Monday, November 30, 2009

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

I have never been a person who gives in to fear.  I have always liked that line from the movie Strictly Ballroom..."a life lived in a fear is a life half-lived."   "Feel the fear and do it anyway." I used that one a lot when I was learning how to ski.  I could fill this post with platitudes like that.

I recently wrote a post about how parenthood has affected and changed me.  It seems as if everywhere I look or everything I read reminds me of how fragile life is.  A few weeks ago, a friend of mine lost a dear friend.  This woman was a prominent lawyer in Dallas.  She and her husband and their 4-year-old son were killed in a house fire.  They couldn't get out. I did not know these people personally but I was greatly affected by the story. I cried a lot. And then I went out and bought new fire extinguishers and smoke alarms for my home.  This morning, I heard on the radio about a local family of four killed by a reckless driver running a red light this past weekend. The children were 8 and 5. We think we have control over our lives.  Look at how I responded to the death of the family in Dallas. I went out and bought fire safety devices.  But how do I control a reckless or drunk driver?  The fact is that I cannot keep my child safe and my family safe. There is nothing that I can do or buy that will ensure their safety.  I could do everything in the world to physically protect my child and then he could get sick. My time volunteering with a children's hospital and Make-a-Wish Foundation have shown me this reality in spades.  So, I have new fears in my life now.  I am traveling with my mother and little one this coming weekend.  This is the first time I have traveled with my child. I am nervous about the plane ride. I lay in bed last night thinking about something going wrong with the plane. How ridiculous is that?!  I have never had any fear of flying before!  Is this how I am going to spend my life now?  Full of fear and anxiety?

As Christians, we are supposed to put our faith in God.  Everything from worrying about our daily needs to our greater fears.  It is really hard for me to "hand it over" sometimes.  Especially with all the daily reminders of how things can go wrong that confront me in the news, on television, in my books. Do you know that the last four books I read had the deaths of children in them?!  I think I need a break!!!  It's time for some fluffy comfort reading.  If I mention that I am about to start a book and you have read it and it has the death of a child in it, PLEASE STEER ME AWAY FROM IT!  Just for the time being.  I'm ready for a few sugarplums dancing in my head instead of tragedy.  In the meantime, I am going to work on letting go of fear and just living in the moment and handing all the worry and negativity over to God.

Maybe Keb' Mo' can help me out.


amyrebeccathompson said...

Excellent post, Amy. It's so difficult as a parent to let go of the fear of what might happen to our children. I have had some success by reminding myself that a life lived without fear (but with practical safety precautions) is a richer, fuller, life for me to live with my children. So, we can only try.

Remember Matthew 6:25-34. This helps me quite a bit, especially in difficult financial times like our family is currently experiencing.

I am so touched that you were affected by that house fire. It has really hit home here as well, since that home is within walking distance of our home. Romina was part of a wonderful group (of which I am a member) called Moss Haven Moms, and this group has done a lot to help out her extended family. What a tragedy -- but, as you have shown, a great opportunity to take care of a fire safety plan for our own families.

Thanks for your thoughtful words.


Amy said...

Amy---I didn't know you knew her! I am so sorry!!! My friend Omar was a good friend of hers. Their offices were next to each other. It is such a tragedy. The only comfort I can think of is that they were together. Her family is in my thoughts and prayers and you are too!!!


Gary said...

I like the idea of "giving" someone all of my worry and negativity when they seem overwhelming, whether it's God, Keb'Mo', or whoever. Makes the thought of powering through it a little easier.

I'll just say that when I was out to see you, I thought you did a fine job of "letting go" when it came to Aidan. I'm sure it's hard not to keep him reeled in when you're in places he could get hurt, etc. But you pretty much let him do his thing. Nicely done.

Marie said...

I'm so sorry for these tragedies and how they've affected you. Faith is so hard to maintain but so important. Hugs. I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say.

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Amy said...

Awww, Marie. My life is good and I have more than anyone should. These events are good reminders of that fact. Thank you!!!