“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
I once heard it said that you never know terror until you become a parent. As a mommy of a now 10-month-old, I finally get it. And it’s a powerful fear.
The moment I saw my first positive pregnancy test (I saw two before I was able to carry Scotlyn), I felt the terror. It didn’t shrink with time, it grew and developed into a constant cycle of worrying and analyzing every single thing I did throughout my pregnancy.
Becoming a parent awakens you to your powerlessness. It’s the first time you realize that no matter how much you try, you are not in control. From the smallest details of planning your day to the bigger issues, such as illness, there’s only so much you can do to protect your little one.
How do we cope when this reality hits us?
We let go.
I’ll be honest, letting go and trusting in the Lord is becoming increasingly hard for me. I have seen so much suffering and death in my 30 years and I know that trusting God means trusting him even if things don’t go well. It means accepting that he may allow things to happen without living in constant fear that they will . . . that’s REALLY hard.
But we MUST cope by choosing to trust. We must not let our fears rule us. If we don’t trust, we will make every decision based on fear. We’ll miss out on so much because we are so afraid of the unknown.
I mentioned before I had two pregnancies before I was able to carry Scotlyn. I share this because it is not shared enough. When a baby dies in the womb, the grief a parent feels is unlike any other. It’s an “odd” grief and it plants a powerful seed of fear into a mother’s heart. We blame ourselves, analyze the decisions we made while pregnant, wonder about the future, and worry that if we try for another, it will happen again. I hated every moment of my third pregnancy because I was afraid. I didn’t know if my precious Scotlyn would make it, didn’t know if she’d be healthy, I didn’t know the future
But that’s the point: we don’t know the future. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or 7 months into our pregnancy, or when our kid is 10 years old. And that is SO HARD.
Becoming a parent awakens us to:
Our powerlessness . . .
The fact that we can’t control every aspect of our lives . . .
The fact that there’s only so much we can do . . .
The fact that this world is not our home, there is something more.
How do we cope? We let go and . . .
We hold on to hope.
Hope that things will be OK. Hope that even if they aren’t, we have a God who will carry us through. Hope that there is something beyond this life.
Lastly, becoming a parent awakens us to our smallness.
As children we think the world revolves around us. We melt down if someone else has the toy we want to play with or if our mom says we can’t have ice cream for dinner and we carry seeds of that attitude into adulthood. But the reality is, there is a larger purpose for our existence than whether or not we become CEO of a major corporation or sell a million records, or if our children are the happiest, healthiest babies that turn into the most beautiful and successful people. All of those things are trivial. The mean very little in light of eternity. We are not our own. We are God’s and we’re part of HIS story. We are here to reflect his beauty. The same goes for our children—they are his. They are little reflections of his beauty. However long we are permitted to love them here on earth we must remember, their precious little lives are part of a bigger story . . . a story that doesn’t end here.
Lord, let HOPE and not FEAR live in our hearts. Help us to . . .
Hold on to hope.
Remember our story doesn’t end here.