When pregnant with our first, it never occurred to me to pray, “Let your will be done with this baby Father.” That pregnancy ended in a very early miscarriage and all I knew was anger. “How ‘dare’ He take our baby when I wanted one so badly!”
When pregnant with our second, it still didn’t occur to me to release our unborn baby to God, either through the pregnancy or even the first years of her life. She was “mine”.
When the news came of our ruptured ectopic, that day in the ultrasound room, waiting to be wheeled to the surgical floor, the gentle prompting came by the Holy Spirit—not only as I realized our baby was gone but that I was bleeding internally and could quite possibly die as a result—“my life is not mine. It’s God’s. So was this baby’s life. Let Your will be done.”
That surrender grew, as pregnant with our now, second earthly child, we rushed to the emergency room at 8 weeks because of bright red blood. “This is Your child and my body is Your body. Have Your way.”
– Melissa Carswell
Even though I believe that I learned to give my babies to God very quickly, due to the uncertain nature of my first pregnancy, I had never surrendered the idea that my pregnancy belonged to Him as well.
When I recently discovered that I was pregnant for the sixth time, I told God that I was completely willing to give Him my child, if He wanted to take him/her early again. However, I also asked that He might just allow me to hold this one first.
When we found out that I had a blighted ovum, and that fetal tissue had never even begun to form, I was crushed. So much for holding this one. God didn’t even give me a baby at all! I sure had a lot to learn about ownership and surrender. God wants everything, not just what we feel comfortable giving to Him.
– Holly Besser
This surrender, based in the knowledge that anything I have, truly I do not “have”, has grown with time. However, this truth has grown, not without pain coupled with it. The pain of wondering just what God will allow as I surrender my children and everything related to them to Him. Yet with the pain, has come a peace. A peace that says that their lives are, in fact, not within my power to protect. Only God has the ultimate power over life and death. This releases me from frantic attempts to control and manage every circumstance.
The inclination remains minutely study where my body is with each cycle and fall into the notion that it is my choosing to have it cooperate the way it should, to respond the way I think it should, to yield what I think I should have. To hold my children tightly, with every threat, and say, “Mine!”
There is still a tendency, due to the fear of them suffering or dying, to obsess over every cold and sniffle, terrified it will turn into something that could become life-threatening. To tend to say “no” to overnights at Grandparents’ for fear that once out of my sight, something horrible may happen to them.
This issue of who we consider the rightful owner of our bodies and that of our babies and children, manifests in our heart-attitude, and it reflects in everything from our attempts at pregnancy to our hopes of keeping that pregnancy and then, once that child is finally in our arms, holding tightly to them fearful of ever losing them.
While there are things we can do, such as charting for pregnancy or following every rule the books give us for the pregnancy or the brand new baby in our arms, trying to ensure that nothing bad will ever happen is futile. We must realize that God is the Creator of all life, and He will decide when it comes into being and when that life will end. God has given us the role of a mother to teach and lead our children in the way of God. The control that we have as a parent is limited by a God that is so much bigger and more powerful than we ever will be. He also loves our children a great deal more than we ever can, so He will certainly do what is best for them.
Life is in His hands. Not ours.
That pregnancy we so desperately cling to, that child we fiercely call “ours”. . . It all belongs to God. While given this gift, we are yet stewards of the gift, not rightful owners of it.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body I Corinthians 6:19-20
This is not merely a vague suggestion that perhaps we might want to consider that my body and those of my children—in fact, our very lives—might belong to God. Instead, it is a clear counsel that we are not our own. And if I am not my own, then clearly, my children are not my own either. They are not mine to claim, but they are a gift to surrender back to the Lord, realizing humbly, that He may do with His children what He has written into His book for them, before the beginning of time.
Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass. Job 14:5
This also applies to everything else that we have.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
1 Timothy 6:7
If we look at our lives with the idea that everything is a gift from God, we will have a much easier time letting go, when He asks us to.
We need to hold onto His gifts with open hands, not clenched fists.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
If you borrow something from a friend, do you have the right to be angry, bitter, or resentful towards them, when they request it back? Of course not. It was never yours to begin with. You have no rights in regards to that object. In the same way, if God has given us everything, what right do we have to begrudgingly give it up, or maybe even try to grab it and run?
Sacrificial obedience is a true sign of our faith in God.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. Hebrews 11:1; 17-19
There is a human weakness of fear at times to acknowledge this. If you are reading this study, you have already realized devastating grief, and you may feel that to surrender to this truth is to make your heart fearful of what God may require of you next—or again.
However, there is a freedom larger than the fear, when we can relinquish control and truly, fully surrender to His faultless ways, trusting He will perfect the way that concerns us and our cherished children.
The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:8
The alternative to this freedom is a heart filled with turmoil, grasping at a guarantee of some sort of control that ultimately exhausts and drains every resource we have emotionally. God’s power never runs out. He is always watching and protecting.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:3-4
Ultimately, perspective is everything…Is it mine or His? If the answer is, “His,” then, we have no reason to fear. Be still and know that He is God.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah