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If you have spent any time around a two year old, there is one phrase you are sure to hear repeated over and over again: “No, no – don’t run!”  And with that phrase comes the urgent tone of a parent or guardian wanting their little tyke to slow down so they don’t fall and get hurt.  Now, as our children grow older, I know there are times when we have used this same phrase. As they become adolescents, teens and young adults, we find ourselves saying, 

“No no, don’t run” – but for reasons that are very different.

We still don’t want them to fall and get hurt…but now it is more about what they want to learn or achieve…rather than a skinned knee.

It is like my daughter Amanda, whose passion while growing up was riding and showing horses. But as she progressed and began to compete at higher levels of hunter-jumper riding events – there came one unusual Saturday morning. The girl who on show days was always excited to get going and up at the crack of dawn was slow to rise Tearfully began to say she didn’t feel good, but as I tried to keep her moving and getting ready, I could tell there was more than a tummy ache going on.

We sat and talked on the edge of her bed and the truth began to spill out. I could tell she was feeling “in over her head”. She was frightened, uncertain, wondering if she had what it takes?

Now this was a young girl who had a room full of ribbons and trophies. She was a good little rider.

But now, perhaps for the first time, she had met that big, ugly bully that stands in the way of all great success and accomplishment…IF we let it?!?

My little girl, had met FEAR!

So, now what Lord? How do I help her with this?

I got one word, “Remember”.  As God has often done with me…I asked my daughter to remember.  Remember the times when she had been afraid to go in the ring…but did it anyway.  Remember the times when she didn’t do so well…but then the next time she would go back and win.  Remember how much she loved the sport…the time with her horse…those events when together they would have the ride of their lives.

To learn now and remember:

If she allowed the big ugly bully of fear to win…

if she ran from fear now…running could become a pattern that would follow her for the rest of her life.

So just like at 2 – I looked at my sweet daughter who was now 16 and said, “No No, don’t run!”

That day…she had won the bigger victory. The victory over fear!Slowly that sunk in.  Pensively she put on her riding clothes and gathered her gear. With each move she got stronger and more resolute.  She suited up – she showed up – she rode into the ring on her beautiful bay, Snapple, and together they had 3 amazing rounds.  Not all blue ribbons but a top performance at this new level of competition. And most importantly, a victory that went far beyond the results of the day. 

A victory…which as I look at her today…still serves her well as a young wife , a new mom and a follower of Jesus Christ.

She is strong…she is resolute…she does not run!

Thank you Amanda for teaching me this lesson. Thank you for the chance to savor this sweet memory and to share it with others:  “No No…Don’t run. Ever!”