As a child, I had heart palpitations that were strong enough to cause me to faint. Once at a soccer game, the onset of my pounding chest was so strong that even my teammates could see my heart beat causing my little nylon jersey to move. Pound. Pound. Pound. These infrequent episodes of rapid heartbeats came randomly and continued until my junior year in college when I was finally able to have a cardiologist capture the attack in an EKG. The simple diagnosis was that I had an extra electrical connection between the two ventricles of my heart that caused my heart to beat like I was running for my life. Left untreated, my heart was wearing itself out and it had no way to stop itself.
Luckily, there was an experiential procedure that was becoming effective in removing this extra electrical connection. Since that procedure, my heart has functioned properly, even through pregnancies and running 10Ks!
My spiritual life as a parent has run a similar course. I used to make it my aim to do everything possible to ensure that my children remained in my care so that nothing bad could ever influence them. I was their teacher at home, their Sunday school teacher, hosted all of the play dates, and in general hovered over them at all times. After 9 years at this pace, I was worn out and had no way to stop myself.
Then the opportunity came for God to remove this unnecessary worry and anxiety of being my children’s all encompassing provider. While moving across country, my parents helped by taking my children for two weeks. It was not until the second week that I realized how God is able to care for my children even if I am not managing every detail of their lives. Instead, an immense freedom has entered into my perspective of parenting. I still desire to teach and train and model God’s best for my children, but God has truly changed my heart. God has given me a heart that functions without the anxiety of having to be all things for my children at all times.