I found a great passage this morning in the Magnificat. It was one of those exactly-what-I-needed-to-read types of moments. Titled She Pondered These Things in Her Heart, Christa R. Klein writes:
“Fear not,” spoke Gabriel. Fearful by nature, I ponder those two words frequently. To their dying days, my own parents would ask, “Is everything okay?” in tones of suspicion that it was not. Still, motherhood, not parental conditioning, surfaced my deepest anxieties.
Even before our first child’s conception, my prayers grew anxious. Then, during pregnancy, I committed myself to the more rigid prescriptions of the 1970s about natural childbirth, nursing, and avoiding commercially made baby food. Although none of this was unique for a new mother, the unending deluge of information and advice on raising healthy children stoked the false belief that, as parents, my husband and I had boundless control. In time, our children, and especially our third child with her progressive genetic disease, taught us otherwise. And we are still learning that each day is a gift to be lived, not a list of fears to be assuaged.
Now, with our children grown and their own children growing fast, I dare not allow anxiety to squander my credibility or time with them. Oh God, I beg to trust you more fully so that I can know and love them more than fear allows. I want to understand more keenly the challenges and temptations they face. Draw my husband and me in to a deeper life of prayer. Let us reflect more naturally and easily your Goodness, Truth, and Beauty. Make us joyous, courageous, and persevering, so that they can hear us but want you.
I thought this was such a beautiful reflection. I can totally relate – I feel like my own anxiety is growing just as fast as the baby is growing. It is a good reminder to keep that useless anxiety in check.
The author of this short article is older than me. Yet, she was faced with the same fears I am now going through. I want to be able to take her advice and to learn from her life-experiences; “each day is a gift to be lived, not a list of fears to be assuaged”.
I don’t want to live my life in constant fear of bad things happening. And God doesn't want us to live that way either.
Things are so clearly put into perspective in the prayer at the end of the meditation. The primary goal of parenting is to help your children get to Heaven. God calls all mothers and fathers to see to the needs of their children’s souls first and foremost. For all other needs, He asks us to put our trust in Him. Oh, how the devil wants us to be distracted by our primary goal, and, instead, get caught up in other worries that take up most of our time and effort!
Lord, help me to see through the eyes of Love, not through the eyes of perfectionism and control.