This is not something that is a unique challenge. It is my experience in general that women worry about things from a young age. I used to worry about things like breakouts and hitting all my targets at track practice. Worry evolves if we let it as our lives change. Next I worried about juggling working two jobs while being a full time student, and then in that same season of life I worried about being a great wife. Then I worried about doing my job excellently. Most people would say all of that is completely normal, and that worrying is just a part of life. If that’s the case, I NEED A NEW NORMAL. 

The heaviest weight of worry I’ve ever felt is about my children. While Lauren was in my tummy, I made her promises. I promised to always protect her. I promised to always keep her safe. I promised her that there would never be a day in her life that I wouldn’t gladly lay down mine to keep those promises. I promised her I would always love her, no matter what. I also prayed Numbers 6:24-26 over her everyday from the moment I knew she existed. “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He be gracious to you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you. May He lift His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Do you see the contradiction?

I realized as I was praying the week before she started preschool, I set myself up to fail by assigning a job to myself that I was not the best for. I think it is right and good to protect and care for our children. No one should be reckless, but GOD IS HER PROTECTOR. I realized that I was not at all trusting God to take care of her, but I was depending on me to get it done. Now when choosing who is best for a job, the good and smart decision between God and me is to go with God. I can’t. He always has. He created her life with my body as an instrument. He knows the hairs on her head because He wove her together (Luke 12:7, Psalm 139). There could have been a million things that could have gone wrong while I was carrying her, but He protected her from the instant she was created. In that, the truth I lost sight of is that He loves her more. See, I wasn’t trusting God with what was already His. A pastor we love talks about life with an open hand. We leave our hands closed around things we do not trust the Lord with. He cautioned us about the pain in God wrenching that thing from us- whatever it is. I had a grip on Lauren until this day of prayer that probably could have cut off circulation, and I did not even realize it.  When I did, and repented for not trusting God who is faithful and loves her more, I opened my hand and let myself off of the hook. The weight lifted for carrying a responsibility I was never meant to, gave me peace. I can’t be with her every moment, but God can. He is always with her, and He is better at it than me.  Again, that doesn’t mean there are not ways in protecting her I’m responsible for, but it does mean I can trust God and not worry myself into not sleeping. Jesus calls us not to worry in Matthew 11:28-30.  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I think if we looked at our worries more closely we would see they are places we have closed our hands, added weight to our shoulders, and not trusted God. There’s so much freedom in letting go. We took Lauren to preschool on Monday, helped her into her classroom, told her I loved her, and walked away praying and trusting the Lord. The truth is that it wasn’t hard, because I’d finally let go. As a mommy, I had not realized how tightly I’d held on, but as a daughter of God I know I better open my hand now because God has something incredible in mind for Lauren. He might send her to the ends of the Earth. He might take her to dangerous places for His namesake. That is her name. Lauren means crowned with victory. Amelia means mighty worker. We named her that she might be crowned with the victory of Christ and that she would mightily work for His kingdom. That His renown would be the desire of her soul (Isaiah 26:8). Whatever His plan is for her, I have to keep my hand open relying on His faithfulness. 

Be encouraged that with whatever area you are struggling with that the battle will only rage on as long as you close your hand. There’s been this new place of peace I’ve been able to rest in since that day.  I’m thankful my God was faithful to the point of death, and that He loves me even when I don’t trust Him like I should. Walk in peace friends. Walk in the knowledge of God’s heart for you and your babies. Be free from worry. Be free to enjoy peace and the joys that worry robs from you. Just be FREE!