Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On Worrying And Letting Go Of Control

This weekend, I'm going to Atlanta with Sarah Denley and Ashley for an adoption retreat. I'm SO excited about the retreat! I've signed up for some breakouts that I'm really looking forward to, and I feel like this retreat is coming at a perfect time. We're getting close to completing our Home Study, and it will be great to be surrounded by other moms who are passionate and excited about adoption. I'm hoping to come home very encouraged and excited about the journey ahead of us. Of course, I'm also thrilled to be spending time with Ashley and SD. It's been months since the three of us were together, and we always have the best time!

As excited as I am about this trip, though, I do have my usual "trip anxiety." Before I leave my kids (and my hubby! ;) I ALWAYS have second thoughts and get really emotional about leaving them. It doesn't matter if I'm just going to be gone one night. It happens every time. Adding to the emotional "turmoil" (that's really too strong of a word) this time is that fact that I'm leaving on Alaina's birthday. I'll still get to see her before I leave, but I'm just a little sad that I won't get to spend the whole day with her. When I was first thinking about going to this retreat MONTHS ago, I felt so torn when I found out that I'd be out of town on Alaina's birthday. Ultimately, David and I decided that this retreat was something that I should do, and Alaina is too young to understand that it's her birthday anyway. We're having her party the following weekend, and it will be a really special time celebrating her first year. But it's still a little bittersweet to be leaving.

I was thinking about WHY I always feel so anxious before I leave my babies, and I think it just boils down to control. I feel like no one is going to take care of them as well as I do. (Except David, of course. He's awesome.) Even when David and I leave the kids for just a few hours for a date night, I feel the need to state the obvious for the babysitter (usually my mom, who I trust completely). For example: "Mom, make sure the baby doesn't have any small objects in her hand that could be choking hazards when you put her to bed." Or: "Don't let Jude go to sleep with a necklace around his neck." My mom is very sweet and humors me even though she had four kids of her own and never put any of us to bed with small objects. Ha! I guess it's just hard to relinquish control, especially when it comes to my children. I have caught myself thinking, "What's going to happen to them while I'm not here to take care of them?" And then I feel so convicted. I feel convicted because I am reminded that my children are not safe day in and day out because I'm a good mom and take care of them. God is the one who protects my children. It is HIM who guards and sustains them every minute of the day and every day of their lives, not me. Yes, He has placed these precious children into my care (and David's!) and it is my responsibility to protect them to the best of my ability. But it brings me an immeasurable amount of comfort to remember that even the hairs on my children's heads are numbered and not one of them will fall from their heads without the Lord's permission. I need to remember daily that as much as I love my children, the Lord loves them more, and they belong to Him. I should cherish them, but I also must hold onto them loosely and hand them over to the Lord daily.

I was also thinking about this time last year, and how Baby Alaina was snug on the inside of me. You would think a mother's womb would be the safest place on earth for a baby. But I remembered how this time last year, little Baby Alaina had a knot in her umbilical cord, unbeknownst to us. When she was born, the doctor showed us the knot and called Alaina our "miracle baby." I shudder to think of all of the terrible things that could have happened because of that knot. But God knew about it. None of that was outside of His control. He was there, with our unborn infant, knitting her together and sustaining her even before she was born. He has a plan for her life, and in His book are written all the days that are ordained for her. This God we serve is so amazing. He's so good. He's SO trustworthy.

In thinking about my children, my mind went to our little 4th baby, who is probably already born, somewhere on the other side of the world. He or she doesn't have a mother's care or love yet. I hope that someone is taking care of our baby and showing that precious child love. But it's not me. I don't even know who the child is. But God knows. He ordained this child to be a part of the Howie family from before the foundation of the world, and He'll bring him or her into our family when the time is right. And in the meantime, He is watching over this child and sustaining him or her every minute of every day. And the amazing thing is that He will continue to do so every day of this child's life. I know that with certainty.

I'm so thankful that I can rest assured that God is watching over all of my children. Leaving them is still a little bittersweet, and I'm sure I'll still have some nerves. But when I feel anxiety rising up, I'm going to try to remind myself that my children belong to the Lord. I will continually place them in His hands. There is no safer place for them.

PS - I wrote this post a few days ago but just hadn't published it yet. Yesterday, David and I had our individual interviews for our Home Study. I was talking with our case worker about being a "worrier." She asked me what kind of things I worry about, and one of the examples I gave was my children. She looked me and said, "Do you think some of the worrying could be a control issue?" Maybe God is trying to teach me something, no? :)

1 comment:

Amy said...

this is me in a nutshell. :)
praying for you to be able to relax and enjoy your weekend.
and....y'all will be so close to me! i live about 30min outside of atlanta!! :0)