On a recent winter night while waiting for my daughter’s gymnastics class to end, I sat in my car with the heat turned up full blast, taking deep breaths and reading the news. Per usual (at least lately), thing sounded pretty ominous – the threat of military conflict, rampant wildfires, and spreading disease. Feeling terrified for my kids’ future world, I didn’t know what to do. I kept breathing and said a prayer, asking that they will be safe and protected and for everything to work out.
Later that night, as I was putting my daughter to bed, I said a few times “everything is going to be okay.” Finally she asked me, “Mom, why do you keep saying that?” Turns out it was more for me than for her. Lately we have kept the news turned off at home, and so our kids are more insulated from current events. She wasn’t aware of the worries on my heart of events in other parts of the world as well as the tension and hatred growing in this country that feels like it’s in our own backyard.
Related to parenting, I once read a quote saying something along these lines – when you have a child, your heart lives outside of your body. I have never experienced as much fear and joy in my life as I do in being a mother. My son skipping over cracks in the sidewalk on a sunny day with a grin on his face stops me in my tracks, and my daughter’s wit and persistence with the tasks she takes on leave me in awe. I cannot imagine trusting this broken world with the two beings who are more precious to me than anything.
So I pray. I pray for my family, especially my kids, that God will go with them and be their protector. I pray in those dark, quiet, lonely moments of the night when I realize how little control I have over outcomes that really matter to me, like whether my kids can live a full, long, healthy and happy life. I pray in thanks and gratitude, for the absolutely abundant blessings I have been given that I don’t deserve
Perhaps part of the power of prayer and the way God comforts us in moments of fear, is that prayer loosens the grip of anxiety, loneliness, and powerlessness. In prayer, we become freer to act, more able to be bold and confident because of the power of Christ. We are reminded that God is always right there. We can take refuge in the familiar language of prayers from long ago as well as lean toward Christ with words from our own heart. I have sought solace in prayer as a mother, and I am so grateful for the ways it has made me a better one as a result.