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The Relentless Fight Against Fear

My cell phone rang late as I was prepping for a 2-hour dinner and meeting I co-host at the children’s hospital where I work. Where my children are seen.

The prefix showed that it was The Call I’ve been waiting for.

My stomach inverted as I hurriedly hung up the office phone and answer my cell.

“I’m so sorry this has taken so long to arrange. I had to find a day with enough time — your son’s case will be long. I couldn’t find a date this month, so I had to run it by his specialist.”

My stomach completed the somersault. Long case?

The cynicism and the fear rose like a hooded viper posing to strike. Of course it is. That’s how things are with our family and this specialty.

I choked through the rest of the call as we confirmed dates, times (We have to walk into the hospital at 6am. It’s a 40-minute drive from our house. I’m going to need coffee. Lots of coffee.), pre-procedure appointments, and length of stay. I sent a cryptic text of details to my husband, then stuffed it down, way down. I needed to host the meeting without an emotional breakdown.

Four hours later, I drove through the cold drizzly dark, tears streaming to match the rain drops on my windshield.

You’d think that after walking through the valleys we’ve been though (if you’re new here, read the posts in the category “Elli” for an explanation), it would be easy to trust God with anything else that happens.

You’d be wrong.

I am afraid.

Even though I know, from personal experience even, that God will walk me through whatever lies ahead, that His grace will buoy us through the stormiest waters, I’m afraid.

I want to tell God what to do with our family: “I won’t have to give You another one of my children, right? One is enough, right? This son who so resists potty-training will live long enough to change my diapers when I’m old and incontinent, right?”

I can’t control this. I can’t make my son’s body do what it needs to do. I can’t keep my children safe.

My flesh is weak. The thoughts of worry and fear rise up again and again as I watch the symptoms grow in my son’s body and count down the days. Over and over, I hand him to God to care for, and over and over I snatch him back.

I fight the fears with promises like this: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good… (Romans 8:28).

And this: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. (Psalm 23:1-4)

But it’s a relentless fight to focus on God, not the fear.

Would you pray with me? Pray that I would find rest, that I would be an example of how to trust God for my children, but most importantly that God would be undeniable and unmistakable in our lives?

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