Two weeks ago our family took a trip to Orlando to see the Atlanta Braves Spring Training. We surprised the boys with an unexpected day at Disney on one of the off game days.
We arrived at the front gate before the sun had fully risen, one of the first to enter the opening gates. About 3 minutes into walking down Main Street at Magic Kingdom, Andrew moaned, “When can we finally go home?!”
My head whipped around as I looked at him astonished. “We JUST got here. This is Disney. It’s SO MUCH FUN!”
Here we go again, I thought to myself. This is not at all how this is supposed to happen. What kid isn’t thrilled at walking the streets of Disney? Look at all these other kids – smiling, happy, jumping with delight. And look at my child – sulking, pouting, clearly unhappy to be in this place where dreams come true.
As we made our way to Tomorrowland, we each took a turn selling Andrew on our day ahead. Arms crossed, arguing with everything, refusing to ride or even enjoy himself was his response to us.
Our saving grace was grandma, who sat with him while we rode rides. Once we promised him we would call grandpa to come pick him up, he was fine. He wanted out of magic land fast.
Apparently, Magic Kingdom isn’t magical for everyone.
Once his mood began to offer a glimmer of hope at lifting, my anxiety began to wane a bit. I tried desperately to squash the reminders in my head about how much money we wasted on his ticket. I tried to look for anything that would help me from speaking to him with such a frustrated tone of voice.
It wasn’t simply that Andrew wanted to be difficult. It wasn’t as if his 6 year old brain determined to ruin our day. It was fear. Simply fear.
Andrew fears rides. He can’t handle the thought of being strapped into a ride and losing all sense of control. Locking himself into a situation where he relinquishes every ounce of control and placing himself at the mercy of mechanics is not his idea of adventure.
As we walked along, Jacob said, “Mom, I’m so just sad for Andrew. I’m sad because he has no idea what he is missing. We know what he is missing. He will go home and never know how much fun he could’ve had today.”
“That is what fear does to us. It causes us to miss out on surprises God has for us, and we never know what could’ve been.”
The fact is fear wins in my life everyday. In little ways, ways I fail to see most days. I wonder what I miss out on each day because I’ve allowed fear to persuade me to stay in the shadows of what I think I know to be best for me.
We grabbed a couple of those Mickey Mouse ice creams and headed to the Jungle Cruise, but we were careful to eliminate the word “ride” from our vocabulary. “Come on, Andrew, let’s go hop on this boat after we eat our ice cream.”
Andrew loves boats. Andrew fears rides. We took a boat ‘ride’, and he loved every second of it because he thought it wasn’t a ride.
Isaiah 41:13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.
God doesn’t need to trick us. We just need to trust Him. Trust that He knows what is best. Trust that He wants the best for us.
He holds us by the hand. He tells us not to fear. Today, may we stop holding hands with fear, and hold His hand. Fear is our enemy, and fear persuades us to cling close by. God tells us to let go of fear, for He holds our right hand. He will help us.
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