It was during my first pregnancy that God let me know I was not in control. At 37 weeks, I delivered a stillborn son. I grieved the traumatic loss of my firstborn, but it was also a turning point for me, the moment God began teaching me how to surrender.
Though motherhood began with heartache, I'm now a mom of three healthy kids, one of whom is a daughter. When she was little, I put her in lots of dance classes. Growing up, I loved being a dancer, and I was sure my daughter would love it, too. But when I finally realized she actually wanted to be a gymnast, I had to surrender my visions of costumes and recitals and let her pursue something she loved. That was just one of the many times God gently reminded this imperfect mom (again) that He’s in control, not me.
Motherhood, and life for that matter, is hard. Recently, the lesson of surrender returned again in a very dramatic way as I entered an unbelievably painful season of divorce, loss, and parental alienation. Although we raise our kids to fly and flourish on their own, I'm facing a complicated and emotionally devastating empty nest much sooner than I had planned. I pray every day for my children, that God will restore our relationships and that He will bring them back to Himself. But I'm also learning to accept that the dreams I had for my children, my family, and myself are not in my control. I’m choosing, each and every day, to love my children unconditionally, even from a distance, and to rely on the truth that God loves my kids more than I ever could. He has not taken His eyes off of them or me--not for a second.
Before I became a mom, I had my whole life perfectly planned. But parenting is in no way, shape, or form what I thought it would be. The truth is that, in parenting and in life, the only thing I can count on is God. As I surrender to Him, He continues to do His sacred work in me, cutting out my need for control, downsizing my pride, and leaving me with nothing but full dependence on Him.
Even in the pain, I know that God is kind, and just, and good. In His power, and because of His grace, I can surrender all.
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