Sometimes leaning on God is terrifying. Especially when motherhood is involved. Lately I’ve been reading a very challenging book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. In reading this, I’ve been challenged to be in awe of God, to trust God, to want to serve God, and to value God above all else. Doesn’t sound that different than your garden variety sermon really, but it has asked some difficult questions, one in particular that has rocked my world this week.
As a Mother, I feel a need to control, protect, and manage every aspect of my child’s life. I think of my child as a product of me, a reflection of my skill as a parent, and my character as an adult. Reading this book, I’ve realized in the deepest way that my children are not mine, they are God’s. It is a hard thing to pray at night, and mean it, “LORD, your will be done with my babies.” The prayer used to be, “God, protect my children tonight, please make sure there are no fires, help everyone to breathe ok, and let them all just be safe.” Instead of a childlike faith that God knows best, I’d been handing over a demanding laundry list on a nightly basis, one that reflected my deepest fears.
I find this especially difficult, because I have this ever present fear of losing one of my kids. Having lost my precious nephew at the tender age of 8 weeks, I am constantly living in terror of my children dying, and I not being able to protect or care for them, or control their fate. Stepping out, and leaving their future entirely in God’s hands is a really hard step for me. This week has been especially difficult, My neighbor found some spiders in her house that may be brown recluses, and I am absolutely terrified one of my children will be bitten and die. Ava has just learned to roll over this week, and I am terrified she will somehow roll over and not roll back, and not be able to breathe. This whole week has been one challenge after the other of my ability to trust my children’s future to God. It has been very very hard.
However, it has also been very freeing. I no longer feel nailed to my children’s every move, my children’s every breath. I KNOW that no matter what, God has a better handle on them then I ever do, and that he wants the best for them. I don’t blame myself so much for the little mishaps that happen with children, like the one that happened the other week. I agonized for days over Sarah’s choice to leave the house without telling me to visit our neighbor. The doors were unlocked, she asked to go over, I said no, and turned around for a moment, and in that moment, she snuck out the door to our neighbor’s house. I blamed myself for days, what if she had been lost, what if she had been hit by a car (she had gone nowhere near the street, but it went through my head just the same.) What if someone had taken her? I spent days worrying about things that never happened.
I’ve also been so obsessed, upset, worried about Ava’s new habit of rolling to the corner of the mattress and digging her face in during the night, that I’ve been waking up every half hour to check if she is still breathing. Every time, it takes me five or more minutes to gather the courage to check her. I am terrified that she is no longer breathing.
It has been quite a journey to realize that even though I have heir whole lives ahead of me, I never know which day could be their last. Even harder is leaving it up to God to make that decision, and letting go of my need to control every little breath they take, to prevent any harm coming to them.
Agonizing over every moment, losing sleep to check on Ava every half hour at night, are not healthy things. Trusting God to keep her through the night, is. Despite the challenges this week, I guess it all boils down to the freedom and grace in trusting God to care for them, to protect them, and not demanding it be done on my own finite terms.
I know this has probably not been a productive or thought provoking post, but it has been wonderful to get that out! If you’re still reading, you totally get a cookie!!