Parenting is HARD. One week I’m confident I’ve mastered this whole thing and the next I have no clue what I’m doing. The last few weeks with my 3, almost 4-year-old daughter Lyric, have been ROUGH! I have felt like a failure as a mom more than I have felt victorious. I have been disciplining her almost constantly and I’m exhausted raising her. As a parent, you hear over and over the importance of consistency, and while I agree, I find it almost impossible to be consistent all the time. Raising children causes so many areas for fear to rear its ugly head. When we make a mistake as a parent we fear our children will never recover from our actions. When we lose our temper we fear they won’t forgive us or that they will end up being just as irritable. The enemy will bring fear into our lives in any way he can and he loves to use our children as weapons for fear. But there is peace found in Jesus! Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Fear and Peace- Two polar opposite words, yet It can often be difficult to discern between them. As moms, we are forced to make many decisions each day. Some are simple such as picking out outfits for our kids to wear while others are more substantial such as private or public school? We can make these decisions following one of 2 emotions, peace or fear. We can discern which emotion we are allowing to lead us by focusing on the types of questions we are asking ourselves when looking at the obstacle in front of us. One day driving to work I was suddenly overwhelmed fearing I had left my curling iron on at home. In that moment I questioned whether this was God telling me to turn around or fear from the enemy causing me to panic. I was about to turn around, which would have caused me to be late for work when I felt the Lord’s peace over me speak to not let fear control my mind. God used this situation to show me how to discern between the enemy putting fear in me and allowing God to lead me through His peace.
It is important we understand how to discern between these two emotions in our decision making. Let’s take the very HOT topic of childhood vaccinations as an example. There is evidence on both sides of the spectrum for the argument against and pro vaccinations. However, we as moms can find ourselves anxious when it is time to make this decision for our children. Or maybe we have already made our decision but we still question if we have made the right one. We continually read articles that make us question our choice. But here’s the real question, are we allowing our decision to be made out of anxiety or peace? When debating whether or not to vaccinate or questioning if the right decision was made, let's look further into our thought process. Do our thoughts sound like “I am afraid my child will become autistic if I get him vaccinated. “ or “I am afraid if I choose to not vaccinate my child will get a deadly and preventable disease.” Both of these decision making thoughts are based on fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. Here’s the thing, to vaccinate or not vaccinate, to breastfeed or formula feed, to send our kids to public or private school, the list goes on, are all decisions we can choose to make out of fear or peace. If we truly submit ourselves to the Lord and allow His Holy Spirit to guide us we will never have to question if we have made the right decision for our families. Yes, there will be those who want to give their opinions and even judgments based on the decisions we have made, but if we are being led by peace then we have nothing to fear.
One thing God began to teach me early on in my quest for true health is that I am not to judge others based on the season they are in or the decisions they make for themselves or their families. God has been opening doors for me to learn more and become educated further in nutrition but not in order for me to use my knowledge to make assumptions or judgments on the diets of others. We all have different calls on our lives and in order to do God’s work, each of us has our own story to tell. The decisions we make impact our story. Although God has put it on my heart to pursue a more natural and holistic lifestyle for my family, if I were to receive a cancer diagnosis tomorrow with God giving me peace to strictly receive medical treatment, forgetting anything nutritionally and naturally that I have learned, you better believe that is the road that I would take. I ultimately want His will for my life.
Let us not get caught up in what is good for us being good for everyone. While I believe we should use wisdom the Lord gives us to encourage and enlighten others, we should only do so when the Lord presents us with an opportunity. Before beginning this blog, I was telling anyone who would listen all of the” interesting” information I was learning. I sensed that most people were actually more annoyed by my passion than interested. I realize now this was due to my presenting the information as a “know it all.” It took the Lord stopping me dead in my tracks and humbling me in those moments. God reminded what is right for my family nutritionally and health concerned is not going to be right for everyone. He put this passion on my heart for my family and in my convictions for a reason. However, God does not give us all the same convictions. The Lord put it on my heart to start this blog as a healthy outlet and place to share the information He is continually leading me to. This is a place where people can come to read, learn and hopefully become inspired to live a healthier life, both spiritually and physically, IF they so desire. This is a place for me to share my heart with people who are interested rather than me forcing the information upon them. I pray that God would continue to lead those who need to read the words He has put on my heart to share.
I had to move past thoughts of fear to start this blog. The enemy will still try to put thoughts in my head telling me things like “No one cares what you have to say.” Or “You aren’t a good writer so don’t waste your time.” Thank God His peace is more powerful than the fear and doubts of the enemy! I pray that God shows you how to move past fear by following His peace in order to pursue His calling on your life.
1) Is there an area in your life you are having trouble discerning between fear of the enemy and the peace of God? Spend time praying and asking God to give you wisdom and guide you through His peace. Ask Him to open and close doors making it clear the route He is leading you!
2) Do you have knowledge in something that causes you to judge others due of the information you attain? Pray God would deliver you from judgment and humble you to receive the blessing of knowledge He has provided you.