July 9, 2008

Conquering fears

My son, Kyle is afraid to do a lot of things. I am not exactly sure why he is afraid of so much other than that is the way God made him to teach us all as a family how to overcome our fears. I think this is Kyle's year to conquer many of his fears and gain confidence. One of his fears has to do with lakes/pools/oceans. When we went with Hawaii earlier this year, Kyle was content to stay on the beach building lakes, rivers, and Iceland filled with volcanoes using mainly his hands. He would wade a couple of feet into the water, or sit at the edge so that a wave would gently wash over him. But try and get him to go more than a couple of feet in the water and he would scream as if we were cutting off his arm. Today, I took the kids to Independence Grove, a forest preserve that has a man-made beach and lake. We hadn't been to a beach at all this summer--too cool. I spent time with each of the other kids in the water and then went over and played with Kyle. After a little while, I asked Kyle gently to come into the water. I explained that we would stop when the water was up to the top of his swim trunks. He was VERY uncertain about it. I took hold of his hand and led him out, letting him stop a couple times to get adjusted to feeling the water around his legs. He was crying and I asked him if I was hurting him or if the water was hurting him. He just said it felt funny. Then I had him turn around to see how close he was to the shore. I asked him to try kneeling on the ground to see how low the water still was. A huge grin broke out on his face as he realized that this wasn't so bad after all. I almost visibly saw all the fear go out of him to be replaced by pure joy. By the end of our time, he was walking out until the water until it reached his chest and walked on his hands in the shallow water, letting his legs float behind him. He couldn't stop smiling. Neither could I. We both felt joy and triumph.

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37

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