Even in the most simple, everyday situations I feel it creep up inside me.
Watching my little girl chase her big brother around the playground while he runs ahead, playing with the older kids and paying her no attention whatsoever.
Planning our family vacation.
Thinking about our discipline strategy for each kid and what might happen if we get it wrong.
Mom anxiety creeps in and badgers me with worries about how being left out will affect her, about Summer and with it the dangers of pool season, and about the long term impacts of the decisions we make every day in raising our children. Whatever the situation, my mind can conjure a terrifying possibility that actually could happen (and some others that probably won’t but make me anxious none the less).
Left unchecked the anxiety could effectively rob me the enjoyment of moments big and small.
So what do we do as moms, with responsibility and natural instinct to protect our Children? How do we channel our heightened awareness of all the dangers this world poses into doing our best to keep them safe, without letting fear take the reigns?
Following my miscarriage in December of 2017, and again during my high-risk pregnancy last year, a mentor shared this truth with me that I found so freeing (even though I have to remind myself of it again and again). I hope you will find freedom in it as well or at the very least find it a helpful tool to add to your toolkit.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”Luke 12:25
“in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”Psalm 139:16
You see I’d heard the verses before, but had never re-framed them for application in motherhood.
But the truth is that none of us by worrying can add a single day to our children’s lives. Their days have already been ordained by God himself. Just like us, our children’s time on this earth will come to an end at some point. As mothers, we do not get to choose when that point is, we just get to enjoy the time we have while we have it.
We have to ask ourselves then, what is all my worrying really accomplishing?
If you are like me anxiety is stealing sleep, and therefore lessening your patience during the day. It is increasing fear of circumstances beyond your control, leading you to fret over situations like family vacations, that are intended to bring joy, rest, and family time. It may even be putting a strain on your marriage as you criticize your husband for not seeing the dangers around every corner like you do.
What if we were to embrace the truth that God alone is in control and the freedom that comes with it?
I believe we’d sleep better, and have more energy to be our best selves for our kids each day. I believe we’d be diligent in planning a safe family vacation without letting all the “what ifs?” steal our joy. I believe we’d express legitimate concerns to our husbands in gentleness and be able to push the unreasonable ones from our minds.
The truth is that as much as I’d like to, I cannot protect my children from everything because I cannot be in all places at once or be all things to all people. I can only be myself and put my best foot forward each day. I’ve come to understand that I can only do that when I’m resting in the Lord and His truth.
I am not in control, and I can honestly say that I am so thankful for that fact.
It would be oh so tiresome and stressful if I was.
With each passing day, each hurt that my child faces, or each story of loss that I watch others walk through, I am learning that this world is a broken one, and if we let the brokenness color our view of God and the life he’s created us to live we will be miserable in this place. But, if we can humble ourselves and embrace the truth- that we are here to serve at the pleasure of our King, and that this life is only a fleeting moment with the best yet to come, then we can find a taste of heaven here on earth.
I have felt no greater joy than that of knowing that I am walking in the will of the Lord, getting to know Him better, laying my life down by surrendering my expectations and desires in favor of His best for me. It has been painful at times no doubt, but God’s word promises that it is productive and purposeful pain, and I know Him to be a trustworthy and loving father.
Come Lord Jesus! We long for your return, for the day all the wrongs will be made right! As we wait for that day, give us the trust and endurance to run our race well, all the while keeping our eyes set on you, our most perfect and precious prize.