I’ve been a mommy for a whole 68 days! I’m sure there are many other amazing moms who could share brilliant wisdom from many years of experience but you’ll be surprised what you can learn in just over two months!
A few weeks before Charley Grace was born, the doctor was concerned about the fact that she wasn’t really growing anymore. He explained that there might be some complications with the placenta and that if she didn’t get the nutrition she needed she could die… Wait, what? I’m sure he was just taking precautions, as doctors should, but those three silly words were burned into my heart. She. Could. Die.
Maybe you might think I’m being a bit dramatic but I’ve realized that maybe the only thing moms can be dramatic about is their kids. You won’t understand until you have your own children, so bear with me.
On my way home, fear started to grip my heart and for the first time I faced the reality that I could lose her. I knew that as a woman of faith it wasn’t how I should think but those words had already done damage. Luckily God is kind and personal and knows what we need. The next morning, I got up and started to declare scripture over Charley and when I got to Psalm 139, I just wept. I had read this scripture so many times but now it was music to my ears:
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.”
(Psalm 139: 13-16 MSG)
Charley was God’s daughter before she was ever mine. Her days were planned out by Him before I even existed or decided to have a child. Even though I may feel powerless to protect her from many dangers and evils, I have to remind myself daily that God is more than able. I can do my part but there’s a part that I have to fully give to God and that’s got everything to do with letting go of control. Not any easy thing to do for anyone, especially a mom.
Isn’t it true that we try to control so much of our lives? Right now I’m sitting on the rocking chair in Charley’s room in my gym clothes. My plan was to workout while she slept but this morning she’s not doing so well and doesn’t want to sleep anywhere else but in my arms. As a mom, you have to be okay with letting go of trying to control everything; routines, feeding time, me time, and realize that plans change. And IT IS OKAY. It’s good to plan, but it’s best not to get bent out of shape when those plans become disrupted by an unsettled child. I’m learning to just go with the flow. If I can be okay with not being in control in the small things, I’m a few steps closer to being okay with letting God be in control of protecting the ones I love.
Being a mom has taught me that in life, it’s wise to plan but I need to be prepared for the plans that may change and I can’t always be in control. In Matthew, God reminds us to have a flexible heart.
Matthew 12:7 in the MSG “I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual.”
Things don’t always go as we plan but we have to trust that God is completely in control. We can release control to Him and just choose to enjoy life rather than get upset and frustrated. I chose to believe that God would protect Charley just as I choose to believe that whatever happens in my life, God is always good and always in control, which causes me to live free. Just the way God intended it to be. I love how God also uses other moms who have done the journey to surround me with love and faith and prayer. I experienced my very first Mother’s Day in Church this past weekend and it was an absolute reminder of how good, faithful and kind our God really is. It really was a special day. One of many many more.
So moms out there… whether you’re new to this beautiful journey or your kids are all out of the house, be encouraged that God has got you. And He has got your children. And His ways are perfect and planned. Even when ours aren’t.
Gillian Stander// Hillsong Church Pretoria