dear mama, you are not in control
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.
what a great reminder! sometimes, it’s easy to forget who is God, and that HE is the one that provides revelation and “new” thoughts even in our own minds. creativity and innovation are such beautiful gifts He has given to us. and like you said, bringing the control back to the Creator … things just work better.
oh how i love His grace.
I really appreciate this post! I have been coming to a similar conclusion with my own different experiences. The best part is that, because God is in control, He can make us mighty in Spirit if we rely on Him no matter what happens to us. Thank you for being so honest and for sharing such a wonderful realization!
Thank you for sharing your heart with us. This really encouraged me today.
So much truth and wisdom in your words… Motherhood is THE most humbling experience I have ever gone through. It is not one experience, but a continual, day after day making of mistakes, biting our tongues, swallowing our pride, shuddering at the things we have said or thought in the past, asking for forgiveness, soldering on, seeking help and embracing the who we are now with the cards we are dealt. Learning, admitting our weaknesses and failures, and that we CAN’T do it all…motherhood is a big ole piece of humble pie. I think back to the person I was before I had kids and the nonsense thoughts I had about how one ought to go about parenting, and then I think about the parent I was with one child, then with two, thee and four, and it has all been one learning (and humbling) experience after another. I have come to the same conclusions that you have; it is not in our control. And that is a GOOD thing. My life has turned out nowhere near where I could have planned it, and I am SO grateful for it. (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jer 29:11) Through my humility lessons as a parent I have become a much more accepting, and I believe loving person. I have learnt to rely on God’s wisdom. My children have seen me admit my failures and ask for forgiveness. Praise God, for He knows what He is doing with me and my family- even when I don’t ;)
This is late but consider Cetaphil Eczema body wash and Aveeno Eczema Lotion.