It's 4 a.m. It's dark and cold, and I should be sleeping. I've been awake for an hour. It's one of those middle-of-the-night mommy moments when the weight of the challenges facing my daughters is keeping me awake.
My older daughter is struggling to recover from an ankle injury and adjust to a new soccer coach. My younger one is struggling to make friends. And it's all just a bit much for this mom's heart. Because these aren't problems I can fix. They aren't things that a hug and a kiss on the forehead will make better.
These are things my daughters have to struggle through, mostly on their own. I can offer encouragement and a shoulder to cry on. I can give advice and a hug. But I can't fix it. I can't simply wave my magic mommy wand and make it all better.
But I want to. Oh, how I want to. I want to save my daughters the tears and the struggles. I want to keep their hearts in one piece. I want them to have the smoothest road they can have.
But that's not life. Unfortunately, in this fallen world we live in, struggle is part of the package. Our kids have to navigate the bumps in the road, sometimes on their own. All we can do is stand back and watch and pray.
So at this 4 a.m. moment, I've been placing my kids at the foot of the cross. I've been handing them over to Jesus -- the only one who can heal their hurts and make it all better. Because when there's nothing I can do to fix the problem, I know that there's plenty that He can do.
Philippians 4:6 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." That includes our kids. It's hard not to worry about our kids. It's hard to lay them at the foot of the cross and trust that God is going to use these struggles as part of His greater plan. But He is.
I'm confident that the things my daughters are facing now are preparing them for some piece of God's plan in the future. I know that God will use all of this for good. But, honestly, that confidence doesn't stop my heart from breaking when my daughters hurt. It doesn't stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks as I pray. It doesn't make the 4 a.m. mommy moment disappear.
Those things are part of being a mom. Those moments of heartbreak and tears are as much a part of being a mom as the moment of joy when that little bundle of baby was placed in your arms the first time. When you love someone as deeply as we love our kids, hurting when they hurt is just part of the package.
So, in the wee hours of this morning I'll be laying my daughters' wounded hearts in the lap of the only One who can heal them. I'll be giving my kids to the only One who knows them and loves them more than I do. And through the mommy tears, I'll remain confident that He will mend their hearts and use their hurts for His glory in the way that only He can.