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Facing Fear and Taking Flight: Learning to Overcome Helicopter Parenting

So many of us can identify with the burden of fear. It impacts each of us in different ways and has a direct influence on various areas of our life. Bethany has learned to face fear head on both literally and figuratively. As a flight nurse and a mom, Bethany has turned to Jesus to overcome fear and is sharing her story of freedom with us. It's an honor to have her share her story. 

Psalm 23 is a particular favorite for me. One of my earliest memories of this passage was in 4th grade and I was officially old enough to go to summer camp… overnight summer camp (super big deal to my 9-year old self)! Our church offered a $100 scholarship to all the kids who were able to memorize a certain number of verses and then recite them by memory. My mom picked Psalm 23 for us to learn.
To this day I remember spending hours in that springtime at a local park working slowly on hiding these words in our hearts. We’d pick up a boy who went to our Wednesday night classes as well (Earl was his name- super weird that I remember that since I’m terrible with names!), and spend a few hours playing and memorizing. We did this for a number of weeks. I remember these sessions like they were yesterday and I’ll never forget the sense of pride and accomplishment when I stood up and recited this chapter. What a day it was! At the time, I felt like the passage was at least 100 verses long- you know, one verse for every dollar earned? It would only be years later that I went back and noticed it is actually only six verses in length. Ha!


But what a powerful punch these six verses pack!

At it’s base, Psalm 23 is about fear. Or at least the very real possibility of fear.
I would argue that this one passage metaphorically ties up every. single. fear. that we as humans could ever have. Let’s take a quick look-
  • Fear of not having enough (v.1)
  • Fear about not having a place to stay or enough to eat (v.2)
  • Fear over stress and drama and safety (v.2)
  • Fear of fatigue, of ‘not enough’, of failure (v. 3)
  • Fear about sickness and death, persecution, and struggle (v.4)
  • Fear of not finding the right path, of going the wrong way or taking an incorrect turn (v.4)
  • Fear of ridicule, being misunderstood, of being forgotten and looked over (v.5)
  • Fear of a life of depression, shame, guilt, and hell (v.6)
Did I miss anything? I think this pretty well covers the gamut of possibilities right?

Make a mental note right now and re-read the checklist above. How many of these things do you fear over? 

It is interesting to me how our psalmist David, gives answer to all these fears. It would have been easy to leave them there on the page for us to ponder and chew over for all time- and yet he doesn’t do that. These words, though dripping with possible fears, worries, and anxieties are known together as one of the most peaceful passages in the Bible. It is famous for its serenity! Why? Because David places every single one of these potential fears under the umbrella of the Good Shepherd. The God-Shepherd!
Let’s go back to the passage and see what God provides to the equation-
  • He is our shepherd (caretaker, provider) (v.1)
  • He gives us rest (v.2)
  • He leads (v.2)
  • He restores (v.3)
  • He is with us, protects us, guides us (v.4)
  • He feeds and defends us (v.5)
  • He exalts and honors us (v.5)
  • He notices and blesses us (v.5)
  • He manifests good in us and for us (v.6)
  • He gives us salvation (v.6)
In short, Jehovah Raah (the Lord is my Shepherd) takes care of all the dangers, worries, and anxiety that could possibly occur.
And yet, 3000 years later… though a popular passage of scripture, we seem to have trouble believing its words. We still fear. A lot.
And moms who are reading this… we are the worst…

I want you to go back up now and re-read the first list. Put your kid(s) names in those fear boxes… how many of those fears do you harbor now?

If you’re anything like me, I don’t have much fear for myself, but my fear-o-meter has the potential to go off the chart when it comes to fearing about my kids. Anyone else out there with the same issues?
We have gotta stop being afraid dear ones!
This whole culture of fear that is so insidious and yet disabling to us has been on my heart and mind for going on 3 years now. I first started noticing it shortly after the birth of our second son when we finally got plugged inconsistently with a local church body. Time and time again I would be in discussion with parents (mothers in particular) or overhear in conversation this theme of fearing for and about our children. Women like to proudly throw around the term ‘helicopter mom’ as a badge of honor. We ‘hover’ over our kids because we fear for them; we think that our very close presence will, in fact, keep them safer. It’s a concept that we’ve as the Church have come to freely acknowledge and give a pass to (at best) and in many more cases celebrate and encourage (at worst).

Before I had you put your child’s name(s) under the fear list… now I’d ask you put their name under the promise list. Put them in the arms of the Good Shepherd. Claim His promises over their little lives.

Given a loose leash, our fears can easily outpace our ability to control them (if there even is such a thing!). We know all too well that we cannot do it all, as much as we’d like to try. But God can… and He promises to keep us safe, healthy, happy, peaceful and protected… even in the worst of circumstances. We have to let Him though!

Today will you let Him? Will you let Him with your children?

I am so grateful that these words of comfort, protection, and safety were planted deep into my little heart all those years ago. I find myself referring back to them often- these 6, short verses that hold so many peaceful guarantees. Take hold of these promises today dear ones. They are there for the claiming. Be fearful no longer, we are under the protection of the Mighty Shepherd, Jehovah Raah!

 **GIVEAWAY!**

Want to hear more about Bethany's story of overcoming Helicopter Parenting? Bethany's first book JUST LAUNCHED LAST WEEK for presale on April 1, 2017Helicopter Mom directly addresses the real life terror that all parents face with fearing for their children. Specifically designed for mothers, it gives a Christian, Biblical perspective on how to overcome these fears from the unique point of view of a helicopter flight nurse and mom who has vast experience in ‘hovering’. It takes lessons learned over years as a flight nurse and puts them into practical, every day, Christian applications. There are anecdotes, stories, aviation information, and more that all weave together to bring about Biblical lessons and encouragement that all parents can easily relate to. Each chapter takes helicopter and EMS/nursing stories and knits them into an ongoing narrative that slowly paints a full picture of how to overcome fear. It is a sassy, funny, in-your-face, yet spiritually grounded journey that will have people laughing and learning spiritual truths all at the same time. 
AND WE ARE GIVING ONE COPY OF THE BOOK AWAY! It can also be purchased at www.bethanyldouglas.com .

To enter, follow the instructions below! Giveaway closes 4/14/17.


Bethany is a thirty-something mom of 3 beautiful kids, 2 little boys and a baby daughter with some designer genes. She is a flight nurse by day, an author and blogger by night, and a mom, sister, daughter, friend, and speaker during the in-between times. Her family lives in southwest Missouri where they homeschool their oldest. They spend their summers at Camp Barnabas (a Christian camp for mentally and physically disabled children) where Bethany serves as the medical director.
Find out more about Bethany at her website or follow her on social media!
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