I have learned the secret of being content…(Php 4:12).
Having a child opens up a whole other realm of fear and worry that I have never experienced. It is amazing to me how quickly, after reading an article, preparing for a test or upcoming appointment that my mind can spiral into a place of tremendous fear and anxiety.
There’s this level of letting go now that I’m having a child that I’ve never experienced before. It’s a level of worry that rises up because I’m not sure if God is going to pull through In the way that I want him to. I imagine as a parent this is an almost daily struggle as you wrestle through the what if’s and what could go wrong. There’s an aspect of coming to God with open hands, releasing that little life into His loving and caring hands that I have never dealt with before.
If I could be quite honest, not only is my faith being tested, but my deep selfishness as well. The thought of giving things up doesn’t sound like much fun to me. You see, the blessing of having a child is revealing a lot of things about my heart that are still growing and changing. It’s showing me, at the deepest level, just how much I need God and His grace.
We cannot, nor will we ever truly live in the freedom and grace of God if we allow ourselves to swim in deep waters of fear and selfishness. I imagine if I do, I’ll become a parent who seeks to control, manipulate and lead with anger. I don’t want to be that kind of parent, but honestly, I really believe that if I follow these thoughts trying to steal my heart away that I surely will.
Many of us try to convince ourselves that we’ll never parent like so and so, but honestly, until we deal rightly with the issues of fear, worry, control and selfishness, we’ll become just as consumed with everything we said we would never do.
Maybe the first step in being a good parent is learning to let go. First, letting go of our belief that God owes us something with our children. Then, letting go of our need to have all the answers, in the time we want them, with the results we’re hoping for. Maybe parenting isn’t so much about the blessing of raising a child, but the blessing of dealing more with the depth of our own personal sin, so that we can become more like Jesus, which in turn, makes us better parents for our children.
Lord, I know my heart. I know how selfish it can be. I know how worried I can become. I see how much fear plays into what I think about and I want to walk in your freedom instead. Help me, as I grow, to surrender each thought to you, knowing that you make all things new, in Jesus name, Amen.