"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord you God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
I believe teaching our sons the meaning of courage will be another lesson that I think of as simple, yet very complex. In so many things, courage & bravery are simply 'feeling the fear but doing it anyway'. When we are afraid of what is to come, but we move through it anyway, that is courage. Is it easy? No, and there in lies the complexity.
Today I had new experience. My son had a cavity. ((A CAVITY. (the horror) HE'S FOUR)) I never had any cavities as a child, and simply put, did not consider them a threat to my boys at all. I took for granted that they would not have any, because I did not have any. I was not a disciplined child in oral hygiene by any stretch of the imagination. It was genetic fortune.
But today I was absolutely sick about taking my son to have a cavity drilled & filled. One instance where it is very difficult not to feel completely guilty as a mother for this kind of 'causal' result. The dentist very kindly told me it was a groove in the tooth, at a point where it touched the next, not caused by neglect. Do I feel better? I would love to believe that there was nothing I could have done 'better', but I don't. (I was torn on writing today about courage or regret, the latter will follow).
My son (and in some motions his mother) was brave today. He was afraid & did not like the procedure by the end. There were tears, and thankfully I was able to contain all of mine. I didn't want to make it worse for my son; I didn't want him to know I was sad or afraid for him. Not that showing my emotions to my son is always prohibited, but in this instance, I felt I must be brave for him. That my courage may bolster his courage.
I told my son this afternoon, as he rested up with a movie & a smoothie, that he was brave. He said, "but I cried a little bit." and I told him that it was because he was afraid, but did it anyway, that he was brave. He gave a little giggle & grin, and he let he hug him gently. I told my boy I was proud.
Lord, I am so grateful for your presence. That you will never leave me nor forsake me. That you go with me, that I might not be terrified. Lord, I pray that my presence would have that effect in a small way for my boys. That as I go with them, now as children, that their courage could be strengthened. That somehow I could mirror that attribute of you Lord, that you go with us & never forsake us. You call us to courage & strength, and to stand in the face of fear. Lord that we may feel the fear, even in the small things like going to the dentist, and do them anyway. Lord that you would continue to build my faith, and theirs too Lord. Amen.