I am beginning to think God gives us children specifically for the purpose of growing our faith. What greater faith can a person have than to completely hand over their child into His hands? I want to be a mama with that kind of faith.
I have been inspired by the incredible faith of several moms around me. Moms who have lost their children. Moms who have almost lost their children. Moms who almost lose their children over and over due to ongoing health conditions.
I have not made it there myself yet—to that place where I put my child’s life completely in God’s hands and step back to trust His will. But I am trying. And I will be there someday.
I am so encouraged by my fellow moms going through tragedy and heartache. These beautiful women who in the same breath, express sorrow over their child and praise God for His goodness. I listen to them in awe of that kind of faith. That is the faith I am going to have. I want to be like them when I grow up. I will be a mama with that kind of faith.
Although I have friends and relatives who have gone through much worse, I have experienced my own losses. I have several miscarried babies in Heaven. I have grieved many times over them. On one ominous night of grieving my miscarriages, a chilling thought whispered into my mind . . . There are worse things that can happen than miscarriage.
I didn’t know where the thought came from. But I knew what it meant. I knew that statement of fear was referring to losing a baby I would see and hold. Was it a prediction? Or just my fear getting the best of me? I wasn’t sure.
As I stare down now at my second daughter who is currently 3 months old, I catch myself silently asking God, “Nothing bad will happen to her, right?”
But is that really the request I should be making of Him? That nothing bad should happen to my child? Every parent’s unfiltered response to that question is an emphatic, “Yes!”
But is that a response of faith or fear? Faith and fear are opposites. When faith prevails, fear recedes. And when fear prevails, faith recedes. You can’t fully have both. Which one would I rather pursue?
I write this after a night in the ER with my baby for labored breathing. It was not unexpected. My baby was born with a heart defect. She is going to need open heart surgery within the next couple of months.
From everything we have been told, she basically has the best-case scenario for her condition. The surgery is expected to be routine, and she is expected to be a “normal kid” after her heart is repaired. Everything should be fine.
But everything should have been fine with my friend’s unborn baby whose heart tragically stopped beating at 32 weeks. Everything should have been fine with my sister’s baby girl who was shockingly diagnosed with cancer at 8 months old.
Everything should have been fine with my friend’s pregnancy, which resulted in her sweet baby being born without kidneys. Everything should have been fine for my friend who lost two children at separate times in various traumatic ways.
Sometimes, even when the odds are in your favor that everything will be fine, everything does not turn out fine. Sometimes you are that supposedly small percentage of the population whose unborn baby passes away in the third trimester, whose baby has cancer, whose baby is missing a vital organ, whose children are painfully stolen by death. Sometimes things go wrong in the best-case scenarios.
What if I lose my baby in the midst of her “routine” surgery to fix a “best-case scenario” heart defect? Could I survive that? Can I let God be God knowing He might let that happen?
Do you know what those four mamas I just mentioned all have in common besides their trials? Their unrelenting faith.
I have heard each one of those women say confidently that they trust God even when their worst nightmare comes true. These mamas know how to fight fear. They know who really holds each life. They know there is someone who loves their children even more than they do.
These mamas have faith. Faith that defeats fear. Faith that produces hope in terrible circumstances. I want to be a mama with that kind of faith.
These mamas understand that having faith does not mean believing you will get what you want. It means believing that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He is capable of doing anything. But He knows what is truly best in His grand plan of which we can only see a tiny, blurry piece. Faith means we let God be the driver and trust that He knows the destination and the best route to get there.
I really can’t control what happens to my baby in the operating room. I can pray about it, but ultimately, I have to trust Him to do whatever He knows is best. I have to open my fists that are attempting to hold onto my baby’s little life and release everything to God. Release her into the hands that hold her already. To the hands that formed her. To the hands that are scarred with eternal love.