A lot happens at our house at bedtime. In fact, I’m fascinated by how much energy my children can muster and how engaged they become with just those two little words, “It’s bedtime.”. It’s almost like pushing an “on” button.
Please tell me it’s not just my children… is it?
Your children suddenly want to run races up the stairs, do song and dance performances, and read 6 books to you too, right?
But then there are those precious moments when they’re settled in, I lean in for one last goodnight kiss, and there’s a final request I can’t help but delight in –
“Mommy, can we have a heart-to-heart?”.
I’m always up for a heart-to-heart.
At this stage of the game, it’s my son who is the late-night talker. Most of the time he doesn’t have anything particular on his mind, but this night he asked me something I didn’t expect –
“Mommy, what’s your biggest fear?”
At first, my mind thought of one particular way in which I would prefer not to leave this world, but a voice in my head quickly threw that thought aside and said, “No it’s not. That’s not your biggest fear. What are you fighting for every day?”
My stomach lurched – their hearts – my children’s hearts. That voice in my head was right.
My biggest fear isn’t about physical death. It’s about spiritual death.
I hesitated for a moment, wondering if my response would be too heavy for him. As I looked into his waiting eyes, I remembered that I have a deep thinker for a son. I wanted to tell him the truth, so I did.
“My biggest fear is that you and your sister will walk away from your faith in God when you’re older.”
He responded with what I suppose is typical 9-year-old- boy reassurance, “Pfft, like that will ever happen.”. Honestly, I was relieved that he uttered such a casual, confident response and I was hoping for the follow-up question he asked next –
“Why are you afraid of that?”
Oh how I love those God-ordained opportunities to use my past failures and mistakes to speak into the hearts of my children! The minutes that followed were nothing short of a gift as we talked about falling into the temptation of rebellion and how I wished I hadn’t lived outside of God’s will for so long. I told him all about how Jesus never gave up on me, how my life is so much better with Him, and how He welcomed me back into His Arms of Grace.
As I left my son’s room I thanked God for that precious moment and My Heavenly Father brought to my mind beautiful, mental vignettes of my children reading their Bibles, pages bent and bindings worn…
my husband and I gathering them on our bed for family devotions…
notes written between us, prayers lifted up before school, jamming to praise music in the car…..
And then came His reassuring words:
“Do not be afraid. Fear not, for I am with you”.
Yes, Father, You and I desire the same for them – that they will know, love, and serve You all the days of their lives. And they will no doubt stumble and fall – we all do. But when they do, I will be there to point them to Jesus and He will be there to lift up their heads.
I do not know what the future holds for my children, but what I do know is that God is Sovereign and that He loves my children infinitely more that I do.
On this road less traveled, I choose to trust God with the very same lives He has entrusted me with. Because, after all, they are mine for a time, but His for eternity.
How has the Lord calmed your fears through your children?