Why is my reaction to “news” always fear?
We’ve been enjoying our summer for the last three weeks, just enjoying life. Swimming every day has been our favorite activity and we don’t usually go a day without taking a dip in the pool. When my kids swim, they also eat and a LOT! So, today running low on snacks, I headed to the local discount food store, ready to stock up on popcorn, cereal, juice boxes, and of course gummy snacks. As we parked the truck and I got three of the five kiddos out, my cell phone rang. I noticed that it was the children’s social worker. Because I had a baby in my arms, a toddler holding my hand and a ten year old asking me questions, I let the call go to voicemail. I didn’t think much of it as we entered the store because the last time I heard from the children’s social worker, he had told me to “relax and just enjoy our summer.” After shopping and picking up most everything we needed, I got the kiddos into their seats, locked the doors, and decided since everyone was safe and quiet for the moment that I would check my voicemail. The message was vague, but the worker mentioned, “changes in the case” and needing to “talk to me about these changes.” Also, he left me several numbers where he could be reached. That’s weird, I thought. He never gave me his private phone number before. Why is it so important to him that I be able to get ahold of him right away?
This is where fear stepped in. Like a mighty elephant sitting upon my chest, I immediately felt squished by fear. My pulse quickened and I began to sweat. Really, I thought? What is my problem? This has happened before. There have been changes in the case before. I can handle this. But, the truth is, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t call him back, I was frozen with fear. What if they are taking the babies? What if we are losing them? What if some mysterious relative has surfaced out of nowhere and is a completely wonderful human being with fabulous child rearing capabilities and they are getting the babies now? (I should be happy if that is the case, right?) What if I have to prepare for them to leave tomorrow? I knew that I had no control over what the “news” was that I was about to hear. I knew that I can’t control the future. I knew that no matter how much we love them, no matter how long they’ve been with us, no matter how much I long for them to have the most amazing life with love, family, health, opportunities, safety, and security, at this time I cannot do anything to make sure these things happen. Right now, everything is out of my hands! How thankful I am that I know the ONE who holds these little ones in the palm of HIS hands, though. So, right there in the parking lot I stopped and I prayed. I prayed that God would give me strength. I prayed He would help me to accept the “news” no matter what it was. I prayed He would help me deal with my emotions and keep them in check. I prayed He would be with me and our precious babies and that He would take care of all of us, and then I made the call.
Turns out the “news” was that some of the cases in the office have been reassigned. Our case was one of them. We will have a new social worker who is brand new and has only been with DHR a couple of months. We learned her name and that she will be out to the house next week to meet the children and to introduce herself to us. All of that fear, all of that worry was for nothing. Nothing has changed. Our babies are still here. They are sleeping under our roof tonight. But, I learned something today. I have GOT to stop letting fear creep up on me like that. I know the Master! I know the Provider! I know the Giver of life! He has got this! I need not worry! He loves these babies more than I ever could! God is in control!