Finding the Root (if you fear)

What fear prowls around in your mind today?

What stalks your hope and devours your joy?

What slithers – unbidden – through your thoughts and dreams?

What do you most fear?

Sit with me for a minute.


When did you first start to fear?
“I think I began to fear when _______________.”

What is at the root of your fear today do you think?
“If I am honest, the root of my fear is ____________.”

Fear reduces and dims. 

Where has fear brought darkness and confusion into your life?
“I am struggling to think and see rightly in this situation_________”

Fear bears shriveled and sour fruit.

What is the tangible, or relational, result of your fear?
“My fear is affecting the way I deal with ______________.”

Fear isolates its prey.

Where do you feel vulnerable and alone?
“I am dangerously close to being devoured by___________.”

Fear sneers while it strangles.

How do you feel trapped by your fear?
“I feel utterly helpless in this area__________”

An area of chronic fear for many parents is that they (or their child) will make the kind of mistakes that will cause intense suffering. Should he play football? When should he be allowed to get a smart phone? A car? Should we put him on meds for ADHD? Should we be in public school? When should she go on her first real date? Have her first sleepover?

Of course these are first-world problems, but they are our problems none-the-less.


IMG_0934There are a thousand ways to fear for the safety of our loved ones – and after many years of practice, we can get really skilled at parenting from a place of fear. Maybe this is how you were raised?

Recently, a friend and I were talking about parenting our teenagers. “For some reason,” she said “we believe our kids are going to have these lovely Christian hormones.  Their hormones will be clean-cut, well-mannered, and show all sorts of restraint, because they are Christian hormones, don’t you know?!”

Ha! Ha! Nervous laugh. Fidget uncomfortably. Funny, right?

That’s certainly what I’d like to believe – even though I know better. Remembering that my son or daughter will have the same hormonal package that God gave me as a teenager causes no small amount of real fear in this mother!



I am grateful for the reminder that my kids don’t have holy hormones. They are wonderfully human in every way, just like their adult parents. Even though they are sons of God, they are fully man.

In the same way that our teens aren’t awarded blue-ribbon Christian hormones, neither are we the recipients of more well-behaved and superior Christian emotions. Even though we have a heavenly Father, we are fully human.

Sometimes, the fear that we can’t protect those we love will twist us up in such tight knots that we forget our own humanity. Why do we think we need to have it all together all the time? Why do we think it all comes down to us in the end? Why do believe that being human is something to be overcome?

We fear.

We get scared.

We worry.

We get dismayed.

We are fully human, after all.


The only hope a Christian has in her anxious fears is that God himself is right there with her. The same God that knit all her complex parts together, also calls her by name. The names of her children – no matter their age – are written on his hands.

The LORD is her shepherd, and her fears will not consume her.

He restores hope, and drives away fear.

He brings light, and order, and peace.

He works all things (even pain, mistakes, fear, and sin) for our eternal good.

His love for the very human you endures forever.


Peace to you, and rest from your fears today,


9 responses to Finding the Root (if you fear)

  1. I have raised four children into adults who all walk with Jesus. I don’t remember raising them in fear but according to God’s Word. We were considered strict parents but all of the “rules” we placed upon them, we tried to match with God’s Word and how we think He would want us to raise our children. They knew our rules were to protect them from potential evil and as adults, they thank us for it. Letting His Word dwell in them richly, being joyful Christians, and loving others goes a long ways to raising children walking in truth!

  2. writingjen says:

    I have no words but thank you. Once again, you spoke directly to my heart. Thank you, Kim! XO Jen

  3. Given Breath says:

    Lori – I am so thankful for faithful (joyful) moms like you. For all the young parents out there — what were some ways that you “let His Word dwell in them richly” in your home?

  4. Given Breath says:

    Jen – thank you, as always.

    I have been praying for the families of your friends – especially as they enter this hard season of the holidays. Peace to you as you serve them well.


  5. tannia says:

    Most people do not know it, and those who do know would never guess just how fearful and anxious I am every single, painful day. Sometimes I fall asleep crying, worried about phantom events I cannot possible prevent- ESPECIALLY having recently entered the work force, leaving my 12 and 14 year olds home alone after school. Lately I have acknowledged that only God can truly protect. HE is the one we are to rely on. Then, yesterday I received your message and I cried for a new reason! I cried because I felt a taste of peace knowing that my father in heaven intended for me to receive that message as assurance that he does hear my prayers. THANK YOU for being obedient to God’s call!

  6. Jennifer Neuse says:

    Beautifully said. This topic could run a parenting class for a year and we as messy humans would continue to let fear rule and often ruin our potential. Thou shall not fear is only second to love they neighbor in my hourly litany of prayers and it may never be achieved but I can’t stop striving to reach for it.

  7. RaD says:

    Laughed out loud at the “Christian hormones” theory. Wow. I never thought about it, but I guess it is my hope too. What am I thinking? Those attitudes, that arguing when he knows better, the teasing, the crying… human hormones, not Christian ones!

  8. writingjen says:

    Kim, thank you SO much! This is a hard season of life for so many of us. I really appreciate your prayers. Please keep lifting up the famlies in prayer. If there’s anything I can pray for, for you, please let me know. I know you don’t know me but I’m quite a prayer warrior and love praying for people.
    XO Jen

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