Songs for My Anxious Child

I love mix CD’s. Daniel, of course, hates them. He wants to listen to a CD of one artist from beginning to end – no need to mix artists. A couples years ago, I asked Daniel to make me a mix CD for my birthday. He agreed to do that for me, and I got so excited thinking it’d be a sweet, romantic CD. . . . I can only blame myself for not being specific enough about the type of CD I wanted. Daniel made not 1, but 4 CD’s entitled “Missional Living.”

Don’t get me wrong, they were good CD’s. It just wasn’t what I needed at the time. I wanted to feel the butterflies you get when you’re dating, not conviction about fulfilling the Great Commission. Needless to say, if I want a mix CD, I’ll make it myself from now on. We both prefer it that way.

Songs are a beautiful way of communicating feelings and ideas. Lately, I’ve really been wanting to be able to communicate better with Sophia, my oldest. She has anxiety, and it can get pretty rough sometimes. Sure, all children have normal fears, but her fears can grow exponentially. She’ll get physically ill or break out with hives. Not cool. So, here are a few songs that make me think of my little fearful one.

1. Oh Happy Day – Fee 

This is Sophia’s favorite song (at the moment). They sing it at Sunday school, and I love it. Ps. 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” What better way can we start the day? Sure, we don’t know what each new day brings, but we know Who brings each day. He made it, and we can trust that everything God makes is good (Gen. 1:31a – And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good). So, instead of worrying about what new things may happen, we can praise God for the new (and good!) day He has made!

2. Just Say Jesus – 7eventh Time Down

Even knowing that God has created the day for us, things still can get overwhelming. Sophia is only four. I love this song, because sometimes you just don’t have words. Sophia isn’t always able to articulate what is bothering or scaring her at the moment. What a good reminder that, when she is anxious and overwhelmed, that she needs only whisper “Jesus.” He’s right there ready to rescue her. When Daniel and I don’t have the answer, Jesus is always “strong enough to save.”

3. Overcomer – Mandisa

1 Cor. 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Worry, whether we mean to do it or not, is a sin. Although Sophia may not understand this now, I know she’s not going through anything God knows she can’t handle. He has already equipped us to handle everything He allows us to go through. Change can be scary, and it may seem like things are completely out of control. God knows my little one struggles with letting fear envelop her. John 16:33 says, “‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'” If we trust in God, we are trusting in the One who has overcome the entire world! Jer. 31:17 – “Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” Because nothing is too hard for Him, nothing will be too hard for us when He lives in us!

4. Never Gone – Colton Dixon

What’d scary to most kids? The dark. Can’t say I blame them. When Daniel has gone on missions trips, the dark can seem pretty scary. Every shadow turns into a stranger inside the house coming to get me. And I’m an adult. (Well, “adult” may be subjective. I should say that I’m over 18.) If I still get scared, how much more would a child be scared? This song is such a good reminder that, even in our darkest times (our scariest moments), God is always there. We may not always feel His presence, but He is always with us. Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Even when Mommy and Daddy can’t be there, Sophia, God always is!

5. Find You in a Hurricane – Natalie Grant

The Sea of Galilee is situated in such a way that storms can come up suddenly with hurricane-like wind. When Peter stepped out on the boat to walk to Christ and was distracted by the waves around him, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. It’s not like Peter was an experienced surfer, let alone swimmer. Those would’ve been some serious waves he was seeing. With kids, it’s easy to not understand why things scare them. Why certain things make Sophia anxious, I may never know. BUT, I do know I have to understand that what may seem small to me is a hurricane to her, and she’s trying to walk in the middle of waves that are bigger than she is. The best thing I can teach her is that I know the One who is experienced at walking on water. He doesn’t expect Sophia to just get over her anxiety – He finds her amidst the struggle she’s going through then and there.

6. You Never Let Go – Matt Redman

This sums up my playlist for Sophia. I know the older she gets and the more she develops, the more songs I’ll have to add to this list. God holds us at all times. Nothing man can do can change that. John 10:29 – “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

So, as I finish this post, I realize that these songs aren’t just for Sophia. They’re for all of us who struggle with worry and anxiety. Worry is when negative hypotheticals consume our thoughts. Anxiety is when fear and worry become debilitating. Both are sin – they are our attempts to control, to assume the role of god in our lives. It’s funny the things you realize once you start writing (or typing).

As I pray for my daughter, I pray to be a godly mother who exemplifies Proverbs 3:5-6. “Lord, help me trust in you. Help me realize my own shortcomings in comparison to your infinite wisdom. Teach me to seek you out in every aspect of my life; let me be constantly aware that your presence is everywhere. Lord, let me only follow in your footsteps. Help me teach this to my children. Amen.”

 

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