fear.

November 15, 2011

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When I was about 4 years old we had a babysitter come over (who had watched me many many times before...always had been wonderful). Well this particular night as she was putting me to bed she decided to tell me a story about a man that came into children's homes and would slaughter them and/or steal them. 

Did your jaw just drop?
Who does that??

Anyways, I had never ever been exposed to anything like that before (obviously) and to say it traumatized me is a massive understatement. For the next 10 years until after my 8th grade summer I had horrible nightmares, I was paralyzed with fear. It did something to me in my mind that was completely irrational and crazy.

My room was upstairs so I would sit at the top of the stairs all night until I was so tired I would finally just fall asleep on the steps. I can remember at dinner time when the sun would start to set getting the sickest feeling in my stomach...knowing the night was about to come- and how long the nights were.

One of the last nights we were in California I was holding Ains and rocking her to sleep thinking about this. It occurred to me- our kids have never once gone to sleep crying, alone or afraid. Maybe it's because I never want them to experience the sadness I felt being so afraid, maybe it's because it's just my personality/our beliefs or maybe it's because of everything we learned when they were in the NICU.

But I was thinking they always fall asleep safe in our arms and then wake up in their own beds. No crying, no fear, no sadness.

Thinking about them being alone or afraid makes my tummy turn. 

Thinking about them ever in a place where they are afraid or sad and I am not there to protect them, truly is almost too much for me to think about.

I have talked a lot about open hands...trying to be better in this area.

"When a woman has a kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but she has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don't think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the kingdom of heaven. When you hold relationships with open hands, then people come in and out of your life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated. And then when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small."- from my FAVORITE book A Beautiful Offering.

There are moments I just want to lock us all up in our house where we are safe and never leave
....but I just have to trust...
I have to let them experience life,
 I have to let them soar....
I can't let my fear get in the way.



46 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful post. I don't have children yet, but I know that my own fears could just as easily get in the way of letting them flourish the way you described. My hope is that when that moment happens, when I feel the need to lock us all away from the dangers of the world, I'll let go long enough to see that they can experience life without the struggles I had when I was younger.

    Thank you for being so inspiring. <3

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  2. Casey, I pray you can find freedom {through Christ} from the fear you struggle with! I'm sure is plays as a strong-hold in your life and I know God can break that and set you free! blessings. Amy

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  3. Thanks for sharing this. I often feel this way too.. I am so sorry that you had to go through that as a child. So glad God always reminds us he is with us...praying for you and your family.

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  4. Casey,
    What a horrible thing for a person to do. I have so many fears of dying before my children are grown and I always have to rely on the Lord for strength. He is our rock and will get us through. Thank you again for sharing your heart. You are such a sweet soul.

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  5. Beautifully put, my friend. I have always been so afraid of letting the kids even be driven by other people... Even staying over night at my parent's:)....I always feel so sad and fearful for them...just cuz I'm not there. But I let them do these things bc I want them to live. Not be bound by my own fears and hesitation to trust in the lord. Your words rang so true-- and seem so familiar to my own daily thoughts! Love your honesty and devotion to your family.

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  6. My kindergarten teacher told us she'd chop off our ears if we talked while she talked, THEN showed us a box of fake bloody ears. WHAT?!? I ran out, all the way home and to this day canNOT sleep w/o my ears covered.

    Thankfully, I too am learning my protector sees all, and His word instructs us over and over FEAR NOT.

    Here's to putting his promises into practice.

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  7. My little Harper has recently started to understand what it means to be afraid. She recognizes scary things and has, I think, had nightmares. I hate it. I don't want her to be afraid of anything- ever. I don't want fear to creep in and destroy her confidence or comfort. I just want to keep any and all scary things at bay forever.

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  8. i completely relate! i love being at home with my kids because i feel safe and secure there. i need to have more open hands when it comes to my kids and hubby. great post!

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  9. Who on earth would tell that to a child?!!?!?!? Terrible! I have fears too...and sometimes they paralyze me. But just as you said, we have to TRUST. They are GODS children, we are just their earthly parents...and we must believe that HE has them taken care of.

    Have faith sweet casey!

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  10. I can't believe your sitter did that! Actually, I had one who paused the Wizard of Oz to show us where the rumored person was hanging in the background of the shot... and another who locked me & my brothers in the basement!

    But that doesn't help ease your fears... BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING! My husband has to remind me of tat command all the time when I feel gripped by fear. We have a good God who's got our babies in the palm of His mighty hand!

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  11. WOW....who would say something like that to a child! I'm speechless.

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  12. That is such a beautiful post. And that babysitter was crrazy.

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  13. I was a child who slept with my parents, so I rarely had really bad dreams or feelings of insecurity at night until I was older. I'm glad to say that my kids know that if they are ever scared they simply have to climb in mommy and daddy's bed to feel safe and loved.

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  14. such a beautiful post.. i mean seriously who does that? tells little kids those kinds of stories. i dont have children yet either but im going to do everything i can to make sure the same thing.. calm their fears..

    you are truly a inspriation :)

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  15. You've blessed my heart today, Casey. I started reading your blog because I was drawn to your passion: I have kept reading for your beautiful soul. I love that what you wrote today captures my feelings exactly about my son. My heart feels like exploding with the fierceness of my love for him, and how I want to be near him always. I needed your words to help me over the hump of a long day at work away from my little bear.

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  16. Can I admit I am still afraid of the night? I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes frozen because I feel a presence in my room. I think it stems from my childhood as well, though I don't know the exact source. It's in those moments I cry out to the Lord for comfort and protection and He immediately provides. How blessed your children are for never having to experience this. How great is our God!

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  17. Oh Casey, I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience - and so little. :( I too worry about what I expose my son to. I don't want him to be hurt or negatively affected. Letting go and trusting others is hard to do sometimes.

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  18. I CAN'T believe that babysitter said that to you! I'm sorry you had to go through that as a child. This is a beautiful post.

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  19. You are incredible parents. I love your philosophy and beliefs on raising your babies... truly inspiring. I hope to reflect the same for my children one day. :)

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  20. I feel the same exact way about fear. Sometimes I am guilty of letting fear take over and letting it hold me (& my family) back. I will choose to stay home, over facing the dangers. This was a great post to remind me to overcome those fears. I love the quote you put at the bottom. I would love to read that book!

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  21. Such a beautiful post. I remember when I was two or three, being left alone in my crib at the baby sitters to "cry it out". I never let my kids cry, because I very distinctly remember how terrified I was.

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  22. I have five little boys, and have had my share of "what ifs" and times when I've let my mind wander. But we have hope in the Truth: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18 Thanks for your vulnerability.

    Ruth
    www.gracelaced.com

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  23. awww! did you ever tell your parents about your trouble sleeping or did they notice?

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  24. Case,
    Beautifully written, it makes you wonder though, what they are being exposed to when you look the other way for just a second. I guess you're just going to have to trust in god to shield them from the ugly, but sometimes even the most unpleasant memories can make us beautiful.

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  25. I live with the exact fear to this day and often will lay awake because I'm afraid someone will come into my kids room at night. I traded rooms with my sister when I was younger, giving up the bigger room because I thought it was easier for someone to come into. I also have let my children fall asleep safely in my arms for the last 7 years and will continue to do so. Beautiful post!

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  26. this happened to my 4 year old boy this year.
    you can read about our horrible situation here --

    http://myhappymyfunny.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-emotions-have-been-fuzzy.html

    always always always protect your kids. you are a WONDERFUL mother.

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  27. A lovely post Casey. I to have similar fears. Mine started from an advertisement on TV for security screens for your windows and doors as a small child (they showed a robber pulling screens off the windows and stepping into the house). It didn't matter that I lived in the middle of rural Australia. I was convinced someone was going to step through my bedroom window. From that moment on I slept with my windows and door locked every night, even in the middle of Summer. Anyway - fast forward 20 years and it is still an issue for me. I am trying to overcome it almost as we speak. My husband started a new job on Monday working 5 hours away. This is my first week alone, and I must say I am quite sleep deprived and am waking up a million times a night, but I am starting to go to sleep with less anxiety and less lights left on in the house. The only thing that frightens me more than this - is the thought of me putting this fear on my children (when we have them). I know how long this has frightened me (I'm 24 now) and I am determined to overcome it, so that it is never an issue for my future children. So far so good...
    Thanks for sharing.

    Anna.

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  28. You and I have alot in common. We both hold our children so close. I love your heart.

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  29. Casey, I can only imagine how terrified you were as such a small child to hear such things and from a trusted caregiver. I have similar thoughts of not wanting my children to be alone in their own room for the fact of being abducted. I feel sick when they are so far away even though we live in such a small townhouse. They end up in our room by morning but I don't like them sleeping away from us. I may have shared this post with you before but it's one I did previously as a guest post them I reposted it to my blog and added photos. "Thoughts on Motherhood". I invite you to read it since I feel we have similar beliefs. :)

    http://salenalee.blogspot.com/2011/10/thoughts-on-motherhood.html

    xoxo Salena

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  30. That is so sad that she said that to you. I have had horrible babysitters too and I am nervous about having people watch my kids. I have struggled with fear and am currently reading What Women Fear by Angie Smith - it is sooooo good. Maybe you've read it. If not, I hope you do! xox

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  31. my goodness, WHO does that?! it hurts my heart to imagine you (or any child) being afraid like that. you are such an amazing mama. your babies are blessed.

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  32. Hey Casey!!!

    So I've read this post a couple of times and didn't know what to say in a comment. Then out of the blue the verse, "perfect love casts out all fear." came to mind. I have to tell myself that every now and then too...

    xoxo!!!

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  33. I was always afraid of night when I was little too. My dad would come in every night and he would sit with me and we would name off different characters from my favorite Disney movies. That would help me drift to sleep...next to my nightlight...with my door wide open...and I always had to FACE the door in case someone was coming towards my room, I could see them and run! I was always afraid of this. I am still afraid....I still check the door three times every night to make sure its REALLY locked. Fear can be so paralyzing....but God is always protecting. It is something that I struggle with remembering...but everything happens according to His plan and I need to trust in that and live life to the fullest! :) Thanks for sharing sweet Casey!

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  34. Aww Casey I'm sorry you have to experience that kind of fear as a child. Your children are blessed that you have such wisdom as to not let them experience the emotional trauma that you have gone through. You are a beautiful person inside and out. And you are such an inspiration. Always.

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  35. fear is such a horrible tyrant, i know. Lord have mercy on us, and cast out our fears with love! i have a post for you (in my brain!) and i wanna chat like tomorrow. or thurs. then i leave for OKLA on Fri. gonna call...

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  36. this is such a good post (and the cutest picture ever). first of all, i cannot believe that story about your babysitter. unreal. also, i have thought about this a lot. i don't have children yet but i feel like i will be the same way. maybe when the day comes that i have them, i will refer to this post. :)

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  37. Oh sweet friend, it truly is so important that we hold everything with open hands. But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you wanting to protect your babies and cherish them. Thank you for being honest in sharing your heart...and your hurts. xoxo

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  38. so true. I have had issues with fear; fear of death, fear of bad things happening to me in various places, accidents, fear while in the hospital, etc. but I have to meditate on the fact that God has planned out my life for me, and He alone will protect me and my loved ones! We can't live in fear and isolate ourselves just to keep "safe", we must put our trust in the Lord and make wise choices.

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  39. My jaw really did drop when I read what your babysitter did. That is crazy! Who does that?!

    I have always been afraid of the dark, I don't really know why though, it's just always been that way as long as I can remember. I'm not sure that I have ever really grown out of it either, sometimes I am fine, but other times I let my mind wander and I end up making myself scared again. I want to make it better for my children though, and make it so they aren't scared and don't have to be scared. It really makes you think about choosing babysitters for your children though!

    Lovely, inspiring story, thanks for sharing!

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  40. When I was around 5 I had a baby sitter who lived right next to us and whenever she would babysit me she would be very nice and then leave for a minute and put on a white mask with a tear on the cheek and sparkly red hair. In this persona she called herself "Framboise" (rasberry in french) and she scared the living crap out of me. She was evil, lucking me in the bathroom, telling me to be quiet or she would cut me in peices. This would last about an hour and then "Karine" would come back (take off the mask) and ask me what happended (I was stupidly convinced "framboise" took over "Karine"'s body). I told my mom so many times but she never beleived me. I was a baby sitter myself when I was a teenager but the kids adored me. I was not cruel with them. That girl.......I wish she realizes what she's done to me because really.....who does that?

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  41. i hope your parents didn't pay the sitter!! aw-ful.

    recently found your blog and love it. you inspire! thanks!

    also thanks for the tips on blogging... trying to start my own blog, and trying not to feel overwhelmed about it too!

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  42. Friend - I could have written this post. My hubby's a firefighter and works 2 - 5 days (and nights) in a row, and I swear some nights I stay up WIDE awake, completely paralyzed in fear. It's one of the biggest things I dislike about myself. I'm constantly trying to tell myself that He is in control, and protecting us. For some reason, I have a hard time remembering that during nights alone.

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  43. I really liked this post. It reminds me so much of myself, although it was my MOTHER that told me scary stories when I didnt want to hear them! I used to hate when the sun went down and I know exactly how you feel about wanting to lock up your family and stay safe indoors. I feel the same way about my little girl. I'm so pleased to know I'm not alone in my fearful thoughts! I know God has us all and we should just trust :)
    Thanks for the honest post :)

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  44. This is a GREAT post... exactly what I needed to read... thank you!! [What a HORRIBLE babysitter... ugh...That would traumatize me for sure!]

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  45. I could never explain that kind of feeling to anyone who understood. I have felt like that and still do on a daily basis. I have come to understand that it is part of my depression/anxiety that I have been fighting my entire life and never understood.
    What you described is something I have lived with for a long time and I can't pin point the event that spurred it. But as a child, you live it. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  46. just came across this post from your "on your heart" post today (May 25, 2012) and it totally resonated with me. not the exact same circumstances, but there have been many situations in my life that are jaw-drop unbelievable. so much so that i don't really remember much of my childhood... except for what i see in photos, which is a little weird to think about, but it's the reality. anyways, i loved the quote you have here from A Beautiful Offering, so decided to look up the book, and have already read the whole preview on Amazon! hopefully will be able to purchase this book sometime soon because it's so good. thanks for wearing your heart on your sleeve :)

    also - just realized that this was posted on my birthday this past year! wish i had been a follower of your blog then! I would have went and bought myself that book for a birthday present... now i have to wait for some other good excuse to spend $14 on a book :) hahah

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