Have you been in a situation that drastically changed the way you think about life? This past weekend I was invited to speak at an event for parents. As part of my talk, I decided to share a personal story about our oldest daughter Madi.
I will never forget the feeling of fear that came over me on that cold December Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, NC. Madi was around three years old at the time and had been feeling a little sick all morning. She was running a slight temperature, but her symptoms had not been serious. In a moment, that dramatically changed. My wife ran into the room with Madi in her arms screaming… “HELP! MADI HAS STOPPED BREATHING!”
I took Madi into my arms and urgently told my wife, Wendy, to call 911 while I tried to figure out what was happening. Madi was still not breathing, her face was beginning to turn blue, and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. I frantically laid her down on the ground and started to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation with hopes of stabilizing her until help came.
Nothing I did seemed to help. She laid there limp, and as time went by, I began to deal with the thought that she might die in front of me if she didn’t start breathing. It was just me and her there on the ground, and I was as powerless as she was. Realizing there was nothing I could do, I prayed and asked God to help “my” daughter.
It was at that moment a thought came into my mind, and a feeling entered into my heart that has stuck with me since. “My” daughter is God’s daughter first, and only He could control what happened next. I quickly realized this beautiful girl is only on loan to me. She is not mine. She has been entrusted to my care by God, who loves her, and only He is in control of her life. At that moment, I let go. I submitted and prepared for whatever the Father had for us in the moments to come. My love for God and His love for me overpowered my fear.
To make a long story short, everything in this story turned out okay. Madi made it to the emergency room and recovered sufficiently from what we found out was a significant febrile seizure. She is now twelve years old and in the 6th grade at Hyde Park Schools here in Austin, TX. As scary as that moment was, it continues to be a powerful reminder to me as a young parent that God is in control and that He loves me. The love I felt from Him at that moment was powerful. It was a love that overpowered my fear and helped me realize that fear is optional!
Once you have experienced God meeting you in a moment like that, you see things differently. When He walks with you in the valley, it gives you a clearer vision of faith. In all of the circumstances we experience in life, God’s love is intense and passionate to meet us before, through, and beyond our time of need.
FEAR IS OPTIONAL
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.