that night she told me she keeps having this dream that she's an old lady in a hospital and can't breathe at the moment she's dying and it terrifies her. i explained that most old people die in their sleep and it's really quite peaceful. then she says " but what about...." and she crumples into tears. and i know she's thinking of people who are young and die, people who get hurt badly and die. those aren't always peaceful. how as a mother am i so supposed to calm her fears? i can't tell her that only old people die. yet, i don't want her to be afraid.
when i was young i was often afraid, so i have deep empathy for my baby girl. my dad, the smart one that he is, told me when i'm afraid that i need to quote bible verses about not being afraid. he told me that his verse is isaiah 41:13. for i the lord the god will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not; i will help thee." the verse i quote and have claimed as my own is psalms 46:10, be still and know that i am god. but when i was younger my dad helped me to learn a different verse and it's one i quote to natalie a lot.
i took her little hands that night and told her the truth. i don't know what it's like to die. i don't understand what it will be like when i die. but i do know this, that god wanted you, natalie, to be born. he wanted you here on this earth. he has a plan and purpose for your life. he wants you to live your life to the fullest and not be afraid. i know this because he tells us that he has not given us the spirit of fear. he doesn't want us to be gripped by fear. he has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, that those who follow god can know that they can do all things through christ. he's given us a sound mind, knowing that if we put our trust in him we don't have to worry about tomorrow, he's in control. he's given us love, because god is love.
when i was telling her this and looking into her eyes, i could tell that was what she needed to hear. and isn't that what we all need to hear? that god has a plan and purpose for each one of us. that we need to simply put our trust in him and not worry about tomorrow. that god loves us with an unfailing and everlasting love.
we talked some more. she asked a lot of questions. i did my best to answer them. she decided in her child like faith to put all her trust in him. she decided to trust that the maker of the universe will direct her path.
motherhood is hard. i don't like that my daughter can be gripped by fears, but i'm thankful that my dad taught his little girl who was gripped by fears to memorize bible verses so one day she could comfort her own little girl with those same verses. i don't always have all the answers, and that frustrates me. but i know the one who does.
for god hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 timothy 1:7