One verse from Managing Your Blessing’s Monthly Scripture Memorization Challenge really spoke to me as we focus on mothering from the heart this month:
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” — Psalm 27:14 (KJV)
As Carlie mentioned in her devotional post, two clear directives stand out for us in this verse: wait and have courage. Both have been challenging for me over the years as a Type A recovering perfectionist mama. However, I have learned through navigating some difficult storms how vital God’s instructions are to our heart strength and even physical well-being — especially these instructions.
A few years ago, I had a physical panic attack for the first time. This experience dominoed into a year of anxiety-related health challenges that crushed me physically and emotionally. As the bad days rolled into challenging months of seeing doctor after doctor, trying to make sense of the disparate medical opinions and remedies being offered (trust me, I tried it ALL), God placed a few key people in my path who became critical to helping me find a road to recovery. I realized that although He wasn’t going to “take it away” overnight, He was right there with me every moment, leading me to the solutions I needed.
Although I clung tightly to the Lord and the life-giving truth of His Word throughout this experience, I had to be honest with myself about one thing: There were areas of my life that I was not trusting God to take care of.
Psalm 27:14 reminds me of two critical lessons I learned throughout this experience. First, I realized that I wasn’t willing to wait for God to answer our prayers. My mind swirled constantly with ideas and solutions to make things happen on our own — right away. After my evening prayers for direction regarding financial struggles, homeschooling challenges, and health concerns, I would immediately turn my mind’s “lightbulb” back on to work on the problems. And I wouldn’t even entertain the thought that God wanted us right there, in the middle of these storms, for a reason.
Second, many of my actions didn’t reflect “good courage” and trust in the Lord. Although I took on new ministry opportunities, such as starting our blog NextGen Homeschool and leading in our homeschool group, I would not step out IN FAITH in a direction that I didn’t think I could handle myself. I would hear miraculous stories of God’s provision from friends who trusted FIRST and acted upon God’s calling without a safety net, and I wished for their confidence. I was too afraid to let go and let God show up without my help.
Motherhood gave me many more things to add to my control list. Mysterious allergies and health concerns? Research and consulting with more types of doctors will lead to an answer. Parenting philosophies? I’ve read enough parenting books to know what’s best, and when I have trouble, I’ll just read another book. Safety concerns? My girls won’t mind (over) protective restrictions — so what if I survived walking to school and babysitting without a cell phone? Not happening on my watch.
However, through my struggles with physical anxiety, God showed me that He’s not just there for me — He’s there for my children. I might think I can protect them from all the things I fear by making rational and educated decisions, but the truth is we have no guarantees. I had to decide if I was going to trust God, wait on His direction, and maintain peace in the process, or continue drowning on my own.
As a mother, I’ve learned that the only way to experience true peace about raising children is to give them right back to God. I needed to acknowledge that all my reading, research, and rational strategies weren’t enough. Some things will work out, but some storms will wipe us out if we’re not mothering from a heart that’s surrendered to God.
Waiting on the Lord is ALL about trust. Three years later, I still deal with some physical anxiety symptoms. Most days are good, praise God! The practical me continues to explore other options to medication, such as nutrition, supplements, essential oils, acupuncture, exercise — and I’m still making adjustments to improve my health.
However, my strength now comes from knowing in my heart that God is holding me in His very capable arms — and He’s got this. The constant pressure to “fix” it has been replaced with a peace that literally surpasses all my understanding. I’m trusting Him to strengthen me sufficiently for the roles He’s calling me to fill right now. And I’m listening to heart tugs from the Holy Spirit, not just a good parenting book, to guide me as a mother.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7
What areas of motherhood have been particularly challenging for you to wait on the Lord for direction about? What parenting fears hold you back? Have you experienced any trust breakthroughs along the way? How do these verses speak to you about how God wants to meet you in the storms and strengthen your heart?
More to consider…
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