If you are a worrier, raise your hand!
And read to find out how watching “Finding Dory” taught me to stop worrying. Once upon a time, there was a mother who claimed to have faith in God and in His will and mercy. And then, her only child started Summer Camp. For the first time. Ever. Subsequently, the proverbial Hell broke loose. Doubts and worries replaced Faith, as did flashbacks of every Criminal Minds episode her excellent memory could conjure up. Hours seemed longer than their supposed 60 minutes’ duration. I consulted the clock every minute and a half until pickup time rolled around.
But the pickup ritual actually started 45 minutes before its time, as this “faithful” mother waited anxiously in her car to pick up the apple of her eye. The camp monitors looked younger than newborns, and I questioned their capability to shield my child from harm in internal debates, where my irrational fears yelled louder than reason and won every argument.
As the first week was ending, a new danger loomed its ugly face to confront me: THE WEEKLY OUTING.
Never had so few letters frightened me more.
An outing? To Where?
The local beach.
The local what????
You mean an outing where my child will ride a bus (cue in series of horrific bus accidents rolling in front of my eyes like a movie reel) then go to a beach (cue in all articles about drowning, dry drowning, symptoms of water in lungs) and then play in the nearby park (hello all news headlines about kidnappings and lost children, long time no scare!).
No thank you, my child will stay with me on the day of the outing, where he will be safe and sound. Even better, we will go watch Finding Dory! There! Who needs a fun day at the beach with kids his age and an opportunity to develop autonomy and confidence? With his mommy, he goes!
And so we went and enjoyed the movie and I was feeling smug about my wisdom in shielding my son from the dangers that awaited him at the beach. On our way out, he let go of my hand. His plan was to hide behind a poster and “startle” me as I walked by him, unsuspecting of his presence. As far as plans go, his plan seemed brilliant to him.
At this point, the seconds seemed longer than days. As luck would have it, a soccer team was exiting the hall just as I was trying frantically to make my way out to look for him, and they hindered my search. I called out his name in vain. He was hiding, after all. I searched for him while gripping fear had me in a choke-hold.
How incredibly ironic, I thought: losing your child after watching a movie about a child searching for the parents she lost and after denying your child the chance of a fun outing because of fear of losing him.
If God wanted to make a point, it was game set and match–a million times over. Thirty seconds after “losing” him, he emerged from his hiding place. He found me. My heart started beating again. It had stopped, I am sure it had stopped. I felt relief and gratitude–the moment passed briefly as I had important business to attend to–discipline and admonishment.
But then I had time to reflect on my folly once those parenting tasks were out of the way. My all too natural and maternal folly. I had found him or he had found me. The question remains, when will I finally LOSE my fear, let go of my worries, and surrender to the Peace that our Lord promised us? This movie made me commit to the promise to worry less and pray more.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians4:6-7).
Other articles you might enjoy: Saint Marina and our Miracle Baby
Additional Coptic resources on this topic: Be Anxious For Nothing
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