Reflections On the Limits Of a Mom's Control

Ambulance sirens shriek as through a megaphone into my ears. Goosebumps attempt to arise. Some memories find themselves woven into my senses.
2014 became the year of the unexpected for my family. Detours and valleys frequently marked our path. Most notably; my son’s health deteriorated. While my husband and I sought answers, his symptoms grew became more baffling. Watching your child suffer draws out a fierce desire for control that previously lied dormant.
One evening, after dinner, I faced the most horrifying moment as a parent: The prospect of losing my son. In the midst of routine, we found him seizing. We were caught off guard. Nothing prepared me for the sight. Stunned. Horrified, Grasping…..for resolution. I found myself screaming at the 911 operator. Desperation and panic evident in my voice. For I realized in those moments that, as a mom, I thought I had a sense of control over most things in his life. But the reality hit me-death was not one of them.
How can a mom not save her own son?
Fortunately, by the time the paramedics arrived, my son had regained consciousness and began to recover. But the encounter with the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. He is ultimately God’s child. I am blessed to be in his presence. I am humbled by the responsibility to care for him and point him to the one who literally breathes life into him. But, he is not mine.
The thought of Mary facing such a reality musters up feelings of admiration; yet, conviction. As she  watched her beloved son’s final days, she had to have recognized her control had ceased. Could I have embraced it so willingly?
How can a mom not save her own son?
She knew whose he was. It was revealed in the beginning. But there is a bond between mother and child that stings in the stretching. It’s the attachment that drove her to frantically look for him when he was missing. It’s what fuels the emotions she felt as she gazed at her young son and “treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:19). And the sting was felt most prominently when she, in her humility, knew that God’s purposes for Jesus prevailed her Earthly maternal ones.
For now, I embrace the gift I have. The opportunity to be his mom and learn to trust in the one whose purposes for us ultimately result in “life.”

5 thoughts on “Reflections On the Limits Of a Mom's Control

  1. Cathy

    I’ve also learned I’m not in control. That was scary but sometimes it’s a relief too. It’s nice to be able to leave it in God’s capable hands.

  2. Jeannie Prinsen

    I appreciated reading this, Stephanie. Having 2 teens on the autism spectrum, I have had SO many experiences of fear and anxiety and that loss of control. It is humbling and brings me to depend on God over and over again. Thanks for sharing, and Happy Mother’s Day.


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