To all you moms out there:
I sat on my sofa in the same spot, with the same countenance as I had thousands of times before, lifting my children one by one to the Lord.
“Lord, I plead the blood of Jesus over Katie, Ellie, Joseph, Troy, Joshua, Sally, Charlie, Owen, Drew, and Rorie…” Over the years, as the number of my children grew through births, adoption, and marriage I simply tacked on names. This stream of names flows easily over my tongue as I have spoken this prayer aloud and silently many times each day. Many of my prayers are covered like a blanket over my children as a corporate plea.
“Thank you that no weapon formed against them will prosper and every tongue that rises against them will be shown to be in the wrong, as they walk in Your ways and Your truth…”
“Protect their mind, their bodies, their spirits, their souls, and their emotions.”
“May they hear a voice behind them saying this is the way, walk in it.”
“May they have the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”
On and on, these scripture-based prayers flow naturally over my tongue because of the frequency with which I have prayed.
Sometimes, as my Mama-Anxiety grows for one reason or another, my prayers become bolder, louder even. And this boldness comes for my benefit, to remind myself of what I know and Who I believe.
I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
2 Timothy 1:12
I often must recount and remind myself of the promises of God.
“Lord, You said: ‘I will contend with those who contend with you and your children I will save’. I believe You, Lord, help me with my unbelief.”
“Lord, You said: ‘All your children will be taught of the Lord and great will be the peace of your children’. You said ALL, Lord. I believe You, Lord, help me with my unbelief.”
Sometimes, I remind myself of the strength and authority that is ours in Christ.
“Lord, thank you that our weapons are not carnal but they are mighty for the pulling down of strongholds. I therefore cast down imaginations and destroy speculations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I believe You, Lord, help me with my unbelief.”
And sometimes, after all of this, I still feel needy and afraid. And that is what I felt as I sat in that familiar place on my sofa that day.
“Lord, I need a word from You. I need the peace to know that this current worry for my child is a blip on the screen of life. I need to know that You are with us and that You are hearing my prayers.”
And then I opened my Bible. The assigned reading for that day was Isaiah 40. I have read this chapter countless times over the years. But my eye paused on verse 11, and I saw this Living Word in a new, fresh way which breathed life and hope and peace to my worried and troubled Mama-Heart.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
My lambs—my children—are carried by the Great Shepherd. They are safe in His arms and He holds them close to His heart. What relief!
And as the their mother, He gently leads me along with them.
For the first time, I stopped to think about mother sheep. We as believers are often referred to in scripture as sheep being led by Jesus, the Great Shepherd. But I had never thought specifically of mother sheep. Mother sheep can nuzzle their young. They can be near their young. But they cannot carry their young. They can’t hold them up. They are not physically capable of doing so. They were not created nor designed by the Creator to do so. Oh, we try. We try really hard to carry our kids along, carry their burdens, make life easier for them, stress-free, failure-free, pain-free. But we can’t.
But Jesus, the Great Shepherd can. He can carry them. He can protect them. He can help them. He can hold them close to His perfect, powerful heart. And then in His great compassion, He turns gently to us, knowing our Mother-Heart, and leads us along as well.
As peace filled my heart, praise filled my mouth. I praised Jesus for His provisions and His promises. I praised Him for carrying my children and comforting me. I praised Him for helping me, once again, in my unbelief. I once again, for the millionth time, gave my children to the only One who can carry them. Praise God that it is not up to me.