“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding …” Prov. 3:5.
I know the verse, in fact, after spending the last 36 years in church, I know them all. I know to trust God in all things … except when I don’t.
You see, I also know that trusting God doesn’t mean I get my way … in fact it can mean that I don’t. I get His way. And that SHOULD be enough, and it is, until you’re talking about my kids. My biggest fear in life is that God will take them from me.
A couple years ago I sat in a doctor’s office lightheartedly explaining my fear to him. Explaining that when my kids walk down steps I visualize them falling, or when they ride home from school with grandparents they’re in a fatal car accident, or when I drop them off at school there’s a shooting and they don’t make it home, or when they get a stomach bug it’s actually cancer ravaging through their body. I laughed it off and said, but all moms have those fears … right? He shook his head, told me no and promptly prescribed some medication. I left feeling like I was one step away from a padded room.
I really wanted to believe that I wasn’t alone, that other mothers share the same fears for their children, but what I am coming to realize is that’s not the case. Other mothers let their children have sleepovers without fear that an older sibling will molest them. Other mothers take weekend getaways with their husbands without fear that their child will die while they’re getting a great tan on the beach. There is no rest for the anxious mind.
But there it is again, even as I write these words, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, let your request be made known to God” Phil. 4:6. So what does God tell me to do? Stop worrying and start praying. But what do I do? I just worry. Because I know that I can pray all day every day for God to protect my children, but He only will if He chooses to, He doesn’t really care what I want. Or does He?
I’m honestly not sure. This is where my faith is broken … it isn’t enough.
You see momma, there’s a place between faith and knowledge and it’s a lot like trying to understand the Trinity; you just can’t. I have the FAITH to know God is there and real, but I have the KNOWLEDGE to know bad things can still happen.
So what do we do? We have to come to a place where we believe that this world – however perfect we feel like it is when we’re cuddled on the couch with our kiddos – is not our final destination. And our real purpose, is not to protect our children from the world and every bad thing in it, but rather to teach them how to love the world and share the love of Christ.
I’d love to tell you that I’ve finally found the solution and I’m peacefully resting in God’s promises, but that would be a lie. As a matter of fact, when I watched my son walk into school today, I got a pit in my stomach for fear I may not see him walk out. I’m still struggling, day by day and minute by minute.
My favorite morning radio show suggested listeners pick a word for 2017 that would mold your life in the coming year. My word is Peace. In 2017, I want to have peace. I want to be able to handle the thought that God can have His will and have peace in knowing His plan is best.
What’s your word for 2017? Maybe it’s your year to fully embrace faith and turn over your fears in favor of perfect peace.