(Here's part 1 of a series of blogs written by one of our own members, Renee Whorton, as she's reading Paul David Tripp's A Quest for More. Check back soon for more blogs from our guest authors this summer.)
Less than a month ago, our oldest son got his driver’s license. In that moment when my precious son drove his vehicle away from our home - with our other son in the passenger seat, no less - all of my fears took on a life of their own and began to shout mercilessly at me. I was kidding about this event driving me to drink. But the anxiety it produced may or may not have caused my husband to suggest such a solution. It is no accident that I am reading A Quest for More (Tripp) during this stage of parenting.
God has been patiently and consistently growing me over the past two years as he has exposed old wounds again from a traumatic car accident in high school. Fear has come in great big waves instead of manageable whispers, particularly when Jackson became a student driver. My “Comin’ to Jesus”, so to speak, has been wonderful and painful (as all discipline and healing should be from a loving Father). Idols are slowly being pried from my white-knuckled fists, as I learn to parent a teenager with ever-growing independence.
In A Quest for More, Tripp masterfully describes the two kingdoms that we choose to live for: the little kingdom of self vs. the larger kingdom of God. I was deeply convicted as I was reading chapter 4. It stated, “This way of living (focusing on my needs or the kingdom of self) is always riddled with anxiety and fear. You see, I will never be able to control all things that need to be controlled in order for me to guarantee that all of my needs will be met…I will always struggle with the anxiety that comes from the realization of how small the circle of my control actually is.” Yes, there’s the rub. Fear usually boils down to a lack of control or essentially, a lack of faith. As Jack drives away in the rain, drives farther away from home, gets his first job that requires traveling back and forth, and settles into more social events with friends, I get opportunities as well. I get to come to the foot of the cross and preach the gospel to myself, remind myself who our Creator is and who I am, and build my trust and faith. It’s a daily renewal and I am so thankful. My prayer life is never quiet!
Ann Voskamp says, “The answer to anxiety is the adoration of Christ.” And that same idea is the premise of Tripp’s book. He goes so far as to say that “this constricted little kingdom (of self) will crush my humanity.” We were not designed to live for anything outside of the glory of God. Being reminded of this truth has led to repentance and growth, but it has not produced a fearless Momma overnight. However, I can testify that reflecting on the work of my Redeemer and his saving grace, purposing to live for His glory and not my own (“the larger kingdom”), and continuously surrendering my children to their heavenly Father has developed a growing peace and joy in me. I am so thankful for the Lord’s mercy. And just in time…in three months, we will have another student driver!
“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”