Luke 12:25-26 (NRSV) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

I have always wrestled with anxiety and worry in my life, but I never experienced the kind of worry that comes with motherhood until now.  I guess it happens after you give birth, but I worry about everything concerning K.  Is he getting enough to eat?  Is he getting enough sleep?  Who will watch him and can I trust them?  Is he sick?  Is he happy?  Is he safe?  For the past 5 months, I’ve been bombarded with things to worry about.  One of the ways that this worry has manifested itself is I’ve been very hesitant to travel with K.  It stems from when we first took K out when he was 4 weeks old.  We took a simple drive to his great-grandmother’s house and out of nowhere a baseball smashed our windshield.  Initially, I thought someone shot through our windshield.  Thankfully, I was wrong and no one was hurt.  Since then, I haven’t wanted to take K anywhere!

Baby’s 1st Train Ride

Asleep on the train

So when it came time for me to go to NJ for an appointment, I was filled with anxiety and worry.  Daddy had to work, so I had to take K on the Amtrak train.  With the heavy police presence and bomb sniffing dogs at the station, I had to focus on my mantra, “Feel the fear, but do it anyway.  Feel the fear, but do it anyway.”  Of course, K was much calmer than me.  He had a great time on the train.  He laughed, looked out the window and slept most of the time.  Thankfully, we I made it through the trip and I gained some more confidence about traveling with a baby.

Baby’s 1st Earthquake?

My confidence was quickly shaken the next day, when the East Coast had its first major earthquake!  Oh and we felt it!  My husband had just returned from work and I was getting ready to go to work when our house started shaking.  At first, we thought that the construction behind our house caused the shaking, but when the house kept shaking, we knew it was an earthquake.  Immediately, I snatched K up, and we ran out the door.  Our house shook like a toy shack, but we didn’t have any major damage.  My response to my first earthquake was an epic FAIL!  I’m now thinking about what to do in case of an emergency.  We need an emergency family plan.  Would we have enough diapers, formula and clothes?  Where would we go?  As if I needed more things to worry about!
This weekend we’re expecting a hurricane.  Fantastic.

Trust in the Lord

All of this is reinforcing to me that my confidence and trust concerning my son must be in the Lord.  The earthquake taught me that I can hide my son in the house for fear of the world, but even keeping him in the house is no guarantee that he will be safe.  I have to put my trust in God.  Yes, this is a foundational lesson, especially for a minister, but I wrestle with my flesh just like everyone else and my flesh has a hard time surrendering to the Spirit.  Paul said it this way, “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (Romans 7:18-19).  

However, these events have reinforced to me that Jesus must be the source of my peace and confidence.  I have to keep reminding myself that God loves K more than I could ever love him and I have to surrender K to Him.  As I’m writing this, I keep thinking about Abraham who had to trust God with Isaac even when God’s request seemed completely insane.  I have to lay my son down at the feet of Jesus and trust that God will keep him just as He’s kept me. 

A ministerial colleague once shared a story of his brief stint as a pastor in Africa.  The church sent him to a country in the midst of political unrest.  He said that one day fighting broke out around the church and bullets flew everywhere destroying the church.  He said immediately he took cover while another pastor sat confidently knowing that the Lord would keep him.  My colleague said he left Africa soon thereafter, but the experience taught him about the type of disciple he wanted to be–one filled with peace in the midst of storm and even in the face of death.

I’m not there yet, but I want to be the type of mother and minister, who when the earth starts shaking and the winds start roaring, I stand firm believing that come what may, I will be OK because I’m in the hands of the Father.  Pray with me that I will get there!

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