Two nights ago I laid in bed, tears streaming down my face, thinking about my girls sleeping soundly in the room across the hall, my heart pounding through all my fears. I had just seen photos of the children lost in Syria, and read the story of a little boy's last moments with his mama. So, I got up, snuck into their room, got on my knees, grabbed my sweet Star's hand, and wept as I prayed over my girls. While I sat in the quietness of their room, the Lord reminded me of words spoken to me just a few weeks ago- "They aren't yours." Typically His gentle reminders bring a calm to my overwhelmed soul. But in this moment, these words only brought more tears to my eyes. "They aren't yours", is the most terrifying phrase that's ever been spoken to me. Yet, I cannot deny it's truth. They aren't mine.
As I wept on my knees, terrified, I was also reminded of who spoke them to me. A woman who sang hymns over her first born child as she breathed her last breaths. Her first moments as a mother brought truth to the words- "they aren't yours." She wasn't even able to make it through her first day of motherhood without surrendering her control over to the Father, trusting His plan to be perfect, even if it meant she would leave the hospital empty-handed. Yet, even after facing the death of her daughter, she not only sought to have more children, but she also raised them with the same declaration- they aren't mine. And for my entire life, my mom has lived these words out in faith.
Most days, it's easy for me to quote the verses that bring comfort- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart", "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord", "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength." When I look at my girls, I see a curly headed daughter who is in every way my spirit. She embodies so much of my soul, and brings such life to it. Then I look over and I see my baby-blue-eyed heart. A heart that is filled with immense joy and love for all people. When it comes to them, it's a little bit harder to say I love the Lord with all of my heart and soul. It's a little bit harder to say I trust Him completely. It's a little bit harder to say that I know His plans will give us a hope and a future, even if it means I don't get to hold onto these hands forever. The little feet that pitter-patter around our home, and the sweet hands that fit so perfectly into mine are the hardest things I have ever had to surrender. But the words are true- they aren't mine.
So on the days when my fear outweighs my surrender, I must always return to the cross. At the cross, I am reminded that my Heavenly Father willingly sacrificed His son. The Lord knows full well the weight of surrendering a child, and He understands my fears in the midst of all the suffering and evil. But He also cannot accomplish His great plan, a plan that goes far beyond our time here on earth, through me or through them if I am unwilling to surrender my girls over to Him.
I do not know what His plans hold, and I cannot keep our home safe from every evil of this world. But I choose to speak these words over my children everyday-
They aren't mine.
When my fears drown out my faith- they aren't mine.
When the flood of evil threatens our shelter of peace- they aren't mine.
When sickness or injury steals- they aren't mine.
When it's hard to surrender- they aren't mine.
They are Yours.
Because they are Yours, I do not have to fear the unknown.
Because they are Yours, I am assured that while evil may invade, You are our fortress.
Because they are Yours, I know that when the strength of their body or mind is stolen, their souls are held in the palm of Your hand.
Because they are Yours, may your perfect will be done.
For they aren't mine. They are Yours.