Calm, Cool, and No Control at All

“Even as I sat holding my son, I realized that I couldn’t control whether he would love God.” -Francis Chan

“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?” Luke 12:25



A little less than a year ago I found out that my life had changed forever. With tears and a huge smile I woke up my husband and showed him the double pink line that would reshape our universe.

Five cumulative hours in a midwives’ waiting room, four months of spending every morning kneeling to the porcelain throne, Three false-alarm hospital trips, and $200 in maternity clothes later, our beautiful son Jude was born. I like to say that God is making up for those two weeks in labor and five hours of pushing by giving me a baby that was only waking up twice a night by the time he was three weeks old. He never cries unless he’s hungry, we finally found a pacifier he’ll take, and I estimate diaper blowouts approximately once a day… sometimes more.

As exhausting as it is keeping up with a two-month-old baby, I know this is nothing compared to what I’m going to be doing in seven or eight months, or, heaven forbid, when he starts walking.

As I write this, I’ve had to get up to change the cradle sheets after they were wet on, change a wet diaper, change my own sheets because Jude spit up on them while I was changing his sheets, change a dirty diaper, wash dishes so the sink was empty, bathe the baby in the sink, feed the baby, empty the baby tub, change another diaper, and answer the phone.

I love my new son more than life itself. I would give everything I have, down to my last breath, to make his life easy and filled with joy, but more than that, I want his life to be filled with the love of God. The realization that I have absolutely no control over whether my son serves God with his life hit me hard. From that came the realization that I have very little control over my son’s life and decisions in general.

When I was eighteen, my 16-year-old friend drove off an embankment into a river. Everyone wondered, “How could it have been different?” When I look at my son, my instinct is “You don’t get to drive until you’re eighteen.” There are so many things I could forbid him to do in the name of protection, but what kind of life would that be for him? I could wrap my darling in bubble wrap and refuse to let him go outside, I could feed him nothing but organic food and live so far out in the country he would never be exposed to harmful fumes or people from the city. In short, I could do my best to protect my baby from the world, but in the end, he will grow up. Some day, my sweet little baby boy will decide that he needs to be on his own. That stresses me out. I want to control his world and keep him safe, but I know that’s ridiculous. There is absolutely no way that I can protect my son from everything, and trying is going to give me ulcers. Some day, he will make decisions on his own. He will decide that bungee jumping from the tree out front with Dad’s bungee cords is a good idea. He will show off for his friends (and girls) on a four-wheeler, in a car, or on a motorcycle. He will buy a car, go to college, get married, have children, have a job, and do things that his mother has no knowledge of or control over. Today God nudged me while I watched him sleep and said, “If you give him to Me now, it will save everybody a lot of stress and heartache.” I can just imagine Him saying, “How can you protect him without Me? What can you do that I can’t? Being a mom is enough work, give me the responsibility of keeping him safe, and both your lives will be much easier.”

For a control freak like me, it’s completely counter-intuitive to give the care of my son into someone else’s hands. Leaving him with my sister for an hour is like pulling teeth. Worry is second nature to us A-type personalities. Giving up my darling baby Jude is so difficult, it feels like someone is prying him out of my hands. But I know that won’t happen. God just sits and waits patiently for me to give him up freely. So here it is:


God, I know that giving my son to you will save he and I both a lot of pain and stress. I know that You can take better care of him much better than I can, and any control I have is just an illusion anyway. Even so, it’s hard. He’s my baby, my firstborn. He’s so small and fragile, and I’m his mommy for goodness’ sake, who could protect him better than me? But I know You can. We dedicated him in church, but I need to dedicate him in my heart. So here he is, Lord. I’m opening my hand, but I don’t have the strength to give him up. I need You to take him and give me peace. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, harder than giving control of my marriage to you. My baby needs me, and you’ve given him to me, but now I’m giving him back. Thank You for letting me care for him here on this earth, and for entrusting him to me. I’m trusting You to take care of the things that I really can’t control anyway. I’m giving You my darling son, please take good care of him. I know You love him even more than I do, and I trust you to watch over him. Thank You, Lord, for everything. I love You.





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