One of the hardest challenges I have faced, as a parent, is watching my child go into a dangerous situation. Whether they are traveling through a snow storm, on lockdown at school due to a threat or facing brain surgery, my hurt lurches as I consider what could happen.
I can tell you though, that having them survive danger and then having to witness them revisiting that same danger, well that is the worst of all. I experienced this type of fear when our (foster) son was on leave from deployment in Afghanistan. The sigh of relief we breathed when he arrived safely home was replaced quickly by fear as we waited for him to board the plane that would take him back into harm's way.
This time, we knew what going through deployment was like (for us and for him). We felt that we had been blessed by the first half of deployment ending safely... would we be blessed again the second half? It was a frightening, no longer abstract, prospect. Thankfully, we were blessed again and he has since finished his time in the army.
I find myself, once again, faced with this type of fear. Another one of my sons had struggled with a loss of faith and some terrible issues in his life. I prayed like St. Monica, with tears, for six years. He then had a tremendous reversion and I felt my heart would burst with joy and relief. Lately, I have witnessed that faith and those good choices lagging again.
I fear for his life and his soul. It was with a heavy heart that I went to Mass this morning. Then, God gave me this promise in the first reading...
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. 1JN 4:18
"Perfect love drives out fear." God IS perfect love. The fear referred to is of punishment, in this case it is my fear of my son's punishment and God drives out fear!! I will continue to pray and fast for my son, but I MUST trust in God's mercy. I have seen it in action so many times and I must trust in it, in Him and in the foundation of faith we instilled in our children. So that I may once again witness my son's safe return! God bless.