Stuck Places, Growing Hearts

Our little boy has developed some new fears, and it’s been hard.

It’s hard to watch your kids struggle. It’s hard to watch fears take root in their little minds. It’s hard to watch the naivete leave and the difficulty of life settle in over their young hearts. It’s hard to watch them battle distorted strongholds and false lies.

It’s hard to watch them get stuck. 

We’ve been there over the past two months, and it’s been hard.

There’s no real value in sharing all of the nitty-gritty details of how we got here and what triggered this fearful-stuck place, but in a nut shell: Our little guy has started to fear failure.

I guess I always knew this day would come at some point (for at least one of our children), but I guess I didn’t know it would come so soon, and I certainly didn’t realize it would hurt this much.

Well, it’s here. Age 6. And it hurts. Lots.

Like I said, it’s not fun to watch your little loves struggle.

And in the past few weeks, we’ve had lots of bed-side chats and a whole lot of couch conversations. We’ve talked about his fears; we’ve challenged his fears; and we’ve worked on changing his fears. We’ve cried, and we’ve had our fair-share of frustrating moments. We’ve spoken truth; we’ve prayed prayers; and we’ve claimed the need for Jesus to take charge.

It’s been intense.

So last night, as my boy and I headed out for our nightly walk-ride (he rides ahead and I sweat to catch up), I was struck by the beauty of the image in front of me.

See, on August 18th, 2014, I blogged about our boy’s initial bike fears and on April 6th, 2015, I talked about his leftover “fear residue.” And until last night, I had kinda forgotten about those moments.

But as we were rounding the corner and hitting the last leg of our last mile, the Lord hit me square in the heart as I watched our boy pedal confidently ahead.

Jessica, you see your boy? You see how he’s riding with such confidence and bravery? Remember when he was scared  to pedal? Remember when he was terrified to try? Jessica, he’s not in the same place as he once was, and he won’t always be where he is now. And neither are you. 

I swallowed hard as I thanked the Lord for that timely truth.

And as I continued to walk, I thought through the fears and growth in my own life.

  • Recovering “people-pleaser”: used to be addicted to the approval of others
  • Recovering “boundary-less soul”: used to say “yes” to everything and “no” to nothing
  • Recovering “blood-pressure freak”: used to have a panic attack every time I had my blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office
  • Recovering “bang-wearer”: used to wear ginormous bangs to cover my chicken pox, scarred forehead
  • Recovering “scared blog writer”: used to fear that I would offend, isolate, alienate, or wound someone by my writing
  • Recovering “embarrassed skirt-wearer”: used to worry that others would think I was weird because I preferred skirts over pants
  • Recovering “symptom-checker hypochondriac”: used to google every single body sensation that felt weird, strange, or potentially scary
  • Recovering “parent explainer”: used to have to explain and justify to others why my children thought, felt, and acted in the ways they thought, felt, and acted
  • Recovering “legalist Jesus follower”: used to fear not pleasing Jesus enough

Honestly, I could probably add to the list if I took some more time to ponder the changes in my own heart and life.

The hard-fast reality is…

People grow, situations change; fears fade, courage builds; we aren’t in the same place forever. 

And though I guess I know that to be true, I needed to receive the truth again.

Why?

Because our boy’s fears might not always be his fears. And even if some fears remain the same, it doesn’t mean he’ll handle them tomorrow, how he’s handling them today.

 

As we parked our bikes in the garage, I reminded our little boy of his old fears, and I pointed out the growth in his life. I shared about his changes, and I celebrated his victories. And then I said the following:

“Buddy, I believe there’s a possibility that you won’t always be scared of what scares you today.” 

And with the biggest smile ever, he nodded his head and simply said, “I think that’s good, Mommy.”

How about you, reader?

What fears have changed for you, and how have you grown?

What place are you no longer in, no longer walking?

What fear has you stuck today that might not have you stuck tomorrow?

Friend, I pray you will find hope (no matter the place, no matter the fear) in trusting the One who holds today’s fears and tomorrow’s change.

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