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What If—Not a Place for Parents or Children

What If—Not a Place for Parents or Children

Several years ago, our family had quite a scare. Our youngest son visited a trampoline park with friends. He landed wrong and broke his back. Fortunately, there was no spinal cord damage.

Now, I’m good in a crisis. The situations that cause other people to panic create in me the ability to act clearly and decisively. So when they brought him home, I was woman-in-control. I was able to be calm and clear-headed in that nightmare scenario.

At least until the crisis was over.

Then I spent several days as an emotional wreck. The slightest thing brought uncontrollable sobs. It sounds strange, but my crisis point is always delayed. And it’s always brought on by taking up residence in the place of what if.

I’m sure you’ve visited that nightmare place too. It’s populated by the unending refrain of shoulda, woulda, coulda. Everywhere we turn we replay scenarios, letting our minds wander from bad to worse.

  • If the break had been one millimeter to the left or the right…
  • If we hadn’t gone ahead and taken him to the emergency room…
  • If there had been swelling…

The imagery found in the land of “what if” comes from our own minds—and it’s a place we need to stay far away from. God protects us from these imaginings because He never sleeps and never relaxes His watchful care over us or over those we love.

We aren’t guaranteed a life where bad things never happen. Far from it. What we are promised is that He is there in the midst, working all things together for good. He can be trusted with our future and with the future of our children.

Dear Lord, the world where we live is a scary place. Give me the faith and the courage to stay out of the land of what if. Don’t let me invent ways to worry about my children. Instead keep my focus firmly on You.

Let me set a good example for my kids so they stay out of that dark place. Don’t let my fears and imaginings teach them to worry more and trust You less. Show me how to live in faith instead of in fear.

Teach me how to live life aware and responsible, but not dwelling on all the bad things that can happen. I’ve seen that it’s a thin line between being prepared and living in fear.  

I know You are trustworthy. Remind me to live like I believe that.  Make me a living witness as You instill an unshakeable faith to my kids. Amen.

By: Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including Soul Care When You’re Weary and While My Child is Away: Prayers for When We’re Apart. Married to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, they live in the upstate of South Carolina and have raised 3 sons. Connect with her on through Twitter and Facebook.

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