By Lauren Humphries, Chosen Volunteer
Perfect love casts out fear.
Georgie was a loving, kind, and obedient child. The only thing was, even the smallest of corrections would cause him to become super upset, way more than seemed necessary for the situation at hand. He would cry and scream anytime an adult asked him not to do something minor. He would throw the biggest fits over a one minute time out. We tried to help him through these times, predict the behaviors, and help him see how to fix it, but we couldn’t get to the bottom of why small things could seem so big to him.
Finally, after what seemed like half the night, he was able to talk with us. The first thing he asked, with little fear-filled eyes, was, “Will I still be in trouble tomorrow?”
Wow. My brain had no concept that this little, sweet, independent boy could be so afraid of being in trouble tomorrow, and then it finally clicked. He had come from an environment where there wasn’t a guarantee of the end of trouble. He didn’t know what would happen when someone would get home from work; he didn’t know how long the anger would last. His fits were fear-based; he would escalate so quickly because of the fear of what he had previously experienced.
As soon as we understood that, we were able to change our ways to help him see that the trouble would end, and he was able to sit in timeout without any issues and get up and go play. Once he knew we would help him through that fear, the behaviors dropped away.
It looks like going with them to doctors appointments or financial aid meetings. Standing beside them as they navigate new things that are oftentimes scary and overwhelming for young people. It looks like forgiveness when mistakes are made, openness about your own strengths and weaknesses, and understanding and grace when there is pain. Jesus is our best example, which is pretty hard to compare to; but what a gift that God actually wants each of us to be an example of Jesus’ love in someone else’s life! The most amazing part is that when there is fear, we can always point them back to our hope in the “perfect love" that casts out fear.