Yes, I have many fears but I also have courage and faith, which are stronger. Here’s what I will do to prepare my heart for this challenge life has placed in front of me. Continued from earlier this week….
So now what??? Doing something makes me feel better so I have to come up with a plan to cope. With the help of the internet I have come up with some actions that will help keep me sane.
1. First and most importantly, remind yourself that our children are not our own. They do not belong to us. They were given to us on loan from our Father. This is a very difficult concept for some but I truly believe this to be so. Once you can come to terms with this much, of your anxiety will be lifted up off your shoulders.
Psalm 139:13-16- I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Children are given to us as a gift from God. It is our job to train their hearts and prepare them for Heaven. God has a plan and we can trust him so there is no need to be anxious or worried. We can cast our burdens and fears on Him and he will carry them.
Isaiah 41:10- 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
By letting your children go you are providing them with an opportunity to feel proud and confident: If we shelter our children and live in fear for them we can never let them fly. They will stay by our side and miss out on the many experiences in life. They will not grow or be curious. This will cause a lack of self-confidence. This fear will make them believe that they are incapable of doing things on their own. That they do not possess the wisdom and ingenuity to face any of life’s challenges. Children need to be brave and courageous and if she pass our fears on to them this is impossible.
When teaching my daughter- who is also my last of three children- to ride her bike I was getting frustrated because it was taking her so long to get it. I had to keep holding on to the back of the bike and I was starting to take it out on her. I threatened that I would have to start letting go because she was never going to learn. I was displacing my anger on her because I didn’t want to let her go. I was afraid that she would fall and hurt herself. I stopped right there in my tracks and asked for forgiveness. I also realized that I needed to trust that she would be taken care of. I needed to place her in His hands where she belonged. Right then and there I made a conscious decision to do this. The rest of the way home was probably our happiest moment together. We laughed harder than ever before. She lost her balance a few times but never her humor. I trailed behind giggling hysterically, shouting words of praise and clapping enthusiastically. “You got this Sofia!” Her eyes beamed with pride. Thinking to herself, “I totally got this!”
2. Teach your child emergency strategies: Have a discussion with your child about making sure to never be alone. This will avoid any opportunities for getting lost or separated from the group. Your child needs to be aware of the adults and where they are at all times. They need to understand the importance of staying with someone. If for some reason, they do become lost they have to know how to find help. They should be given a cell phone if possible so that they can call 911 or the adults in their group. The phone must be charged and they are in charge of keeping track of it. If a cell phone is not an option, then give them a map with directions to the nearest hospital and/or police department, as well as, a list of emergency contacts. They should also always carry cash on them in case of an emergency. Finally, they should be aware of the people around them and only seek help from police authorities. They should never get into a vehicle with a stranger.
3. Set up a communication plan: Explain to your child how often and when you will be checking in. Set this up with the adults in charge or just plan to call your child’s cell phone if that’s an option. Letting your child know that you are thinking of them and that you are always there for them can relieve them of any anxieties and also help keep them grounded. Be cautious about telling your child that you miss them. This may add to anxieties or difficulties with separation. Instead try just expressing your excitement for them on this new adventure.
4. Write a letter and put it in their bag: I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay connected to your child. They will enter the world and be distracted by many things. They may lose their way. If you can stay connected it will help keep them grounded. Well, ultimately it is in God’s hands but reminders are helpful.
5. Prepare their hearts: You are doing a lot of planning for their physical safety but it’s most important to protect their spiritual safety. Open their hearts with prayer. Remind them to check in with God daily- who is always there to guide and protect. Pray with them and ask God for courage and strength. He always provides for us.
Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Make a list of prayers and pray every day. Do not underestimate the power of prayer. It works!! Yes, God has a plan and he is always there but when we pray we are connecting with our child and God simultaneously. We can protect our children’s hearts through prayer.
God, Please watch over Antonio and his entire team while they travel. May Antonio always know that you are in his heart and that your love is unconditional. I pray that he loves you openly with all his heart, body, mind, and soul. I pray that he will treat others respectfully and kindly. That he will serve others, protect the weak, and live a life with integrity and courage. I entrust you with his life and soul to protect and guide to salvation.