Unfounded Fear, but Fear Nonetheless — A Reflection on Homeschool Life
Editor’s Note: Yvana Uranga-Hernandez, Ph.D. is a homeschool mom and associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Biola University. Yvana Uranga-Hernandez is also the director of the Biola University Speech-Language Clinic, which serves children and adults with any number of communication disorders. She writes from experience and expertise, reflecting on encountering an all-too-common emotion in ourselves and our children: Fear. Consider sharing this devotion with a homeschooler you know.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
–2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
My son was pacing and worried and had so much on his mind that, at first, I was not sure what to do with all of his emotions.
“What if I fail my test?” he said, “I think I will this time.”
At first I looked at my son with somewhat of a bewildered look as if I was looking at the face of somebody else’s child.
I wanted to ask, “Are you joking? Are you kidding? Are you just trying to look for a reason to stress out?” But I knew that none of those things would make things better. So I quickly thought about what God had given me in the past week, and a conversation with a friend who homeschools came to mind. She had been talking about how she has helped one of her children through issues of anxiety. “We need to take our thoughts captive (II Corinthians 10:5),” she had explained to her child.
“Yes, that is it,” I thought … but then I told myself, “You can’t just throw out ‘take your thoughts captive’ and expect your son to understand.”
Asking Questions to Discover the Root
So I started by asking my son some questions:
“When have you ever failed a test in this subject?”
“Never,” he said.
“When have you ever failed an assignment in this subject?” I continued to probe.
“Never,” he replied.
“When have you ever failed a class in this subject?”
Again the same response: “Never.”
Then I said, “Why then do you think you would fail now?”
My son looked at me, as if I was asking the million dollar question, and then simply said, “I don’t know.”
Take Every Thought Captive
So I continued . . . since my audience was listening. “Perhaps then this fear of yours has no foundation to it. Perhaps you are allowing yourself to be told lies by the enemy who comes to destroy and to steal. Perhaps it is time that you take your thoughts captive! Change the channel sweet boy; tell yourself the truth.”
My son listened, but then walked quietly away.
I am not sure how much our conversation helped, but I knew that it was a better approach to what I initially thought to offer him. God’s Word is always a much better approach than our own earthly wisdom.
Unfounded Fear in Me
When my son walked away, I was reminded of so many times that I have allowed unfounded fears to take over my thinking, plummeting me into an anxious state that feels so overwhelming. “Take your thoughts captive” — that golden nugget from Scripture isn’t just for my children, but that wisdom is for me as well.
As homeschoolers, we are faced with so many decisions and so many times we can allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with all of them. However, if we truly take our thoughts captive and realize that God is in control, and that He is guiding our journey as homeschooling families, He will equip us and we will have nothing to fear.
As each new year starts, we may be faced with fears again, so what we choose to do with all those fears will make all the difference. My child learned through experience that his fear had no basis as he once again scored well on his test. I now know that the next time I tell him to “take his thoughts captive,” it will make sense to him even if at first it didn’t. I know that God’s Word has power in it, and that it guides and directs. His Word will not return void.
As you consider the coming school year, what do you do when you or your child are overwhelmed by fear or when you or your child is anxious about something? I would suggest you start by asking God to show you where those fears and anxieties are coming from . . . perhaps there is no foundation for them. Ask God to help you replace your thoughts with Truth.
- Lord, show me how I handle fear — whether it is unfounded fear or not.
- Abba, reveal to me how my child handles fear, too.
- Lord, let your Word be a lamp and guide to my path as You teach me and my children biblical wisdom in approaching fears and anxieties.
- Open my heart to the places I need to grow in managing anxiety and “taking my thoughts captive to Christ.”
Heavenly Father, forgive me when I allow fears to overtake my thinking. Help me as your Word says to take my thoughts captive. Allow me to let You continue to guide this journey we are on. You have opened the doors for us so far, and I know you will continue to direct and provide wisdom. As we continue on this homeschooling journey, may we glorify you in our words, our deeds, and our thoughts. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
By Yvana Uranga-Hernandez, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Biola Youth Academics Homeschool Parent and Biola University Associate Professor and Clinic Director, Communication Sciences and Disorders Department