On April 2, 2010 Kavin entered the world through an emergency caesarean. Immediately the docs swooped away my sweet boy. In the post operating room a guy in a white coat said a blur of words: hole—diaphragm—can’t breath—lungs—may not live—emergency—surgery—transport—will know more later. After carrying this life inside of me for nine months, my arms and womb lay empty. Three dark days passed as I waited to be discharged from the hospital.
It felt like my heart twisted and turned in pain. God’s goodness and plan hid in the shadows of fear and disappointment. In just a few moments, I pondered the crossroad of my faith. Three paths presented themselves. 1) Question God and stay mad at Him. 2) Stop believing. 3) Trust. The despair of possibly loosing my son catapulted me to fall at the throne of grace and weep. “Dear, God! Please save my son! Dear, God! Please save my son.”
I laid in the post-op room after an emergency c-section with my first born son, Kavin. I knew I was a Christian, but my faith rattled. Natural birth plans tossed aside when his head crowned, but wouldn’t push through—and then doctors raced him out of the operating room for assessment.
They took my baby away.
Empty-armed I waited.
Some guy in a white coat stood about five feet from the foot of my roll-away bed and said, “Your baby is sick. He has a hole in his diaphragm. We need to take him to another hospital. The doctor will be here to tell you more later.” He walked away. I laid there.
Alone. Empty-armed. Empty-hearted.
Are my children my greatest calling as a mother? What about the poor? Using my gifts to serve the church? What about my passion to create? To exercise? To work?
How can we, as mothers, know what our greatest calling is? How can we prioritize our lives to live out our days faithfully?
Christian messages cheered me on to stay home full-time, yet muffled the burning passion within me to serve the world beyond my kitchen sink. The cries of my children, the empty fridge needing groceries, the dust on the floors, the clothes in the wash—all whispering, “Forget your other dreams.” I thought that is what Christian moms do. Put everything aside to focus in on our kids. If that was what Jesus wants for moms, why did I feel so sad?
Then the Lord and a woman changed my perspective.
Ever feel like we can’t keep up to an impossible standard? Matthew 25 has a nourishing bite of hope for us mamas. Enjoy and share!
I jumped into the car after a long delayed flight from Los Angeles to Dallas. Hubs said, “Kavin is not feeling well. I think we need to take him to the E.R.” I looked back at my usually spunky 6-year-old, laying hunched over and breathing like Darth Vader.
“Yes. We need to go.”
It’s been 6 years since he lay in the hospital, not knowing if we would ever take him home.
They called him right away and checked his breathing. His oxygen levels were low so they started him on breathing treatments to open his airways.
“He is not in good shape,” the attending nurse practitioner said. “He needs meds, fluids, and help getting control of breathing. We will need to keep him for a while.”
Flash back to when Kavin arrived on April 2, 2010. “We need to take your baby to another hospital. He is in bad shape and can’t breathe on his own.”
My sons listen to a Christian CD for kids that plays a song with these words:
When I am afraid I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
When I am afraid I will trust in You
My God whose words I praise.
I’m all about teaching the boys to be brave and strong, praying when they are afraid of the dark, a bad guy from a movie (a G-rated kids movie, mind you), or being made fun of at school. “God is with you,” I tell them. “You have nothing to fear.”
But then, days like today, I too struggle with fear. Somehow I legitimize it. I am fearful of some pretty serious stuff: health for the baby girl growing in my tummy, joblessness after hubs finishes his residency in a few months, where we might have to move for said job (city girl gone country?), or a fear of many—ruining my kids because I fail to be a rock star mom.
Fear robs me of the joy of the day. Like when my preschooler hands me a plastic toy army hat, half broken, and says, “put on!” then shoots at me with a finger gun, “Pew, pew, pew!”—that before I even shuffle to the kitchen to heat up day old coffee. Fear makes me numb in that precious moment instead of sipping in the precious joy of a boy calling to his mother, “See me? Am I strong? Am I a soldier?” Oh how I love my sweet crazy boys!
Fear paralyzes us, doesn’t it? We can’t see the way ahead and we feel out of control. So we stay put. Don’t move. Don’t embrace the flow of the day or see the world in full color. Our fears snag us, hold us, and place a film over our eyes to see the depths of the gifts of the moment—the gifts God gives us so freely. It even distracts us from giving and receiving love with those closest to us.
If fear robs us of the abundance God has for us, then we know where it comes from—the enemy of our souls. In John Chapter 10 Jesus is talking with the religious leaders of the day, known as Pharisees, who are so stuck in their way of doing things and being in control, that they can’t see Jesus for who He is. They fear Jesus will take power away from them. Sounds familiar right? When we get stuck in our own way, living in fear, we too can’t see who Jesus is—we too crave the power to control the outcomes.
Jesus says to them, “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Oh the riches of following Jesus! The riches of freedom from sin, guilt, and shame—freedom from fear of the unknowns because God is already before us.
In this section of scripture, John 10:1-19 Jesus uses the picture of Him being the Shepherd and those who listen to His voice are His sheep.
But what happens when we listen to the voices of fear?
We can’t hear the voice of our Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for His sheep.
But to trust Him? That takes courage. Courage we sometimes lack.
It reminds me of the story of Joshua. God led the people of Israel to the stepping point of entering His promises, a land flowing with good things, but there is one problem: the people in the land are intimidating, strong, and many. Just in the first chapter of the book of Joshua, the new leader of the nation of Israel is told to “be strong and courageous” four time. Four times. That means the encouragement to be strong and courageous was of essential importance.
Our fears are unconquered lands in our own hearts. Places we need to enter, insecurities that suit up their armor like enemies, expectations that shout their warnings, walls that seem too large to overcome.
But just like Joshua, we have a Father in heaven that walks with us wherever we go.
We may still need to live through our greatest fears: sick children, joblessness, marriage challenges, or loneliness to name a few, but we have a good, good Father that is with us—He will never leave us or turn His back—and His ways lead us to green pastures where He restores our souls.
What is the antidote to the disease of fear? Trust. Trusting in the Lord with all our heart and not depending on our own understanding—in all our ways, leaning on Him because He will make our path straight.(paraphrase Proverbs 3:5-6) He has a plan—even when we are in the dark.
Psalm 34:4-7 (NASB)
I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around
those who fear Him,
And rescues them.
Question: Have you experienced God’s faithfulness in a time of fear? Please share in the comments.
I hate waiting sometimes. Waiting for street lights, grocery lines, pay checks, and some days—bed time. Okay, that’s just selfish impatience. But what about the real deep life stuff?
Waiting on God for something only He can do feels like a perpetual red light. What will the doctor say? Will the job call? Will my child live? Will my marriage heal?
We all wait in many ways, but waiting on God to answer prayer can seem stagnant. In these times we need to remember the truths of God from Isaiah the Prophet (Isaiah 64:1-4).
- He reigns above the earth in the heavens (v. 1)
- He is powerful enough that the earth quakes at His presence (v. 2)
- He has done great things for the nation of Israel—and us too! (v.3)
- There is no other god like the one true God. (v. 4)
- He acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him. (v. 4)
Isaiah called out to God and God acted—but sometimes prayers aren’t answered immediately.
When the way seems hazy, God is acting on our behalf behind the haze.
So, take heart, sweet friend. You are not stagnant, just in the haze, but it will clear. In the meantime, what can we do? Trust. Trust that God hears, He is good, and He is on the move.
PRAYER: Lord, it is hard to wait on You. I just want to fix, or see, or do. Help me to call out to You from the depths of my soul and invite you to work. Then help me to trust in You as I wait for You to remove the haze. Your way, Your timing, I’m in. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Question: Is there a time you waited on the Lord and saw Him move on your behalf? Please share below.
The whirlwind of carpool lines, play-dough crumbs, dinner-time melt-downs, and sibling shoves can cause any mom to want to scream. In the moment of chaos, when all you want to do is cry or yell, just take a breath, listen, pray, enjoy the gift of life. Center your heart on Jesus and allow Him to enter in so you respond in love and wisdom instead of yells or tears. Jesus is with you, mama—and ready to restore your inner calm.
Sometimes we mess up—big. The piercing shame makes us want to hide under the covers or blame others. It’s simple, really, Adam and Eve did the same: hide and blame. But what we really need when we blow it? Grace. God’s grace, washing over us like a wave of mercy. Good thing: all we need to do is ask. So, mama, don’t beat yourself up. Allow God’s love to meet you, forgive you, and free you. Just turn to Him with a heart ready for His love. And sometimes that also means asking forgiveness from the little people in our lives too.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9