To crippling anxiety on the face of my child this morning: I’m about to kick your rear with a blog. If I could have come bounding across the basketball court to punch the living daylights out of you by speaking the peace of Christ and shining Light so the liar would flee, I would have, but I just quietly prayed. I’ll settle for shining the Light into a blog where people can see you for the cheating cowardly thief that you are with just a façade of power that stands on nothing because Christ has already defeated you on the cross. ‘Nuff said. #mamawontstoptillyouleave #youvebeenwarned #iknowthevictoranditisntyou
And yes, I know those hashtags won’t likely get any traffic. I made them up to relieve stress and amuse myself. I believe in making the difficult lighter whenever we can.
For many parents at the Upward* basketball game in the gymnasium this morning, the hour was filled with exciting rebounds, defense, lay-ups, and hook shots. For all practical purposes, it was an exciting game!
For me, I saw my child stuck in sensory overload, intense anxiety, and slower processing. I read it on his face, body, hands, posture, etc. We’ve had good games before. He can be successful at it. Today, it wasn’t about his contribution to the score or the team. He couldn’t control how he was feeling. With the right tools and help in place, he will eventually develop the ability to cope through it.
I know that intellectually.
But my heart? My heart wanted to go leaping across that court and chase the Fear Strangler away! Well, to be honest, I wanted to bash in the face of fear with a sledgehammer. (Yes, I have extremely violent thoughts when it comes to fear and anxiety.) When I see peace threatened, taunted, stolen, flicked at, you can almost hear an audible growl creeping up from deep within me.
My heart wanted to weep, mourn, and grieve for the little boy that sometimes bounds carefree across the court, enjoying the sport of it—but not today. This is how I process. I needed that moment. I considered slipping out at halftime and letting my heart privately finish aching in the restroom, but I felt God wanted me to stay.
To not be afraid of what I was seeing.
To remember that He is bigger than that and His strong, loving hands and arms are holding my child up.
To remember that, ultimately, I am not called to rescue my child from each moment of anguish.
He told me just to sit and talk to Him quietly. So, in my head, I did.
During and after the game, I had two friends come talk to me, intensely sharing some of their own struggles. With my Jesus-led heart, I wanted to nurture them. With my overwhelmed-by-my-own-pain heart, I wanted to be alone and breathe. They had unknowingly interrupted my internal conversations with my holy Father. I asked God to help me because I was so depleted and felt like there was nothing left in myself to offer, and I always want to be able to give out, give toward, give me.
But that’s when He reminded me, in the quietness of my spirit, that it’s not about me, and isn’t that a huge relief? He always comes through: when we are weak.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, ESV, Apostle Paul speaking
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
We can’t guarantee peaceful moments. And in some ways, when our adrenaline goes from 1 to 1,000 when we see anyone suffer or peace being messed with, if our response is to hammer away and get ready to fight, we are joining the thief in what he is trying to steal. We are giving him what he wants. We are jumping in right along with him.
I’m beginning to realize that being aware of the battle is important, but ultimately, it is not our fight.
I can’t prevent each moment that takes something from my child. I don’t hold the universe in my hands.
But I do know the One Who told me to be still and pray. And why did He tell me that?
Because I don’t need to wrestle the thief of peace.
That job is taken. That battle has already been won.
And guess what?
I am not The Policeman.
But I sure know where to find Him. He comes to me when I call. And He already has that cowardly fear-mongering thief by the collar.
It is already finished.
John 19:30, ESV, Apostle John narrating
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
I’m still trying to grasp this. Won’t you come along with me?
Where do you need to reintroduce your thief of peace to The Policeman? To walk into His police department, submit your complaint/concern, and trust Your Holy Officer of the Peace to act on your behalf?
1 John 3:8, ESV, Apostle John speaking
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (emphasis mine).
John 12:27-33, ESV, Jesus speaking
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die (emphasis mine).
Luke 10:18-20, ESV, Luke the Physician narrating
And he [Jesus] said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (emphasis mine).
1 John 4:4, ESV, Apostle John speaking
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (emphasis mine).
*From their mission statement: Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Upward Sports is the only organization that offers the 360 Progression™, a uniquely designed total sports experience that adapts and expands as players grow in their personal athletic journeys. The 360 Progression develops total athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially – producing players who excel both on and off the field.