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Freedom Came
I wake up suddenly to find my daughter’s little face peering at me from just beyond the mattress. She’s had a bad dream and needs some comfort.

In her dream, she says, her bike was across the street by the neighbor’s house, and her father was working in the garage, presumably with the door wide open.

Her words confuse me because I’ve just been roused from a deep sleep. What on earth is scary about this scene from her dream?

“What if someone steals the bike?” she whispers in my ear.

That was it.

The “scary” part of her dream was her fear that someone might steal her bike, even though that was highly unlikely.

OK, now I’m wide awake.

I worried a lot as a child and young adult, so much so, that my five older siblings gave me the nickname “Worry Busby.”

Ironically, or perhaps not, freedom from that stranglehold came as I prayed for God’s will, not mine, to be done . . . as my husband and I tried to get pregnant. As it turned out, God’s will did not include conception for us. Instead, it included the miracles of adoption, and, for me, of being released from my lifelong struggle with worry.

My daughter, who is only nine, is a planner. She always thinks ahead and likes to have contingencies for every situation. But this time, planning hadn’t invaded her dreams; worry had. And her appearance in my room that night was a wake-up call, in more ways than one.

It was a stressful season, and I had slipped back into my old habit. Worry.

I was agonizing about an insurance issue that was beyond my control. I can’t prove that my daughter was troubled about possibly losing her bike in her dream because I was worrying about insurance. Given my history, though, the timing hardly seemed coincidental. Kids pick up vibes from their parents, and the ones emanating from me during that time were especially anxious.

Hence, the wake-up call.

As much as I am able, I must be vigilant about not passing on to my children something that had been so debilitating in my own life. And so I return to the only thing that works every time when fear starts creeping in.

I pray, “Not my will, but yours be done.

Over and over, I repeat the words Jesus uttered in the garden just before His crucifixion . . . until the worry flees and God’s peace floods my soul once again.

I take my daughter back to bed, armed with hugs and the assurance that Daddy would never let anyone take her bike right out from under his nose. Then I return to sleep myself, eternally grateful that my own heavenly Father “has not given [me] a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Lois Flowers

A former journalist, Lois is mom to two lovely girls and wife to a truly good man. Lois lives in a Midwestern suburb where, when she’s not helping someone with homework, she loves to garden, write, think and pray.

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