I came home from work the other day to a story from my three year old about how she was playing outside and fell and got a fat lip. Then, when she smiled an adorable little smile I realized the fall caused much more than a fat lip. Her two front teeth were damaged as well.
In a panic, I called the dentist and he told me since it had happened earlier in the day it was too late to move the teeth back into place. Instead, I would have to take her to see a pediatric dentist the next day and have them gas her and move the teeth back into place by force.
My heart sank at the thought of how painful that would be for her. All evening, my mind raced with endless worries regarding this situation…
She would be starting school in a few weeks. What if they can’t fix her teeth and kids make fun of her?
What if her permanent teeth are damaged?
What kind of pain is she going to be in?
What if my husband forgot to add the kids to the dental plan and we have to pay for all of this out of pocket? How much will it cost?
It didn’t take long for Skylar to see right through me. Every time she smiled at me with her front tooth sticking out awkwardly between her lips, she would ask me, “Mommy, why are you looking at me like that?” Oops, I guess I wasn’t hiding my fear at all. At that moment I had a choice to make. Was I going to be a model of faith or fear?
Heartfelt prayers for my daughters to develop an unshakable faith have been at the top of my prayer list lately, and at that moment, staring at the crossroads between faith and fear, I knew that choosing faith would lead Skylar down the road of developing faith.
We are all faced with this choice daily. There are scary things happening all around us, and the world is watching. What will we model? Faith or fear?
That day, as I turned my back to fear and walked the path of faith, I learned that modeling faith is as easy as choosing to replace the what ifs with three simple steps.
Once I had resolved to walk the path of faith, I started praying. We prayed as a family with Skylar and asked Jesus to go before her into the dentist and to take care of every detail. We can run to Jesus with all the what ifs, fears, and concerns. I believe that, and I want my kids to believe that as much as I do!
2. Take God at His word and proclaim it.
The morning of Skylar’s appointment God led me to Deuteronomy 33:27 which says, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” As we drove to the dentist office, I started proclaiming that verse out loud so that Skylar could hear me, and I believed that He would be holding her the whole time. Picturing our loved ones in the arms of the Everlasting leaves no room for fear!
3. Walk it out.
As we pulled into the dentist office I put on my brave smile, grabbed my girl by the hand and led her into the dentist office in full faith that Jesus had this all under control. The coolest thing about it, aside from the fact that He did in fact have it all under control, was that I witnessed Skylar walking in strength, courage, and, most of all, faith. Faith is contagious.
Are you at a crossroad between faith and fear today? If so, I challenge you to turn your back to fear, and take those three simple steps to modeling faith. I can tell you the path to faith will take you a lot further than fear will. Fear ends in a dead end. Choose faith!