Fear is Fear

“I had a terrible nightmare last night……” my oldest son answered in response to my standard morning inquiry into the boys’ nightly sleep.

“Uh-oh, what happened?” I asked, absolutely sure my nearly 11 year old son’s version of a ‘terrible nightmare’ looks something like a monster under the bed, falling off our bridge while fishing, or a broken bone preventing him from playing hockey.

“There was this dog monster with huge tentacles, and I don’t know where you were but dad, the brothers and I were fighting it and……” he goes on to describe the way this beast pretty graphically kills his dad.

His retelling of this vivid picture in his mind blindsided me into the realization that our kids have real fears. Fears that look a lot like my own of losing my husband or one of my boys.

Our family loves Jesus and as such we believe ‘perfect love casts out fear’ {1 John 4:18}.


So I took a few moments with my son to talk with him about our mind’s tendency to run wild as we sleep and our faith in God’s promises in which we can draw comfort. Without a second thought he was on to the next order of the day, planning breakfast and soliciting from me how much school was required of him in the hours to come. It was just a scary dream to him, something temporary we all must deal with from time to time. It is I who am struck into examining what seems like very grown-up fears in the little boys who are turning into men right before my eyes.

As parents of the homeschooling variety I believe our fears and insecurities reach into every corner of our lives. I worry what will happen to my kids’ education if something were to happen to me. I often fear the choices their dad and I are making could leave them unprepared for some life situation or vocation. I concern myself with curriculum choices, family disapproval, societal misconceptions,  learning difficulties, scheduling insanity, the meshing of faith/life/play/learning, preparations for the real world while maintaining a sort of protection from it and so, so much more.

My husband and I consider homeschooling a great responsibility and work very hard not to make decisions based on fear alone but it’s impossible not to worry about the consequences of failure. My son’s dream reminded me of the great challenge we all must undertake. We mustn’t allow our fears and insecurities paralyze us.


Fear can motivate us, prompt life changes, indicate areas we need to surrender to God and allow us to discover previously untapped strength and perseverance.


I appreciate the circumstance that brought me to this place of reflection today and hope others out there can relate and be encouraged. Fear is real for persons of all ages in all stages, let’s not allow it to overcome!

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  1. Hello Danielle, nice to meet you. I home school my twins with a little guidance from my wife. She has many of the concerns that you mention here, especially the one about if something were to happen to us. I believe that God will not take us until our mission is completed (educating our kids) and even if He does, He will look after our children. After all, they are only on loan to us and belong to Him.

  2. Often I shrug off what my kids tell me thinking that they don’t really know stress or fear yet. But you are absolutely right – what they feel is real. I feel bad for shrugging off their feelings. I have one child who is a bit of a hypochondriac so I think I have just gotten into a bad habit. But maybe he has issues because he just needs some attention. So thank you for the reminder to stop and really listen and care. What is ironic is I am constantly telling the kids that the babies really have feelings too and that a person’s a person no matter how small. i guess I need to take my own advice!

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