Sometimes I struggle with fear. As much as I tell myself I do not care what others think, I find myself measuring my worth based on their opinions (or the ones I’ve guessed they have) of me.
Recently, my husband and I have decided to try homeschooling our children. Before I go any further, I was the one growing up who thought homeschooled kids were weird. I was the one shouting from my inner rooftop that they lacked social skills, that young people could not be sheltered forever, and any age-old opinion that was contrary to educating children at home. Then, I had children.
My oldest is not school-aged yet. However, I find myself worrying so much that I cannot even begin, even if it’s just a slice of what we hope to do when he really starts kindergarten. When I’m honest with the reason why I can’t start, it’s simple. I’m afraid to fail. There is an even deeper problem in that fear. It is not that I will fail in the eyes of God, but rather in the eyes of my neighbor.
I fear their opinion of me. I imagine them saying those very things I said of homeschoolers long ago. I imagine my child not knowing his colors and shapes at the age of three (he doesn’t) and them thinking consequently that I am failing as a mother. I imagine my children not being able to socialize in the “correct” manner. I am afraid that they will leave our home to go out on their own someday and be so overtaken by a world they were not immersed in early on and not know how to handle what life throws their way. There is even a part of me that fears I will not have the patience to teach them. Ultimately I am afraid that they will be “weird” and it will be because of me.
Then, I read today’s readings. “Seek ye my face.”
In the end, God will not care if my three year old knows a square from a rectangle. It will make no difference to him if my child knows more about pop culture than the next. He won’t even care how my children have been schooled. Ultimately, I have a feeling, He will want for me that very failure that I fear. Because those fears are of this world, not of His. He is not interested in me pleasing others. His only concern is that we get back to Him and do our very best to lead our children to Him as well.
Second by second, I will have to remind myself that when it is Him whom I seek, those other opinions will cease to be of much importance. And, I pray for that shift of thinking . . . that my only fear in this life will not be in failing others but instead failing Him.
What are your biggest fears? How can you give those to God and find assurance in Him?
Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of four young kids. She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.