There is a scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Harry walks into a room to find Mrs. Weasley being tormented by a boggart. A boggart is a physically harmless beast whose real threat is to rattle its prey emotionally. It is a shape-shifter, and takes the form of whatever it thinks will most frighten the person in front of it. Harry is astonished when he witnesses a boggart take the form of each of Mrs. Weasley’s children, one at a time, laying before her, cold and lifeless. As a horrified and confused Harry watches, Mrs. Weasley sobs, completely debilitated by the thought of her children being hurt.
That detail of the book didn’t really impact me until I became a mom. It brings me to tears now! If I was to come across a boggart, it would appear to me as the cold, lifeless body of Big Brother or Little Brother, and I, like Mrs. Weasley, would be reduced to a sobbing mess. In Harry's world, there is a magic spell that can easily defeat a boggart, but I don't have a magic wand here on earth.
Thankfully, my God is greater than my fears, and the real way to fight off those “boggarts” is with the power of The Sword. It always seems to come back to scripture memory for me. That is the only way I know to fight against the temptation to worry over the fear of “what ifs.” I don’t say that lightly. Several years ago, I was battling some pretty significant (almost crippling) fear. It wasn’t unwarranted fear, either. However, I took my fears to my pastor, and he gave me a list of scripture* that I could read and memorize to help. It made a big difference then, and came in useful again more recently.
Little Brother had a rough time after he was born. He was in the hospital for ten weeks, and there were days when fear for his life and health gripped my heart. I was shaken to my core more than once. I had to continually give Little Brother back to the Lord (because I kept “taking the burden back on my shoulders”). I reminded myself over and over that no matter what happened, God is still God and He is still Good. It was hard. Oh, was it hard! It is STILL hard to surrender the lives of my precious sons to Him! Yet, how ridiculously prideful of me to think that they are mine anyway! As if I was in control! And really, as I’ve mentioned before, He loves them more than I ever could, anyway.
So every time fear raises its ugly head, I take up My Sword and fight. No boggart is getting into THIS head!
*II Tim. 1:7, Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 50:15, Isaiah 12:2, Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 43:1-3a, Joshua 1:9