As a mom, there are so many times that I basically want to freak out. Like literally freak out.
Times when my kids come home from school and tell me things they heard, things that they learned that I know they’re not ready to learn yet…times when they tell me things people did to them that were wrong...times when I imagine all the things that could happen to them, all the evil that’s in the world that could hurt or affect them…times when I find out sin my kids are hiding...times when I wonder if we’re doing enough to develop them…times when I wonder how the mess that’s still inside of me will cripple them as they grow up in my household. There are just so many opportunities to want to freak out.
And I’ve spent alot of time giving in to that urge, and freaking out. As a mom, I’ve been despairing, I’ve been angry, I’ve been afraid, I’ve been anxious, I’ve been overcome by terror in the middle of the night, I’ve been ruled by suspicion, I’ve wanted to say “I just cant do this; it requires too much; it’s too painful,” and give up. I’ve ‘freaked out.’
The Bible suggests that there is a disposition to have towards life that is called 'anxious toil.' And if you’re like me, you know what it is for your mind and emotions to be stuck in a season of 'anxious toil' in your parenting. There isn’t really rest. There isn't really peace when you look at and interact with your children, because what is ruling you inside is worry, fear, suspicion, imaginations, despair, anger, frustration. I know that disposition. But I’m finding, through the gentle reminders and correction of Jesus, that my anxious toil actually ends up all being in vain…it never gets me any real progress in my parenting. It just leads me further down the road of more anxious toil. What God wants from me, instead, is rest, and trust, and belief that He is in charge, and that He is good. He wants me to use my energy to believe that He is doing something good in my children (and in me). And good doesn’t always look like ideal.
I've found songs like this one below to be helpful for me in my journey. They help me to kind of re-group and re-orient my emotions and my mind around who is most responsible for my children. Who I need to entrust them to. Is it me and my anxious toil that is keeping my children safe in this life? Or is it Someone stronger, Someone bigger, Someone with alot more wisdom and resources and sight than I have? I love the line, "When it thunders, I don't wonder if I'm safe in Daddy's arms," because parenting so often feels like 'thunder' pealing quite loudly, but the Lord is asking me, like a parent would in the middle of a thunderstorm, to let myself believe I am completely safe with my Daddy. Even though I hear the thunder.
As you consider the things in your own parenting that make you want to 'freak out,' may you have grace to walk the journey along with me in believing that when it thunders, you are safe in Daddy's arms.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:1-2