Guest Post from Sheryl at Simply Scripture.
When God made me a mama, I was clueless about the power of prayer. I had prayed to be a mama and I had prayed to be a good one. Then the delivery day came and I felt helpless to know how to pray eﬀectively because I wasn’t sure He was listening. How could something so perfect land in my lap? How in the world am I going to not mess this kid up? I was convinced that this new little person was in peril because I was a rookie and it terrified me. I knew I didn’t have it within my own strength to ﬁgure motherhood out. So with stammering lips and a racing mind, I cuddled our newborn and whispered the three words that would echo throughout the corridors of my life. “God, help me.” He did.
Prayer is not a wish list to Santa Claus.
My prayer life was lame at best. Sometimes I felt as though God was just a kind hearted old fellow who would grant me my wants and desires. If I had been good enough, He would answer with blessings and when I was bad, well, I got a lump of coal in my spiritual stocking. He was a God who was kind and loving and yet so distant and harsh. My prayer routine was nothing more than simply giving Him my own list of things I needed and granting Him permission to do something about it. Like a spoiled child waiting for Christmas to come, I would demand God answer my way or I would pout.
My prayers were shallow at best, but in hindsight God even worked with those small prayers. He gave me a desire to read the Bible and talk with Him about what I read. I asked Him questions and wrestled with His answers. It was when He humbled me that I realized I was not dealing with Saint Nick, but the All powerful, All knowing, Ever present, living God of the Universe. The Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of mankind who was jealous for my spiritual ﬂourishing.
I was helpless as a new mom, but I learned God was in control and I was not. I found I could trust Him not only with my needs and leave the outcome to Him, but could trust Him with the soul of our newborn and the babies that were yet to come. It was the beginning of a journey to learn the power of prayer.
Prayer is a lifeline of surrender.
Life went along fairly predictably with adding two more children to the family and all of it’s crazy normal milestones. I had no idea that sixteen years of spiritual growth in my prayer life would prepare me for this moment. I was staring into the screen of an MRI image of our youngest son’s spine. There is was, the sinister bright white glow of our new journey through years of chronic scoliosis. What was this ominous growth encapsulated inside his spinal cord? What was causing his migraines? Was he going to be paralyzed? What is happening, God? Are you seeing this God? God, where are you?
With the glow from the MRI image burning in my brain, with stammering lips and a racing mind, I went down hard on my knees and again my heart whispered the three words that kept me sane. “God, help me.” He did. The Sovereign God who heard the desperate cry of a mama’s heart, helped me face this giant head on. He helped me surrender my son to His plan for his life that was really different than the one I had planned. Through all of the the blood work, IV’s ,MRI’s, x-rays, multiple specialist and Children’s hospitals, God was there. I had Him to turn to.
When the words couldn’t come out, when worship was the only way for my heart to see the light and when the fear of the unknown was choking me, I had a lifeline. He heard. He knew and He never left me down, not once. It wasn’t about whether my prayers were perfect or if they even made sense. He heard me because I am His and He never leaves His kids. My lifeline was surrendering everything into His capable hands.
Prayer is releasing and embracing.
Pressing through the teen years and beyond, I set a new world record for prayers of protection over my kids! From heartaches, heartbreaks, driver’s licenses and drama I gained momentum with each experience. They were growing into their own relationship with God and my prayer life was growing as well. It was more than surrendering our kids, it was releasing them. They were meeting God in their moments and in their own way. Each one seeing God moving in profound ways and experiencing His calling on their lives through the good, the bad and the just plain ugly.
In 2017, we had two weddings and a high school graduation all within 3 months of each other. Did I even have time to pray?! It was a whirlwind of mama emotion. Did I love them enough? Did I do enough? Did I give them what they need to make it in this world? Did I show them Jesus enough? Was I enough? The night before the ﬁrst wedding, I bawled like a baby as I once again went to my heavenly Father and said, “God, help me.” He did.
I needed to have Him show me what life would be like with an empty nest. I needed Him to give me what only He could give me. I wanted to use my time to honor him and I felt lost in my new role as a mom-by-love. He walked me through feelings of loneliness and uncertainty so that I could embrace my new found identity with fervor because the best was yet to come.
Prayer is interceding.
Saturday April 6, 2019 I stared into the most beautiful, squishy, pink-faced little man I had ever laid my eyes on in almost 24 years. I became a grandma. My heart is so full that the keyboard is getting wet. My God has been so faithful! I am so smitten with this little boy that I can hardly sleep at night. The miracle of watching your son become a Dad and his beautiful bride become a mama is profound. I scooped up this precious blessing and cradled him in my arms and watched him while he slept.
I’m a little older now. My hair is getting a tinge of grey and the lines etched on my face speak from a place of wisdom, humility and conﬁdence in a God that I have come to know. I look down at this precious little person that God has entrusted to our kids and I marvel at His handiwork. With grateful lips and a heart bursting with praise, I close my eyes and kiss his sweet, fuzzy little head and I whisper, “God, help them.” He will.
Sheryl is a mom, farmer’s wife and Jesus lover above all else! As an author, teacher, mentor and leader in women’s ministry, she draws from over 20 years of experience in helping women of all ages discover Biblical truth. Her calling and passion to equip Christian women led her to create Simply Scripture as a platform to help women dive into the Bible with confidence. Sheryl writes and teaches online Bible studies designed to help women step into the grace that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Connect with her on her blog Simply Scripture, Pinterest, or via Facebook.