Nurse: “You’re pregnant.”
Me: *Stops breathing.
Me: *Blank stare
Also, me: *Now what?
Because almost 30 years ago pregnancy tests weren’t very reliable and also because I couldn’t afford one, to save time and money, I went to my doctor’s office on my lunch break to confirm what I thought was happening inside of me. I found out that I was indeed growing a human inside of my body. I drove back to work with feelings that wavered between utter disbelief and giddy excitement. Yikes! I was going to have my first baby!
On the drive back to work, I sneezed.
Silly, I know, but my immediate reaction was, “Oh no! Is that okay? Will sneezing hurt the baby?”
I was 23 years old. It was at that very moment my “worry meter” switched on with a vengeance.
Fast forward to all types of situations when my worry meter was in the red, such as:
Getting in a car without me in it
First day of school
Second day of school
Third day of school… you get the idea
Illness and surgeries
Making their own food choices
Then came events like 9/11. It was all I could do to not go full out mama bear and barge into their classrooms, scoop them up and bring them home to stay with me forever and ever.
College… oh my!
With an ocean between my oldest daughter and me (she survived the pregnancy sneeze, by the way), she moved into her dorm in Texas while I was in Singapore caring for my other two children. The “what if’s” were consuming. Tears and fears were a constant companion.
My son and I had talks about a religion class he was taking at school. His dad and I parented him, as we did all of our children, to see our faith but to own his. That meant that he would need the space to seek God and come to terms with his own belief system. It was worrisome for me to think that he might be influenced to question the God that I hoped he would place his full trust in one day.
I remember when my youngest daughter was finishing up high school, she mentioned that she didn’t know why anyone still ate McDonald’s. I felt a wave of relief. My hard work had paid off. This was the kid we thought would turn into a chicken nugget when she was four. She moved into her first apartment recently. As we moved her in, I sat in my car alone and cried out to God to keep my baby safe because I knew I couldn’t.
My worry meter was unmanageable. I had to find a way to handle this complete lack of control over my children’s safety and well-being.
As I look back, even when I thought I was in control, I really wasn’t. With health and faith intact, all three of my adult children have survived so many experiences that I had no control over.
From the moment the cord is cut, the release begins. “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”Psalm 127:4 NIV
I recently found myself wondering whether God worries about us, His children. It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that He doesn’t. He doesn’t need to worry about us because He knows the story. He knows the first and last page of our lives and every page in between. Colossians 1:17 offers comfort in knowing that “He is before all things, in Him all things hold together.”
Why do we worry about our children?
We worry due to misplaced trust.
We place more trust in ourselves and what little control we think we have over our children’s stories. We think we know what should be written on the pages of their lives.
We worry because we put more trust in our limited knowledge and abilities over what we want for our children than God’s infinite knowledge and abilities over what He has already planned for our children. Their story is already written and we get to be a part of it!
Truthfully, I think I will always worry some. But I’ve come to realize that our children belonged to God before He gifted them to me.
God is so much better at taking care of my children than I am.
Andrea Stunz has been a Christ-follower from the age of seven. She is the loyal wife to one, loving mom to three amazing adult children, grateful mother-in-law and ridiculously proud grandmother. A well-traveled Texan, having lived in Brazil, Asia, and the UK, Andrea finds joy in her family, grace in her friends, beauty in a story, purpose in the sunrise, wonder in her travels, and hope in Colossians 1:17. Andrea longs to encourage others by sharing stories because “a story worth living is a story worth sharing”. Find more from her at AndreaStunz.com.