His scaly legs. His dry cheeks. His cracked toes. My precious love, my four year old son, has suffered with severe eczema his entire life.
But this post isn’t about eczema or “how to cure eczema.” It is raising my hands to God and relinquishing control over my children and their lives and their health and their being. And being okay with the fact that I am not perfect and will not be perfect — and that is good — it is okay.
When we become mamas, fierce mama bears, we want to protect our children from everything. We want to make all the right decisions. Do what’s best. Learn what’s best. Heaven forbid they eat a non-organic hot dog or a non-organic apple.
But we all make the best choices for what we believe is right for our child. Or we are making choices just to survive and feed and clothe our babies. And both are okay — and good. We are trying our hardest. (And even when we don’t try our hardest.)
I tried. I made all the “right” choices. I thought I was doing everything perfectly right.
I thought if I did all the “right” things, then my children would be healthy and happy. Eczema and ADHD and allergies won’t happen to my child because I made the “right” choices. Well I’m telling you that this is a lie.
It is a lie that tells us we are in control. If you don’t do everything right and you don’t stick to this and this and this then your child will suffer (fill in the blank _____ for what you believe in because I’ll save the actual do this and do thats beliefs for another day).
The “right” choices /for us/ meant a non-medicated home birth, breastfeeding, gluten free, no medications after birth, no unnecessary antibiotics, eating mostly organic, gluten-free, buying eggs and milk and meat from down the road, using essential oils, no vaccines, etc, etc, etc. All the things that the crunchy, granola mamas (and I think I pretty much classify as one) will tell you are the right things to do because then, THEN, your child will not have all of the above conditions/disorders/take your pick.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
But oh I am not in control.
My son has severe eczema. And a severe peanut allergy.
Gulp. Wait, what? But I had a home birth and he’s not vaccinated, God!? And why do some beloved mama-friends of mine who had epidural births, raised their babies on formula (like my husband was, I am not knocking this necessity/choice), have vaccinated kids — their kids are fine? Why my son? I thought that I did everything “right”?!
Because I am not in control. Only God is.
I felt I had to say this, write this, because a lot of “natural living” parents tend to get self-righteous about their decisions and how great their kids are. “Mine are better off because they don’t eat Skittles or only drink raw milk, again, fill in the blank _____” Well, no, your choices matter in the health of your child, but ultimately it is God who decides.
I can do everything under the sun that I think is right, but at the end of the day, He knows what is best, He is in control. He alone is our Creator and our Protector and our Keeper. And I can rest in that. I don’t know why my son suffers with these conditions. But He knows. And that’s enough (now).
And oh the comfort in finally dwelling in that and believing in that. So much pressure these days, right. To eat and breathe organic and make every little “right” choice. But only God is right and we are all simply doing our best.
This is not to say that my husband and I don’t believe in all of the above lifestyle and medical choices that we have made (we whole-heartedly do, and I know some debate will come, but that’s missing the point). No matter what we decide, or how good we want to be.
It will never be good enough. But we are already sanctified.
Stop trying? No — I will forever be educating myself and teaching myself, better.
Certainly stop judging, ever, EVER, anyone else’s best/right choices that they make for their child.
But as I start giving our lives, our most precious hopes — our children — to our Maker and Savior and raise hands in honor and glory to say I give it all to You and I’m happy that it’s not my job or in my control.
I’m just content.
Because our life experiences create us and wrap us and form us into who we are and who God wants us to become. (See my broken arm or how my brother died.) It is never what we expect or want, but it is what we need and we accept it and move on and live on and praise on.
For now, I have crossed this little pathway in my journey. I am not in control. And oh I am so so happy that God has taken care of it for us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.