What’s your greatest fear?
If you ask me, I’ll tell you snakes. They terrify me. They are LITERALLY the embodiment of the devil. In fact, I had a nightmare about snakes just last night (this is not a joke, and I'm worried that working on this post last night had something to do with it.)
But I’d be lying. Snakes aren’t my greatest fear.
My greatest fear is that my kids will grow up and fall away from the faith.
My greatest desire. . . my only wish. . . my most fervent prayer. . . I just want my kids to grow up happy, healthy, and - most importantly - holy.
But some days I’m terrified that my prayer won’t be answered. I'm terrified that I won't raise my kids right. Where does this fear come from?
Every time I speak I hear from at least one parent who doesn’t know what to do because their kids have fallen away from the faith. Men and women old enough to be my parents, that I’ve just met, coming to me in tears, asking ME what to do. And I don’t know what to tell them.
The other reason is that I’ve seen so many of my childhood friends fall away from the faith. I grew up surrounded by incredible men and women of faith. Many of my friends’ parents became like second parents to me. Men I looked up to and thought, “I pray that I can be half the man and husband and father that he is.” Men and women who did everything right. And yet, those friends, who had such a strong faith in high school, who were instrumental in bringing me into the faith. . . so many of them fell away from the Church years ago.
So there it is. That's my greatest fear.
And that’s why I’m incredibly excited about what Rebecca and I are getting our oldest son, Anthony, for Christmas this year. I can’t wait to tell you about it. He’s going to love it. I believe it’s going to help pass on the faith. I believe it’s going to be a meaningful part of his life for years to come. And - and the importance of this can’t be understated - he is going to absolutely LOVE it.
I’m going to tell you all about it. I’m going to SHOW it to you. But first, let me give you a little background.
A few years ago, Anthony asked me if I’d come lay with him in bed one night. As we laid in the dark, he said something I’ll never forget.
“Sometimes it feels scary at night. The world feels so big and I feel so little.”
I don’t know if any sentence has ever captured the fear of a child more beautifully and more completely. We started to talk about being afraid, and how things can seem so much bigger than us, and how we wish we could control everything but we can’t. And then I told him about guardian angels.
I told him how God loved him so much that he got one of his most trusted and powerful angels, and that the angels only job is to watch over and protect him. That the angel never leaves him and how he can pray and ask his guardian angel for comfort and courage when he needs it.
It helped, I think. But I left that room feeling like I wish I could do more than just tell him all those things. I wanted to make the invisible visible.
So Rebecca and I had an idea. What if we bought artwork for his wall of a guardian angel? Something that would help him to see everything I was talking about. Something that would put all those words into something he could see and feel.
I began scouring the internet and I found. . . nothing. Well, that’s not true. I found disappointment. I did every search imaginable to find something that would be close to what I was looking for. What I found. . .
Rebecca and I prayed, and God gave us a dream. What if we just do it ourselves?
We started writing down a really clear vision of what we wanted this piece of artwork to say and do. We scoured the internet for images that had a similar design to what we were looking for, and then we sent our vision and source images out to designers.
We got a bunch of different mock ups, worked with a select few designers to get something closer to what we were praying about, polled friends and family to get their feedback, and eventually settled on THE ONE.
Here it is:
I love it. I couldn’t be happier about it. Let me tell you why.
Rebecca and I spent hundreds of dollars on this gift. We had it printed on artist quality canvas, stretched over a wood frame, and it’s BIG. 20” by 30”. We wanted the presentation to be worthy of hanging on his walls for the rest of his life.
I have high hopes for what this will do in his life.
I hope it will be something faith based that he actually is attracted to.
I hope that it will make him feel safe and protected, loved, and cared for.
Without trying, he is going to memorize this verse. It’s just going to happen.
I hope that someday when he is much older, when life is weighing on him, when times are dark, when he is lonely or struggling or scared, I BELIVE that the message of this Christmas gift will shine forth from the back of his heart and mind reminding him, “The LORD Himself will fight for you. You must only be still.”
This is the best Christmas gift Rebecca and I are ever going to get our son. Hands down. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited for Christmas morning.
Last thing. . .
Rebecca and I are so excited about this, and we want to share that excitement with you. After having a few friends and family ask about getting the same gift for their son, we decided to make it available for anyone who wants to share the faith with their kids.
We got everything set up on my website for anyone who wants to get this for their son, grandson, godson, etc. I hope and pray that it will have the impact on your family that I believe it will have on mine. And please share this post with anyone you know who wants to pass on the faith to their kids.
Pray with me that God’s will is done in all this. That we’ve done something for Him and that it will help build His kingdom. And please say a prayer that anyone who has this Guardian Angel Art hanging on their wall will never leave the faith.
Let me know if you have any questions, or give me your thoughts in the comments or through an email. I really appreciate you for reading, for your prayers, and for helping me be better!
My name is Dominick Albano and I'm an author, speaker, and consultant.