Fear came to live at my house this week. Not irrational fear, but reasonable, understandable fear.

My son, like so many children, has a form of asthma. Normally it is very well-controlled, and we hardly think twice about the regular inhaler he has used two puffs, twice a day, for going on 10 years now. But once in a great while, the beast rears its ugly head, and my beautiful, joyful son is suddenly unable to talk, barely able to breathe, silent tears dripping down his face as I hold him at my side, albuterol inhaler in hand, praying that each puff will ease his breathing. Scary.

I anticipated the beast for a week. My son has had a tenacious cold, a typical trigger for him. And when the crisis came, we followed our pediatrician’s prescribed action plan. Only this time, it just didn’t seem to clear up. He continued to cough and struggle. Scary.

Reality bites. We live 20 minutes from an ER or the arrival of an ambulance. Twenty minutes might as well be a lifetime when your baby can’t breathe.  Scary.

We made the ER trek, received the treatment needed, and went home with medication and a plan for the next few days to prevent relapse.  But when the plan was finished, the cough reared up again. Round two. Scary.

I’m not really sure at what point I let fear in.  On the way to the ER?  At night when I put my son to bed, wondering if he would have an attack during the night?  Going out with my husband for an hour, praying nothing would happen while my teenage daughter was in charge, even though she knows what to do?  Was it listening to the cough echoing through the house all day?

The truth is that some medical conditions are scary.  They really are life threatening, and the unknowns can be overwhelming.  As a parent of one of these special children, I do my very best to take care of him.  But at the end of the day there are just some things I cannot control.  I have to recognize that God loves him even more than I do, and I need to entrust my child into His hands.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  The Psalms have a lot to say about fear, but I’ve always felt that this one, Psalm 56:3-4, says it all.  When fear comes to live at my house, I make a conscious choice to put my trust in God, in His word, strength, love, and power.  I will.  It is my decision.  As my son continues to recover, he needs a mother full of faith, not fear.  So I make trust my companion and send fear out the door.

When you fear for your child, how will you respond?