Bethel (2 and a half) has developed an inexplicable fear of being left. Any time we go somewhere, she starts to cry whenever a member of the family leaves her sight. Don’t leave me! Don’t leave Mommy! Don’t leave—
We’ve reassured her that we would not leave her or any other member of the family. Lee stopped his occasional tease about leaving without someone. But she still is fearful of being left or leaving someone, every time we leave the house.
My first thought is maybe it’s simply developmental. That’s likely at least a part of the problem. This is the age where imagination and reality can get confused, when nightmares emerge, and fears can become larger than life. If it’s developmental, then just riding the wave until its over is probably a good approach.
But even developmental issues can be addressed spiritually. It doesn’t matter if a fear is irrational or not (and many of our adult fears are irrational, in light of God’s care and Providence), we can still find comfort in Scripture, right? The question is, can a two year old?
I do tell her, Mommy and Daddy will NEVER leave you. I’m somewhat uncomfortable with this promise, since I cannot guarantee we will never leave her; death comes to mind as a fairly certain future possibility. But, her two year old mind doesn’t exactly grasp, Lord willing, we will never leave you or some similar substitute. I’m open to thoughts on this (as anything I write, actually).
I’ve already talked briefly about God’s faithfulness. God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. I tried to explain God’s omnipresence (being everywhere) to her. God is right here with us. We cannot see Him, but he is here. She didn’t get it, yet. I suppose I’ll keep repeating these things to her each time she expresses her fear of being left. Maybe I’ll look up some related verses to share with her, or maybe I’ll suggest to Lee that we work on memorizing this passage (although David memorized it last year, I’m sure a review wouldn’t hurt him). We can also work on the child’s song, “God Is Always Near Me” by Philip Bliss. I’ve sung it some with them, but not enough so they could sing it by themselves.
Any other ideas or Scripture?