To many, this appointment was a simple procedure at the dentist, but to my daughter it was a procedure causing her lots of fear and worry. Naturally, it caused me a lot of worry and planning.
We had been talking about this day for months. There were lots of questions asked and answered. We role played many visits to the dentist and talked through different scenarios that could happen. We reassured her that although we don’t know exactly what will happen, we can trust that God knows how the appointment is going to go. We prayed many prayers, recited Bible verses to hide in our heart, reminded ourselves that this is for her good, and reassured her that God will be in the room with her.
In our quiet time the night before, I found a devotional on the Bible app to read with her. It said …
“We don’t stop hearing the whispers of fear – those usually stick around. But brave kids hear those whispers and take action anyway. Sometimes we have to do things even while we’re still a little afraid. Being brave is hearing that voice of fear in your head and saying, “Okay, but the truth is, God made me on purpose and for a purpose. So, I can do this. I have everything I need to be brave!”
“I am the Lord your God.
I am holding your right hand
And I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid.
I will help you!” Isaiah 41:13
No matter what the day held for her, she had everything she needed to be brave. I knew in my heart that we could not have prepared any more for this day than we had, and we went to bed that night knowing that God is holding tightly to our right hand and telling us not to be afraid, because He will help us.
The morning of the procedure, I thought of the many things that I could control – her comfy clothes, the playlist of her favorite songs on her tablet, the light purple headphones she picked out the night before, and all the prayers poured over her, but there is so much that is out of my control. As I sat waiting alone, I knew with confidence that I did my best to help her, but my best ends where the Lord takes over. God is the one to see her through. He is the one to give her strength in these difficult moments. He is the one who can do all things. Not me.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you”.
He Is Everywhere
God is not only in the room with my daughter, He is also in the waiting area with me. He doesn’t forget us in the hard moments we face with our kids. When it feels like the weight of it all is on our shoulders, it’s time to surrender.
God is the strength that keeps us going. He bears our heavy burdens with us. If only we would surrender to His power and authority. If only we would remember in the moments that threaten to overcome us, that God goes before us in every circumstance. He is here. He is there. He is everywhere.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
I would love to say that everything went according to plan, all the things that I could control helped, and all that we did to prepare for the procedure made everything go smoothly. But, real life happens. The procedure did not go as planned and anxieties were high for us both. As soon as we were reunited, there was a flooding of peace knowing that the Lord knew the other side of this. We were not experiencing anything that He did not already have planned. Most importantly, all the prep was not for nothing. Each and every scripture, prayer, devotion, pretend play, and reminder of God’s presence was a seed planted in my daughter’s heart. A seed of our desperate need for the Savior.
I will always be the biggest supporter and advocate for my children, but God fulfills their needs further than my mothering can reach. In that moment of complete helplessness in the waiting area, the Holy Spirit nudged to me, “How are you equipping her to rely on Me?” It is a humbling thought to sit with. I want to teach her to rely on the Lord. My focus should always be to point her to Him. Mommy is here, but I am here to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am not my children’s savior. God is using me to extend His great love through me to my children. I am not mothering out of my own abilities, but out of the work He is doing within me and through me.
To many this was a simple procedure, but to my daughter, and myself, it was a planted seed for eternity.
Laura Spurlin is a nurse who boxed up her scrubs to be a stay-at-home-mama to her two kiddos. In this season of motherhood, her anxiety hit a soaring peak and her depression hit a deep low. With this battle came a stronger, deeper, and more surrendering (on her end) relationship with Christ, and a love for writing what He places on her heart about mothering, marriage, and mental health.
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