Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ESV
As most, if not all, parents would agree, the hardest part of parenting is dealing with the fear of something happening to your child. We have a God-given instinct to protect our children and to desire the absolute best for their lives. For Mark and me, that desire to protect them started as soon as we knew that our children had been conceived, and it was also at that point that we began to learn that we would have to trust them into God’s care. He loves them more than we do, and He desires their best even more than we can imagine. Yet simply trusting Him and resting in His love and protection is sometimes easier said than done.
For those of you that are familiar with my blog, you’ll remember my Baby Series in which I wrote a lot about Eden’s time in the womb, the doctor reports we received regarding her health, and her birth. With Eden, I got a 20 week lesson on faith and healing, and it wasn’t always easy as I couldn’t see her to know what was reality. I could only go by God’s Word as everything else was based on an ultrasound, a measurement, and a midwife’s guess. All of those were fallible, but His Word was solid. So fast forward 15 months, and here we are again. We’re in another time of trusting our girl to the Lord. I’m not going to dive into any specifics, but I’ll just say that Edie and I are scheduled to see a pediatric surgeon next week to possible have a growth removed from her little body. Our doctor guessed that the growth would then be sent in for a biopsy, and the chances of it being anything serious would be like 1 in a million. But regardless, she recommended that we have it done ASAP. As I sat and listened to the doctor, I felt very calm and like okay, no big deal. However, as soon as I got to the car, I felt like I really needed to have a good cry. My emotions were all over, and they stayed like that for most of the morning.
Yet the more I thought, prayed, and worked through Scriptures that are embedded in my heart, I realized something – our feelings are not reality. Yes, they’re real in that they’re emotions, but they present a false reality. My mind and emotions can easily tap into the what if’s and worse care scenarios. I can get super frustrated by the hassle of having to drive clear down to Children’s Hospital in Denver, pay to see a surgeon (when we need every penny we have right now), put my baby through possible ??? to have the growth removed, then wonder why she got it in the first place, and then just lose my peace from now till who knows when. Why should I do that? Who wins in that scenario? The Lord knows that I have enough going on right now, and what I need most is to just rest in Him. So why would today’s news shake me from that? Shouldn’t it just push me further into His presence and into His rest?
So as I was thinking all of these things, I started thinking about Jesus when He was praying in the garden right before His crucifixion. Even though He lived in a human body, He was still perfect and without sin. Meaning He did not get into fear! He didn’t worry about His future. Yet like us, He lived in the tension between heaven and earth, and I’m sure He felt it more than any of us ever have as He perfectly knew heaven but was living here on earth. Luke 22:44 says, “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” (NASB) Hello, I don’t know if that qualifies as stress, but He was definitely feeling torn between wanting to be obedient to the Father yet knowing what His flesh and emotions were about to endure. And I think that tension is the part that all of us find to be hard as we want to obey the Word, we want to walk in perfect peace and not fear anything. Yet it’s so hard to shut off the emotions when facing our circumstances. We’ve got Jesus on the inside of us, having won the victory for us, and the Holy Spirit enabling us to walk it out. Yet it requires us to keep our mind, will, and emotions set on His Word, set on Jesus, and set on His promises. In other words, we can’t let in the what if’s or the worse case possibilities. We take life minute by minute, walking with Him, dwelling in Him, and knowing that He holds us. We resist fear and all of its lies about our future. We choose to just worship Him. We abide in a restful state, even in the tension of living here in this temporary home of earth and yet desiring and longing for there, our perfect, heavenly home.
And so in the midst of all that’s going on in our lives right now, the visa/passport paperwork, the moving decisions, the necessary financial miracles, and now our child’s health, I’m reminding myself that it all gets placed at the feet of Jesus. My main job right now is to seek Him and enjoy Him. His job is to take care of all the details. “Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 AMP