This is the blog I didn’t want to write for this week because it’s hard to admit. I’ll take comfort in believing some other Christian mom out there might be able to relate.
When I gave birth to my son nine years ago, I carried him full term, and was induced into labor the day before his due date. I was in labor 24 hours but my body would not dilate enough to allow me to push him out naturally as I had prepared to do. After 24 hours of grueling inducing and the beginning stages of detrimental health effects for us both, I was rushed into emergency surgery for a C-section. I have lovingly joked with my son since, that he had to “be evicted” in order to be born. The truth is, my body didn’t want to release my son and my son didn’t want to release from me.
It is now nine-and-a-half years since that time and I have recently started experiencing unusual lower back pain similarly to the pain I felt when I was pregnant carrying him. While other factors for this pain didn’t seem to line up, and even after making adjustments to help with it, this lingering pain seemed odd and I had been considering seeking medical help for it. Yet, yesterday, after the prompting of a close friend, I asked God if He could help me understand the source of the back pain. In my prayer, I told Him that I hadn’t recognized pain like this since I carried my son during pregnancy. And He immediately answered me back in my heart, “are you still carrying him?”
The answer I reluctantly admit, even after his birth nine years ago is that yes, I am still trying to “carry” him. While I am a dedicated Christian, I struggle with fearing for him in this world. I want to protect him, be there to teach him, and desperately want him to make better choices than I did for most of my life thus far. While I might be well-intended, I justify my helicoptering of him as discipleship. But my unwillingness to recognize that children are a gift and not a possession only keeps us both at risk and in the way of all God wants to do in our lives.
Too Much Risk, Much-Needed Trust
Mothers and fellow sisters-in-Christ that can hopefully relate, I can only compare my lack of delivery to a seriously high-risk pregnancy. I am not emulating faithful women like Hannah, or Jochebed, the mother of Moses, who willingly gave back the gift of children into the hands of the God they loved. I’m not trusting God with the path or command to release all to God like Abraham did with Isaac. I am attempting to hold onto and not deliver my child into His hands to Whom he rightly belongs, so I am putting us both at risk.
I’m grateful in this day for a God who speaks in more than one way. In my pain today, Savior, help me to finally release and deliver all that has always been yours. It was never mine to carry beyond delivery.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.