. This child is my own flesh and blood and yet the desire to be the best at everything does not bubble up inside of him. No matter how hard I push or pull or yell or beg, he is perfectly content with life just as it is.
My perfectionism pressed wide a divide between us as he grew older. No matter what he did, I always saw how it could be better. But I’m hardwired for that. No matter what I do I could do it better. Beca
use no one is perfect. He had found joy and contentment in the imperfection while I found purpose in making it perfect. We were driving each other crazy. I worried about where he would go in life and sometimes if he would even visit me or speak to me after he left our home.
Fear is horrible life companion. It steals sleep and health and life. I’d allowed it take me by the hand and bring its friends anxiety and judgment and perfectionism with us along the way.
Then one day I shook hands with someone I hadn’t seen in many years. Someone successful, who many years ago showed many of the same characteristics of the child I love. And for the first time I breathed a deep breath of freedom.
“Dear Lord, if you can do that, then I know you can lead my child where you need him to go.”
And He answered, “My child, I didn’t need you to help me make this happen then and I don’t need your help making it happen now.”
And just like that I was free. What Fear didn’t tell me was I wasn’t supposed to be in charge. God called me to parent by example not by forcing my style on my child. So he has to spend recess and lunch doing the homework he lost due to poor organizational skills. So he has go without snack because he left the one I fixed him sitting on the bar at home. So he misses karate because he forgot his bag. The lessons we remember are the ones we learned by our own mistakes.
My child has his own goals and his own life road. My role in all of that is to instill in him our family’s values which include loving God, being generous and caring for people. If we’re doing all that, we have no time for perfection or fear. His choices will be his choices. He will have to live with those. We may have to live with some of those too, but I’ll trust God with it. He has a lot more experience in parenting than I do.