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Trust.

Before the mom thing, I thought this one-syllable word was pretty straightforward. You know, be honest so people trust your promises, reliable so people trust you’ll follow through, have integrity so people trust you’ll do the right thing. Sounds simple enough for a person of good character.

There’s also mindless acts of certainty in everyday things such as trusting your car will start, the paycheck will show up, the sun will come out tomorrow—somewhere anyway. You trust the grocery store will have food on the shelves and the library will have books (except maybe during a pandemic).

Then motherhood dawns . . . and the meaning of trust shifts into a celestial gear.

Somehow, you need to brace yourself for the ride.

When our second son was five days old he stopped breathing. By the time the ambulance arrived, he was coughing and crying, air filling up his lungs once again. But we still had to transport him to the hospital for tests: EKG, spinal tap, blood panel, etc. I was the ripe age of 25 when a firestorm of unknowns blazed at me from every direction. Trust?

Our oldest son was in kindergarten when bullying entered his world. He’d come home crying about how his classmates teased him. My mom blood began to boil and spinning thoughts of damaged self-esteem consumed me. Trust?

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In the fourth grade, we allowed our daughter to play football. Not flag. Seeing as a 23-year-old she is 5’ 2”, you can imagine the pipsqueak stature she had at nine. And because she is all-things athlete, she became the quarterback which means a large majority of the offense was her running the ball, ergo, getting creamed by boys twice her size. Trust?

Learning this new type of trust is overwhelming.

First, we need to trust in ourselves. We need to believe despite our weaknesses, cluelessness, naivetes, we are indeed capable of taking care of another human being.

Such confidence can take forever years to build. Because no instruction manual. No universal how-to or handy DIY video at our fingertips explaining proper ways to handle the ever-changing, always surprising nuances of raising kids.

As the need to trust begins to filter through every age and stage of mothering, our doubts can quadruplify.

RELATED: You Are the Mom. Period. 

In the school-age years, we need to trust our kids will have good teachers, be able to learn, develop social skills, make friends.

The tween years ask us to trust our kids will adapt to hormonal changes, find their crew, resist the giant sucking sound of middle-school drama, develop self-love.

Raising teenagers means trusting our kids will develop healthy friendships, make good choices, be safe drivers, say no to drugs/alcohol, avoid serious injury in a sport, have the strength to be an original.

Parenting young adults is an enigma of its own. We need to trust they’ll find their way, believe in themselves, garner motivation to build a future, grow in their faith. Big time credence.

What we find out over time is the type of trust necessary in motherhood has everything to do with a capital T—Trust.

Which, translated in many languages, means blind faith. Unseeing assurance that something bigger than ourselves will always take care of our kids.

Parenting becomes a cosmic Trust walk in a galaxy of unknowns.

RELATED: Letting Go of Martha Motherhood

One day you’re floating atop a certain air of confidence, the next day you’re sucked into a black hole with no idea where you are, how you got there, and when or if you’ll get out alive. One day you’re celebrating a majestic supernova of accomplishment or milestone, and the next your ego takes a pummeling from a vicious meteor shower of doubt, uncertainty, fear.

Motherhood is without exception a magnificent gift, coupled with mind-blowing uncertainty. We have no real choice but to walk by faith. Even if we have “sight” we can’t see more than two feet in front of us on any given day.

The only constant we can count on is love.

Like gravity, it’s always there pulling us in the right direction—towards our children. This means we can lean in with love into every struggle, joy, annoyance, success. We can let love ground us amid the chaos of our fears. Love is the great container holding everything together.

Therefore, I guess raising kids is also a cosmic Love walk.

A level of adoration extending beyond the vastness of comprehension, yet contained within our limited human capabilities.

So, it appears motherhood is really a cosmic God walk.

I think the sooner we realize God is in control, the better.

The quicker we spiritually place our kids into His protective arms, the easier our role becomes. Even one small step as a mom means one giant leap for our kin.

Trust.

After the mom thing, I’ve realized this one-syllable word is anything but straightforward; it’s more like straight up. Letting go and looking high into the heavens with steadfast belief. We can look to Moses’ mom for inspiration because she put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River (Exodus 2:3) Now that’s Trust!

Will you join me in trying to Trust a little more each day? What’s one small act of Trust you can implement right now?

Originally published on the author’s blog

Shelby Spear

A self-described sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and love enthusiast, Shelby is a mom of 3 Millennials writing about motherhood and life from her empty nest. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") , and you can find her stories in print at Guideposts, around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Parenting Teens & Tweens and on her blog shelbyspear.com.

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