By Libbo Crosswhite
In this sorority known as motherhood, it’s customary for moms of older children to do us young moms a favor and prepare us for the next stages. The motherhood bond is indeed strong. We often find ourselves at war, and let’s be real, we all need all the help we can get. From the strangers at Target who are with me in solidarity as they watch me navigate two tantrums at once in the toy aisle to the friend who will share a good laugh/cry with me when I need to somehow do both at the same time—motherhood is certainly a sisterhood of stages.
I will never forget a few years ago having a mom friend tell me to wait as long as I could before I let my oldest, Mary Thomas, see the movie Frozen. She warned of the impending takeover. She far undersold the obsession to follow this Christmas when the Crosswhites met Ana and Elsa. We are forever changed. Russell is now only referred to as Olaf. I am always Ana, even when I beg to be Elsa. Dad is Kristoff when life is good and Prince Hans when Mary Thomas is in trouble. After much prayer, we have accepted our fate that it is not yet time to let it go.
I may be alone in this but, sometimes I feel like one of those NASCAR pit crew members fulfilling a hasty after school routine of snack, play, whine for no reason from 4-5 p.m., dinner, bath, TV (whoops), etc., only to get up and do it all over again on the racetrack of life the next day.
During one of those autopilot days, God used Mary Thomas to teach me a thing or two about my Frozen heart. As I was drying Mary’s hair, she grabbed my arms to stop my furious towel drying, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Mom, what are you so afraid of?” Not knowing what exactly to say, I just laughed and kept drying. It began to make a little more sense once I realized that Mary Thomas was quoting the ever-so-dramatic moment of Ana and Elsa on the mountain top and not actually asking a philosophical question about my fears, hopes, and dreams.
If I am honest, my own fears can be boiled down to two things—I’m afraid that I’m missing it and I am afraid of failure. What if I miss the journey right before me because I allow the world to tell me what success means for my motherhood, for my marriage, or for my bank account? Lord knows none of these are where I would like them to be. And geez, what if I fail? Wait no, what if I continue to fail?
We have been sold the lie that our fears are bigger than the good in this world. That our fear should dictate how we operate day to day. Fear keeps us from having real, genuine conversations with people that are different than us. Fear keeps us from fully allowing God to work in our lives because we are afraid of what that might cost us—really and truly dropping it all and living a life seeking love over hate, humility over self, Christ over the world.
In God’s ultimate mercy and quite honestly, subtle humor, He calls us to do one thing in Psalm 103. He calls us to fear Him. As pastor Judah Smith so eloquently puts it, “Fear does not mean terror. It means total awe. We should live in a state of awe at the magnificence, the beauty, and the majesty of the Creator of the universe. And in that state, we walk with Him, we trust Him, and we respond in love to Him.” Our fear of God tells the world that we choose goodness—we choose a life that isn’t easy or glamorous, but that is rich and full of the gospel. Full of Jesus’ promise to rescue us from our own selves.
This issue highlights some outstanding, talented, Christ-seeking high school seniors that have chosen the narrow path of fearing God. I happen to know a few of these kids personally and their stories are just the beginning of their journey in fearing the Lord. And you want to know the best part? There are more of them out there! Don’t let our world fool you, we are bringing up a strong generation of believers that not only know God but want to fear God and in turn, follow His path for their life. How encouraging in my early stages of motherhood. We have an incredible opportunity to walk with our kids through the highs and lows of life with one goal in mind—have our kids’ faith be bigger than their worldly fears.
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Brandon and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 2 years old and a son, Russell, who is 6 months old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy.