Four years ago when my daughter was recovering from emergency surgery and fighting for her life for the second time, I wrote the following below.
Although this week does not find us facing anything near to what that situation was, it does find us facing a new experience that once again requires me to relinquish my control in exchange for God's plans for her.
I am being reminded of His promises. I am being reminded to pray, what I consider to be, the most difficult prayer...
Ever since we learned we were expecting our first child, our son, we realized our children would not really be our own. They were God’s gift on loan to us. They were really His children and it was our job to bring them up in the love and knowledge of Him, to serve Him alone.
We have made it a practice to pray with open hands regarding their lives. The majority of the time this is not difficult, to relinquish them to Him. It seems very easy, very natural, very right.
However, there have been two separate times when this prayer became the most difficult prayer for me over any other. The prayer of submitting my child's life and care into the hands of God.
Because I didn’t trust Him? NO. Because I was afraid He would make the wrong decision? NO. Because I was leery He might make a mistake? NO.
Because I am human? YES. Because I have a selfish nature? YES. Because I am a mother? YES. Because their very life was hanging in the balance and it was completely out of my control? YES.
Perhaps part of the reason this is so difficult is because I know it is not always God’s plan to heal, to restore health and life, to touch us physically. I have had friends lose their babies and their children. In fact, it has touched my very own family.
My parents taught me the practice of submitting and relinquishing my children to God. You see, they did the same thing with each one of us, starting with my older brother. God chose to call him home 4 days after he was born. And yet, they chose to continue to open their hands and hearts in submission to the will of God with the rest of us. (There are 5 more children!)
So, as I pray this prayer for my children each day, I know in my head that it is very possible God will not heal, will not restore, will not touch physically. But I also know in my heart that God is God and I am not. I know His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8 )
We prayed this prayer. We opened our hands. We opened our hearts. We submitted and relinquished our ability as parents. We gave our child back to God to do as He saw fit. My heart trembled. My mind raced.
I heard a question over and over in my spirit, “Am I God? Will I still be God, regardless of the outcome?”
Although my mind desperately pleaded and begged God for what my humanness desired, my heart had to truthfully say, “Yes. You will still be the one to make the sun rise and set each day. You will still be the one to bring spring after winter. You will continue to calm the storms, to touch my heart and spirit with your love and peace. You will still be God.”
For you see, I know there are many who do not get the miraculous outcomes. I know that for whatever reason God’s plans do not always match ours. I know that at times our hearts break, our spirits cry out in despair, our minds ask why. I don’t know why some get to experience the miracles and others do not. It does not seem to make sense. It does not seem fair.
But, I also know that God is Faithful to all His promises.(Psalm 145:13) I know that He has plans for us, to prosper us and not to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11) I know that He loves us (John 3:16) and rejoices over us in song. (Zephaniah 3: 17) I know He works all things together for our good.(Romans 8:28) I know that He does not give stones for bread or snakes for fish, but rather gives good gifts to His children.(Matthew 7: 9-11)
I guess that is what faith is. Trusting and being certain of what we can not see. Believing when it doesn’t make sense. Being confident when it seems utter chaos. (Hebrews 11:1)
I have become convinced that this is probably the most difficult prayer my lips have ever uttered or will probably ever utter. The surrender of my children to Him.
But, I also believe that it is probably one of the most important prayers I will ever utter for them. For what better place will they be protected, sheltered, shielded, and in God’s perfect plan other than the very palms of HIS HANDS! (Isaiah 49:16)