“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
—1 Peter 5:6–7
Before my son, Garrett, was born, I was certain I had a pretty good idea of what it was going to be like to be a parent. As a 30-year-old first-time mom, I figured I had the experience and maturity needed to handle anything that might come my way. My husband and I had read every book about what to expect before and after baby. We bought and installed the safest possible car seat and took every prenatal class the hospital offered to prepare us for our child. I had it all under control.
Yet, less than two days after our son was born, I remember crying in desperation because I couldn’t get this strange little creature to eat or sleep. As the days and then weeks progressed, and Garrett wasn’t gaining weight, we started a four-month pattern of nursing, pumping and then “finger-feeding” him with a tiny little threadlike tube in three-hour intervals around the clock. I still remember struggling to keep in check my anger after the off-hand comment a well-meaning lady made about my “skinny little baby.” I didn’t understand why this wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. I was trying so hard to be the perfect mom and felt like I was failing him and myself, miserably. Why couldn’t I just fix the problem?
Eventually, our doctor ordered a series of tests. The results showed that his liver functions weren’t normal. It would be a matter of a few more weeks of waiting for the appointment with the specialist to see if we could figure out the problem. One night, as I held him in my arms, rocking him to sleep, I began to weep. I quietly sang to myself words from a hymn from my own childhood, “though he giveth or he taketh, God his children never forsaketh.” As I prayed, I lifted my sleeping baby boy up to God, dropping all my fears and guilt at the cross of Jesus. If my baby and I were truly “Children of the Heavenly Father,” why should I bear this pain and worry alone?
Eventually, another lab test found a medical answer—a metabolism disorder. A few dropperfuls of medicine every day and my “skinny little baby” began to grow. And his mother learned how to let go and trust God, living in the knowledge that he carries me, and all my worries and fears, every day.
Lord, give us the strength to take our fears and anxieties to the cross of Jesus. Remind us that we need to stop and ask you what you want. Give me strength, hope and faith to let go and give you control of every part of my life.