My children are gifts. There have been so many things that have reminded me of this in the past weeks.
Since before they were conceived I've struggled with fear and anxiety of their very existence. Will they be conceived? Will it take days, months, or years?
Then it happened. I got that positive test! But the fear and anxiety didn't go away. Now my thoughts shift to miscarriage. Is that a cramp I feel? I don't feel sick today, does that mean something is wrong? She hasn't moved tonight and she is usually doing somersaults..I hope that everything is okay.
Then they are born. He's here! Surely fear and anxiety of the things that I can't control will subside now. Right? Now that I can see that they are okay? No relief comes. What about SIDS? Could I possibly fall asleep nursing him and hurt him? And I heard a tragic story once of a sweet baby boy suffocating in a blanket, just like the one we use. Surely, surely this feeling will go away as they become more self sufficient.
Now one is in this phase. She probably won't suffer from SIDS or suffocate in her sleep. But oh my gosh, the whole new world of possibilities. The freak accidents that could happen. She is so fast to run and explore, and we live on a road!
Recently we experienced a break in at our home. And it is so tempting to lay in bed in worry. In fact, just last night I called my husband in tears of anxiety and fear. I wish I could sleep every night in the hallway outside their doors with pepper spray. But that wouldn't be enough.
What a lesson God has been teaching me. A lesson that I've had to learn again. and again. and again. And just when I feel like I have it under control, another sleepless night. These kids of ours, they aren't actually ours. They are His. And every moment I get to be their earthly mother is a gift. So much of what happens in their little lives is out of my control, it isn't worth the anxiety and the fear.
So starting today. Starting now. I want to again fear for my children in a different way. When thoughts of anxiety start to creep in and I find myself on the floor in the hallway or on my knees in prayer, I want to cry out for their salvation. Their days on earth are already numbered, I want to make the most of them. Full of love, gratitude, and dependence on the One who holds their souls. Why waste these precious moments in anxiety?
I'm so glad there is Good News to this life on earth. I'm so glad that Jesus died on the cross so that I could have eternal life. I'm so glad that I don't have to carry the weight of my children's lives and that I yearn to carry some weight for their salvation. Not that I can do anything to save them, but that I can be diligent in teaching them and praying for them.
And hopefully now that I've organized my thoughts into words, I can sleep tonight. I can rest in the arms of the Heavenly Father. And when I get up to the cries or coos of my son and the little footprints of my daughter. My first thought will be about what a gift they are to me.