“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.” Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Three nights in a row I have had restless, interrupted, rem-less sleep. So many things fluttering through my head and yet nothing I can put my finger on. My mind swirls with Ruth’s upcoming trip to Africa. I don’t feel fearful, just anxious. I don’t have any regret in her decision to go (although 8 weeks will seem forever). Am I over-thinking or under-thinking all the “to do’s” to get her ready? I have high hopes that this trip will be the way God uses to draw her to Himself, to stretch and strengthen her faith. I pray He will bring her hope for her future. I have great trust in a good God, but there is little evidence in my sleepless nights.
Ruth is the child Clint and I prayed for 14 years. She was the baby that eluded my infertile body and came after numerous miscarriages and failed attempts to get pregnant. Even in my early pregnancy with her, I began bleeding and was warned by the ER doctor to prepare for a miscarriage. But God answered the wailings of this mamma and the many prayer warriors who faithfully prayed for us that night.
She danced her way into our hearts and showed us His joy and delight in giving good. Now before you think I am unaware of her sin nature or that she is a perfect child, I want to give a disclaimer, she’s not perfect. However, she is a perfect gift to me. God chose me to be her mother. His perfect, sovereign will decided from eternity past that I would get to shepherd and nurture her. He imparted the call on me to have one of the biggest impacts in her life. He is not surprised at how and where I’ve failed, but He has also graced me with success. Ruth is the mirror that God used to teach me so much about His love, concern, and care that I would reflect Him. She is the very child that showed me my stubborn will. She is the very child who revealed my desire to have things just the way I wanted them. She is the child who taught me that tears could be a good thing and a way to get my way. She is the little girl that could make me laugh out loud and add a song to our day. Ruth is saved by and loved by Jesus.
She is everything God designed for my daughter. She is ready and gifted to serve Him and bring Him glory. I know she will serve well in her time in Africa. I am ready to let her go, because I trust Jesus.
This has been a tough year for this precious girl. I am blessed to have had the privilege to walk with her through fiery trials and the testing of her faith. I got to remind her of the gospel. I have watched her endure with grace and confidence in Him, even when her confidence was shaken. As God has worked in my life I have been better equipped to help Ruth. Now, she will travel around the world for 8 weeks and all I can do is pray for her. But that is the beauty; I get to exercise my privilege of praying for her. I get to model a faith-filled time apart and can remind her before she leaves how very accessible God is to her. I want to cast all my cares and anxiety on Jesus. I want to model an unwavering peace that only a life in Christ can give. That will be my prayer before I go to sleep tonight.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8