Wednesday Book Club: Am I Messing Up My Kids?
Lysa Terkeurst has done it again. I literally cried this entire chapter! This chapter was written for me. I am the person who needed this chapter the most. So, thank you Lysa!
This chapter was all about our fear about our children. And if you are a parent I am sure you have at one point been fearful about one of your children at some point, and if you are like me you probably think about it at least 5-10 times a day. I'm not just talking about worrying about did they brush their teeth or did they eat enough at breakfast (although, let's be honest, sometimes I do worry about that) but I'm talking about the gut wrenching fear when you are taking a shower and someone starts crying and your first thought is..."who fell down the stairs!"
I can tell you I was like this when Julia was born...but it got so much worse after Marky...My first boy who had us in the ER at the age of 1 with a sliced open head wound...as I watched them put him in the body restraints so they could stitch him up I knew I had to wait in the hallway because I just couldn't bear to see him in pain, so helpless, and know there was not a thing I could do to change the situation. And that was not the first time we were in the ER with Mark...and even just recently when Micah vomited for most of the day with the Rotavirus and the nurse told me over the phone he needed to come in to the hospital, my knees buckled and I. Just. Lost. It.
Why was I such a mess? Didn't I trust God to take care of my family? Didn't I know that "everything would be ok?"
Lysa Terkeurst states, "A father's greatest fear is usually that he won't be able to provide for his family. A mom's greatest fear is typically that something will happen to one of her children. Fear is a funny thing. It sometimes provides healthy caution, but more times than not it seems to produce undue stress and anxiety regarding things over which we have little to no control."
Did you know that in the Bible the words "fear not" can be found about 365 times? Come on people, that is NOT an accident. I am trusting in the fact that God knew we needed to rely on Him for strength when we are fearful...and he gave us promises for every day of the year.
One of my favorites and the song I acutally sang over and over on that hospital ride with Micah was Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God, I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
God knows when we are fearful. He knows what makes our knees buckle. He knows we need his help. And He promises to uphold us with His Victorious Right Hand. I love that about Him. Do you ever wonder why you may be emotionally spent by the end of the day? It could be from worry and fear in your mind that you are not letting go of and not asking God to be your help.
Lysa went through a horrific time at the hospital with one of her daughters. As I read her story, I balled. She was told to say goodbye to her daughter because the doctors were unsure of the fact that her baby girl would make it through the night. Her Ashley was only 6 weeks old and needed a major surgery, and there were no promises for a healthy recovery. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I. Could. Not.
Her husband took her outside and asked her one simple question: Who does Ashley belong to? Whose child was she really? In her heart and mind of course Lysa shouted: SHE IS MY CHILD. We all hold our children so close and so dear. But how often do we pause and think that our children belong to God. Their days are numbered just like ours. And it is out of our control. And no amount of fist shaking, screaming, crying, can ever change that.
Lysa, took a deep breath after some major tears and admitted Ashley belonged to God. She opened her hands and stopped fighting and her husband said, "That's right. She is God's child. He gave her to us, and if He chooses, He might take her, we have to stand here today and say we love Him no matter what."
I love that her husband told her that because often I think of how I will respond if something terrible happens to my children will I blame God? Will I still love Him? Will I blame Him? Our love for God shouldn't change because we don't like His choices. There is a verse that says, "His ways are not our ways...His thoughts are not our thoughts..." God has this amazing plan we don't see. And we have no control. And we cannot change His plan.
God spared Ashley's life. But what an amazing moment of faith and trust as Lysa and her husband released Ashley over to God's care and trust Him, and love Him no matter what the outcome. What a great exercise for us as we come to daily moments of fear with our own children.
I will leave you with this verse.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?