I am brilliant at worry. It’s a gift really—a family heirloom you might say. Having children refined this gift to grandmaster status.
Granted, raising three kids in Africa gave me an edge that many in my peer group haven’t had, so I’m not sure it’s fair to gloat too much. After all, we had armed men try to break into our house, a suicide bomber blow himself up a few blocks from our house, and a whole slew of potential illnesses, that people were dying from, literally at our fingertips.
The worry over my children is the hard part for me. In Africa, when my children got a fever the possibilities were mind-numbing. Malaria was always a fear, which is why we slept under mosquito netting, but dengue, Ebola, and every illness we vaccinate for were all possibilities.
Of course my mind ran the gauntlet of imaginable diseases with every fever. I have so much in common with Nemo's father.
I’m stunned really, that I haven't' worried myself into oblivion. I did come close with my third pregnancy. It was so different from the other two that every day was a battle of wills between my sanity and my fears. I felt like I was warring with the devil.
“Worry” is really just a polite way of saying “fear,” and quite frankly, I’d like to pitch them both from my life.
I can’t blame it on my experiences in Africa either, after all, there are plenty of Africans living in situations far worse and they manage to survive without fretting themselves into a tizzy. Nor have I seemed to curb it since returning to the States.
My mind knows the disadvantages of letting fear control me, but the rest of me hasn’t agreed with it yet.
Fear is a weapon. According to the scriptures, fear and charity, like light and dark, can't occupy the same place at once. I certainly recognize that faith and fear can’t co-exist, so my fear wallowing has come at a high cost.
I must somewhat superstitiously feel that thinking through every fearful possibility gives me some kind of control over the outcome. In actuality, it leaves me utterly susceptible to despair.
I suppose it’s a control I’m not willing, no, not faith-full enough to surrender. I’m not sure when I will be, but I hope I figure it out before I pass it on to my children. It’s one family heirloom I’d like to auction to the highest bidder—a penny would do.
" . . . The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally. . . . " - The Family: A Proclamation to the World
Hop on over to A Well Behaved Mormon Woman and Chocolate on My Cranium to see what they have to say during our Family Proclamation celebration!
J. blogs about her three precocious children, gluten-free living, life as a nomad and other random things at cygnusopus.blogspot.com.