You know what? I am tired of being afraid. I'm tired of keeping my voice down, of finding terror in every little scrape or bruise my little girls acquire from a busy day of playing. I'm tired of over-thinking every word that comes out of my mouth or keyboard. I'm tired of trusting in myself to keep my family together.

I haven't told you what happened, not because I'm a private person (obviously, I'm not or I'd have a lot less words recorded on this blog), but because I've learned to fear.

Even now, I'm questioning the wisdom in telling you. Is it wise? I'm going to stop and ask God before I type any further, and if He says no, I'll delete this, and no one will ever know that I started to write a blog post tonight.

Because of Liberty's burn and our call to 911 and her ambulance ride to the burn hospital, our family was investigated for child abuse. Since then, I have had countless, innocent friends, neighbors, even strangers come to tell me, almost always in secret, that they too have been investigated in the past. In fact, the social worker assigned to our case told me that SHE had been investigated when HER children were small. I know the police and social workers care about children, and if I'm thinking rationally and detach myself from the picture, I am thankful that someone is checking on kids' safety.

But don't check on MY KIDS.

Don't threaten MY FAMILY'S togetherness.

MY kids are loved and safe (you know, except for the occasional horrific burn accident...) Sorry, that was meant to be a joke. Did it not come across as funny? I did tell you that my favorite coping mechanism is laughing, right?

Anyway, the fear that moved into my house has not just stolen my joy and killed my light-heartedness. It has choked my relationships. It has destroyed my playfulness. Part of me wants to wrap my children in bubble-wrap (popping those plastic bubbles would keep them busy for a while) and surround them with feather pillows until they are at least eighteen. But I suppose the child protection agencies would frown on that sort of thing, huh?

That is precisely what I am afraid of. I'm afraid that the government has more power over where my children grow up than I do as their parent and that they may frown on me. I'm afraid that any one single accident or tumble or ANYTHING could be the last time I ever see my children. I know that is not what the social worker intended by visiting us, and I know that she went out of her way to be kind and worry-relieving. I know that some of the investigation was just routine because the accident involved a small child. I know that my fears are irrational...well, maybe I don't know that my fears are irrational.

But there's Someone else I know.


I know that He is more powerful than any child protection agent. I know that He has the power to keep my children safe no matter where they grow up.

(Liberty and Mercy are NOT in danger of being taken from us. I just wanted to clarify that point. The investigation proved that this was just a fluke accident, but it stirred something inside me that hasn't calmed down.)

At least, it had not calmed down until tonight. Our Ladies' Bible Study class is starting a series by Beth Moore called Living Beyond Yourself, and tonight, Beth mentioned a Bible verse that God used to talk directly to my heart.

John 10:10 - "The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they [anyone who trusts Me] may have life, and have it to the full."

Have it to the full? I'm barely sure that I have life at this point! The thief has definitely stolen and killed and destroyed quite a bit this past month. I used to live life very fully. What changed?
My focus. I started focusing on the waves around me threatening drowning and causing fear, but God is bigger than the waves!

Living Beyond Yourself is an appropriate title for this study because left to my own control, what else would I focus on? It's natural to see the waves and try to avoid them. But when avoiding them is taken out of my control, I don't have to fear!

I can live using the Holy Spirit's power that God has given to me. I don't have to be afraid anymore! I can be joyful! I can live fully and allow my children to live fully! (Bubble wrap can still be part of the picture, but only if it's not used as clothing.)

3 Responses
  1. Rachel Says:

    That's horrible Missy. Is everything going to be ok? Please tell me when I can call you. I'm praying.

  2. Oh yes, everything IS okay, Rachel! Liberty's burn is healing completely. The doctors think she won't even have scars! The social worker and detective completed their investigation, realized it was totally an accident and closed the case. It was just me who continued to struggle, but now, God has taken care of me, too! Thank you for praying for us! You can call me anytime after 9 on weeknights or Sunday afternoons are great too.

  3. Suanna Says:

    Thank you for sharing, Missy. We've been praying for you and your family.

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