So, I took my daughter to a party at our local ten pin bowling place. She had been really excited for a long time about going but as we walked through the door she looked at me and said that she didn’t want to bowl anymore. I assumed it was noise putting her off. I couldn’t hear the screaming 5 and 6 year olds because of the noise of the music and the crash of skittles being knocked over, but she insisted that wasn’t the problem.
The mum of the child whose party we were at was so nice about it. She still included my daughter’s name on the screen and the other children took her turns for her. Each time it was my daughters go I checked she still didn’t want a turn and each time she said no. Eventually the other children got bored and didn’t want the extra turns and so I took her go. After I had done this a few times I had a moment of genius (yes it does happen occasionally).
I told my daughter that I was going to use one of the ramps that the children were using for pushing the ball down. I asked her to stand next to me while I put the ball on and then we looked at the ball and then I grinned at her and said ‘do you want to push it’. She grinned back and pushed it and after that there was no stopping her.
The party overran and the other children had to go home but my daughter stayed for half an hour extra taking everyone’s turns to finish the game and she even had a go at throwing the ball rather than using the ramp. She bowled, I cheered, there were lots of high fives and we had a really great time.
As we were walking (okay, we skipped a bit too) back to the car I was telling her how proud I was and then I asked what she had been worried about and she said:
‘I was worried about not hitting any skittles’.
How sad is that, especially because the bumpers were up on the lane sides which make it impossible to miss. My daughter was so afraid of failure that she didn’t want to try but when she did eventually have a go, she had a lot of fun.
I wonder what we are afraid of? What are we missing out on in life because we are worried about failing?
Watching me do it and then having a go with me helped my daughter break through her fear. If you have identified something you are afraid of, could you ask someone to go through it with you to help you overcome it?
This was a special moment for my daughter and myself as we bonded. I believe that God wants to share in life with us, showing us how to live, living with and alongside us and also watching us and cheering us on. As we persevere in life and overcome difficulties I believe that God really does cheer us on as he watches us grow.
Let’s give our fears to God and let him lead us through them.