This place is called fear and worry. This place manifests itself in many different ways. Fear of the unknown. Fear of man. Worrying about what people think about you. Worry about children, their salvation, their present, their future, their safety. Worry about stuff, not enough money, time, friends. This place can suck you in and suffocate you before you even know what hit you.
This past weekend, I had an opportunity to fall head-long into this place. We were at a birthday party, all of us. Through circumstances beyond my control, Josh had to leave to pick something up. On the way, he ran out of gas. This prolonged his time away from the party significantly, and left me with the 5 kids to manage at a pool party. As the party was winding down, only Garrett remained in the pool. Olivia, Esther, and Gideon were happily playing in the sprinkler. Nora was not so happy, as she was 1 hour over due for her nap and feeding. After waiting as long as I could, I stepped inside the house to nurse Nora. After about a minute, the owner of the house came to the door.
M: "Jess, he's fine. But I wanted to let you know that Gideon got into the pool without his swimmies on and my father-in-law pulled him out." He's fine, just upset."
Me: (completely embarrassed) "Oh...um...okay. Thanks." What am I suppose to do? Nora, nursing. . .Gideon almost drowning. . .Josh not here. . .all these people who I don't know. . .a complete stranger saved my child from drowning. . .oh my, Gideon could have died. . .oh thank you God.
I hurry outside, thank the father-in-law, still embarrassed at my lack of control and manageability at my life. As I walk over to Gideon, I look around to see if people are looking at me, judging me. I would be judging me. He's fine, really fine. Not hysterical, not even crying. He looked a little scared - but that's it. I hug him, ask him if he's ok and remind him that he can't go swimming without swimmies on. I'm not sure if he's catching everything, but I need to say it anyway.
I am thankful that I have come far in not worrying about what I can't control. This day, I choose not to live in a state a guilt over what happened. I choose to not beat myself up, over and over again. I choose not to replay all the "what if" scenarios in my head. I thank God for His grace, perspective, and protection given to me (and Gid) in this day.
I am still working on my fear of man, of what people think of me. Even tonight, as Josh read over this blog, I asked him, "Does it seem like I don't care about my children? Because I don't want people to think that I didn't care what happened. . .because I do. . .I really do. . .I just want people to read it the right way." He gently corrected me and said, I WAS living in that place. I was afraid of what people might think of me, based on how I conveyed the story.