Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Place that I have Come to Fear the Most

Caution- This one’s gonna talk about some tough stuff.  You might want to skip it.

My husband always asks why I read things that upset me, scare me, etc… I don’t know why I do it and I have gotten better about not.  But, today, I’d like to talk about some of those things.

Did ya hear?  I got a new van!   And it is shiney and white.  It has two side mirrors that work (my old car only had one) and it is way bigger than my Saturn Ion!  Today, while driving to my doctor’s appointment, I thought to myself, ‘I actually feel so much safer driving this than my old car, and that will make it easier to drive with the boys’.  You see, I get nervous sometimes driving with both kids in the car.  When I am switching lanes, I obsessively check to make sure there REALLY isn’t another car next to us.  Sometimes, my thoughts get dark and I think about what I would do if I was in an accident and one of them or both were hurt.  Driving in the car is such a game of roulette when you think about it.  And, occasionally, it makes me really nervous.

When I arrived at my doctor's office,  I was waiting and flipped through the news.  And I saw that a little boy who had been beaten by his mother’s boyfriend had passed away at the hospital.  He was two.  I read the story yesterday. It made me call lil’ Aaron over and hold him  REALLY tight.  The boy was shaken and thrown across the room.  It made me sick.  His injuries were too much for him to sustain.  He was TWO.

Sometimes I think about what I would do…

If someone harmed my child…
If my child was kidnapped...
If my child had an incurable disease…
If, God forbid, I had to make ‘Sophie’s choice’ (someone told me about this little gem a few years ago and it has haunted me since)..
If we were attacked, and at war, and my children were threatened...
If we had no food and I had to watch my child starve to death...
If our house was broken into and bad men tried to hurt the kids...

What would I do? How would I survive. 
I mean, I think about these things. And the fear is sometimes paralizing. 

Parenting is some crazy shiznatch isn’t it?  To love with such intensity you are one step away from a nervous breakdown at all times. 

I remember when lil A was born, it seemed like every news story was about child abuse or tragedy. I had posted, in a note on FB (before the ol'blog came along)that I found myself being full of rage at people who would harm children. A new rage I wasn't familiar with, and was trying to decide how to handle. Several more experienced mothers assured me it was normal. And suggested I take those feelings to prayer. They said obsessing over darkness in the world is not from The Lord and is a temptation that must be fought.

And so too, with my fears, I take them to prayer. I have to. A short St.Michael prayer. A quick request for Jesus to give me peace and take the fear away. You see, in my faith tradition, fear and anxiety are normal, but not welcomed. We have a God who loves, who has counted every hair on our heads. And, if by some awful twist of fate, something tragic is happens. We have a God who meets us with grace to pull us through. So, the fears that sometimes plague me, have no place in my life.  And that is why I, usually try to meet them with prayer.

How do you deal with the places you have come to fear the most? What are your favorite prayers when fear grasps you? Hook a sister up with some thoughts...


  1. The reality is building trust in God is the only antidote. God won't give you grace you don't need, so right now you don't need the grace to get through the loss of a child, surviving a violent act, your husband leaving you, etc. Why would he give you that grace? You don't need it!

    Most of the time I just ask God for the grace to trust that he loves my kids more than I do and that He'll give them whatever they need if and when they'll need it. I also don't gorge on bad news stories. It makes me grumpy and I want to be a light in this darkness.

    1. Exactly. Once I learned that I would only get the graces I need, I worried a lot less. Also, I stopped watching the news and scary tv shows/movies.

  2. "Parenting is some crazy shiznatch isn’t it? To love with such intensity you are one step away from a nervous breakdown at all times. "

    Oh, yeah, this is eloquent and perfect!

    Thank you for posting this. I look forward to the replies!

  3. I use the prayer to St. Michael a great deal as a mom. I also love a simple Hail Mary or the Memorare.

  4. serenity prayer:)

    and letting go and letting God

  5. I was scared to read this, but I am so glad I did. The fears I feel and the love I feel are so FIERCE it scares me. Take it to prayer? Ok.

  6. Oh, man, for me it is big, long bridges . . . I HATE going over the Bay Bridge with the boys in the car . . . if we went over the bridge, how would I get them out of their car seats, etc and to land without drowning! Now that two out of three of my kiddos are swimmers, I do not worry about this as much. But, I would pray continually, while going over that bridge with the boys!

    I often say that I am willing to undergo any trial. I really do not care if I am totured, etc (if that is God's will) but I do not desire it BUT, I am not sure I could handle watching my boys go through that! It is an amazing and incredible love that God gives a mother for her children. And I think our fears are there to remind us that (1) we are not in control and (2) PRAY. How perfect that you write this post on the Feast of St Augustine, who's mother prayed for him fiercely!

  7. Gosh, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" works all the time...that and St Michael the ARchangel. And Adoration...staying close to the Sacraments. Fear is from you know who.

  8. Yeah at some point you almost have to learn how to will yourself to detach from those horrible stories. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to rejoice in the good because the bad would weigh me down so much. And then you still feel guilty about it because people are suffering while you're laughing or playing with your kids. I pray Hail Marys all the time because random but very specific and clear images will pop up in my head that RIGHT NOW a child is being abused or a woman raped or the car coming towards us may just veer into our lane or whatever. The only thing I can do is pray and just entrust it all to her. Or say the name of Jesus and give it to Him. I have to remember that He and the eternal picture are so much bigger.

    Sometimes I think that a *little* bit of that dire scenario stuff is "mom training." I have a very specific memory of John Paul as a newborn baby and carrying him down the stairs and thinking about what would happen if I dropped him down the stairs. It sounds like a crazy thing and I'm sure some people would see that as a sign that I needed help or had PPD or whatever but you know what? It made me hold him tightly and walk super carefully down the stairs so that he would be safe. I think mom instincts kick in that make you see the world differently and you see the things that could hurt your baby and so you make adjustments and are more careful. Same thing with driving. I drive so much more carefully and realize how dangerous it really is now that I have little people with me. So maybe part of it is a good and natural thing when it's kept in check. If any of that even makes sense...