I was surprised by fear last night.
In the brittle cold I sped down the freeway as fear caught up with me and settled right down into my heart. I was taking my daughter to the emergency room. I couldn’t get her stubborn fever down. We were sitting at 104.7 when I called the clinic and they said, go.
Numb typically takes over in the expanse between my small town and the sprawling complex of the children’s hospital. Forty minutes of numb, which stretches into several hours of numb while I wait for doctors to treat whichever child happens to require the extra care.
This time, numb didn’t come. Fear did. And that was new for me.
When I feel fear, I feel small. I feel alone, like I’ve done something wrong; like I am not being strong enough.
But I decided to refuse “strong”. I also refused “understanding”.
I let fear come, and I invited Abba to come. And I let a friend know I was scared, so I wouldn’t feel alone (that felt a bit silly, but I knew it was what I needed to do).
One moment at a time, I stayed present, for my daughter, with the little girl inside me so close. Fear helped me know how miserably ill she was. Fear helped me be moved to compassion. Fear helped me know to rub her back or stroke her hair. Fear showed me to hold on tight to her hand when the needles came, and to keep holding tight when they were gone.
This too was new.
So often, my offered comfort has been forced and I always had to guess at what a loving Mom should do. I was usually angered by the required effort. Then I felt guilty on top of that. To be present in the fear allowed me to be present in the comforting. It allowed the little girl in me to be comforted too.
I have despised this little girl in me for her weak emotions.
Now I am learning how this little girl’s emotions are a gift that will make me strong.
The Lord is calling the lost parts of me home. As I invite Him to come, He invites them to come.
In this, I celebrate Advent in a way I never have.
This too is new.
I'm linking up with:
Bonnie Gray at Faith Jam