A new move is a great time to talk about fear, and I’ve been talking about fear with Bethel (and the other two listening in).
It started with the swimming test discussion. A week later, we were talking about fear again. Bethel told me she was fearful of swimming out in the ocean to where her dad and siblings were snorkeling. I asked her if her fear was of the unknown, or of danger.
A few days earlier, we had talked about how the right way to respond to fear depends on what we are afraid of. Fear of danger means we take the time to protect ourselves from real danger. She mentioned that she was afraid of dangerous coral or fish– small but real danger where we were swimming. I explained that in this case, more knowledge would be helpful for her. In fact, we had given the kids special felt bottomed shoes that would protect them if they stepped on something that could hurt them. And I explained that any larger fish we were swimming with were not aggressive unless they were provoked (like someone grabbing at it)
Knowledge can help the fear of the unknown. But I think for Bethel, just the process of asking herself where her fear was coming from was helpful.
Yesterday the pastor of the church we have been attending asked Bethel (with permission from Lee and me) about her salvation testimony and about baptism. Afterwards, Bethel came to talk with me about the discussion. I asked her what had been keeping her from being baptized, and she answered simply, “fear.”
I asked her if her fear was of danger, of the unknown, or of what people would think of her (fear of man). Again, helping her sort out where her fear was coming from was helpful.
Hmmm…. Maybe I should consider my own fears in this way.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I Timothy 1:7