By Lynette Carpenter
I raced into the living room at the sound of my two-year-old daughter, Amy, crying desperately for help. My heart was pounding as different scenarios of what I might find took shape in my mind. We were in the middle of remodeling our home and, with all the tools lying around, who knew what that busy little girl had gotten into!
As I turned the corner, I stopped. There, lying in the middle of the floor, lay Amy; arms wrapped tightly around her baby brother, Corey.
"Help, Mommy," she cried. "Corey gonna fall in the hole."
"Hole?" I thought. "What hole?"
Looking around at the newly carpeted floor, I was completely confused as to what "hole" Amy could have been talking about. She pointed over to the corner at the far end of the living room, and I noticed that the register cover had not been replaced since the carpet had been installed.
"Amy," I said, "Corey is not going to fall in that hole--it is too small. And besides, he can't crawl yet. How do you expect him to GET to the hole?"
She continued to lie there with her arms around the infant; Corey squirming beneath her tight grasp.
"Let him go," I said.
"No, Mommy! Corey fall in the hole," she again insisted.
"Well, Mommy is here now, so you don't have to worry about it," I explained. But Amy continued to lie there, looking deathly afraid at what might happen to Corey if she were to let go.
No amount of talking could convince her that the baby was not even capable of getting to the hole, much less falling into one that small.
Needless to say, we had a good laugh over how silly her worries were.
Several months later, Corey was scooting all over the house, and I often heard Amy worrying about Corey "fallin down da tairs." When he first started to crawl, we bought a little gate to block off our stairway, but at naptime I often took it down so I could run up and down the stairs without the gate's interference.
One afternoon, Corey was playing with the toys in the living room. Our stairway, which is in the kitchen, was not blocked off that day, and Amy began to worry. She ran in circles hollering for SOMEBODY to put the gate up. I was sitting at the table right next to the stairs and, knowing that Corey was not in any immediate danger, I continued with my work.
"Mommy, Corey gonna fall down da tairs," she cried.
"I'll get him," I replied as I opened the mail.
"Mommy!" she insisted. "Corey gonna fall down da tairs!"
"Amy," I said, "I am right here. Corey is going to be alright. He is still in the living room, and he would have to crawl through the dining room to get to the stairs. I won't let him fall! He's gonna be ok!"
That said I went into the dining room to fold a basketful of laundry. Corey came and sat at my feet, chewing on his fingers and jabbering to anyone who cared to listen.
Turning to take some towels to the kitchen, I saw Amy, spread out on the floor, trying to do the splits in front of the stairs. She didn't see me watching her, and I could hear her singing a little song. Over and over she sang, "I'm da gate, I'm da gate, I'm da gate."
I started to laugh, but touched by her love for her brother, I put the gate up to save her from any more worries that day.
By watching Amy as she tries so hard to protect her baby brother, I have learned a valuable lesson. You see, worry had been a real struggle for me. Too often, I would find myself lying in bed at night with worries dancing around in my head....
What if one of us gets sick?
What if one of us gets killed?
What if we run into financial trouble?
My worries ran from the realistic to the totally outrageous. The verses in the Bible that deal with worry have been underlined and read over and over again. But with the birth of each child, it seemed that my worries only grew.
Finally one day, in the midst of my worrying, I called upon the name of Jesus and asked Him to help me stop worrying. Soon, He brought a picture to my mind. I remembered seeing Amy, sprawled out in the living room, holding onto Corey so he wouldn't fall in the hole. Her worry was unfounded. Corey couldn't move, plus her daddy and I were right there, ready, willing, and able to catch him, if he somehow, miraculously, even got close to that hole.
Next, I thought of the day that Amy lay down in front of the stairs, scared that Corey would fall down them. Again, she was worrying unnecessarily. I was right there! Corey couldn't move nearly as fast as I could, and because of the love I have for him, I would never purposely let him fall down a flight of stairs. I was watching over Corey, and as far as the stairs were concerned, I had everything under control.
God showed me, that day, that I look a lot like Amy. Wasting my time, sprawled out on the floor, hanging on to my worries. He showed me that He is right there beside me, watching over me, and that He isn't going to let anything happen to me that isn't for my good. He has everything under control.
This isn't to say that none of my worries would happen. No, I will be the first one to say that bad things do happen in life. But worrying constantly, about something that may or may not happen, isn't going to do me a bit of good.
Amy was wasting her time worrying about Corey, when she could have been off playing with her toys. In the same way, God helped me to see that I was wasting each precious day worrying, when I should be thanking Him for life and the wonderful family He has blessed me with.
Now that gives me joy!
Lynette Carpenter is a young mother of three beautiful children, Tyler, Amy, and Corey. She has been married to Tim for 8 years. Lynette says that the Lord has brought them through a lot of trials, but through it all, they have grown closer to God, and to each other. If you would like to write to Lynette, you can do so through the Letters page of this Magazine.