When Tricia asked me to share my “walk it out” story, my immediate thought was, “My story isn’t enough! I haven’t adopted any kids. I’m not traveling anywhere scary or starting influential organizations. I’m just a mom!”
And yet as I thought about it, I do experience on a daily (even hourly) basis, both the scary and also abundant fruit of walking in faith with Jesus. In I Peter we are commanded, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that he may lift you up in due time, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
All my life I have struggled with anxiety and worry. Eight years ago I became a mom and was given the best gift of my life…and a million more reasons to worry.
This is my story of “walking it out.” For me, that has meant obeying the Lord’s commands to not live life in fear, but to humble myself in God’s hand, and let him carry my worries.
Easier said than done! My eight-year-old son has several life-threatening food allergies. He’s had them about all his life. Some of these allergies are foods that are extremely common and very difficult to avoid. A few years ago, he had one tablespoon of this food accidentally and it took four epi-pens, oxygen, steroids, and two days in the ICU for him to recover. I sat in the pediatric ICU just stunned. How could just a small SPECK of his allergens could be a life-threatening situation? How could I live with this? What was I to do?
My first reaction when we realized how severe his allergy was to control. I called all the companies of all the foods he has ever, or will ever, put in his mouth to find out if there was any chance they contained any allergens. I washed and rewashed dishes, made nearly everything from scratch, purchased back-up epi-pens, laminated his “allergy action plan,” and basically never left his side. A part of this was necessary, but gradually, the scary truth became evident. I COULD NEVER DO ENOUGH. It would never, ever be enough to guarantee my son would be safe.
One night in shaking tears I knelt by my bed and sobbed out a prayer to the Lord. I admitted that despite all my very best efforts to keep my son safe, I WAS NOT ENOUGH. I could never be alert enough. I could never be present enough. I could never be aware enough, or smart enough, or in control enough. I HAD TO RELINQUISH CONTROL.
I have to tell you the weirdest thing. The moment I finally admitted out loud that I could not keep my son safe — it was so oddly freeing. Instead of terror at this awful truth, I was comforted. I realized I was actually in the safest place, a place where I needed to rely on the Lord. I realized that my son is in the Lord’s hands.
There are many scary moments. When I hear of a food allergy death, when he is in an environment with his allergens, when I’m just not *sure* his food is really safe – in these times I lock myself in some quiet bathroom (it’s a weird habit, but I talk to God in bathrooms). I fall to my knees, and I say, God, I am not big enough or strong enough or in control enough to protect my son. Will you do it, God?
This is what it is like for me to walk it out. I place my most precious possession in His hands. I work really, really, terribly hard to keep him safe. But when (not if) I know it is not enough, I give my son — give my life — to the Lord.
Jessica Smartt is a former teacher, current homeschool mom, and passionate Christ-follower. She’s been published on The Huffington Post and has written an ebook on How To Introduce Your Child To Jesus. Her passions include: helping moms to detach from the ever-present lure of technology (which can feel way more fun than parenting), helping women recover from worry (been there, done that!) and how to be a confident, purposeful homeschooling mom.
More about Walk it Out
What Happens When We Read God’s Word and Actually Do What it Says?
Bestselling Author Tricia Goyer demonstrates the powerful work God accomplishes if we are willing to step out in obedience to Biblical commands and His quiet urgings, no matter our fears or feelings of inadequacy.
Walk It Out illustrates the real-life results of listening to the Scriptural mandates such as care for the orphan, serve the poor, go into the world to spread the gospel, and love others of all races. The author’s journey, from accepting Christ’s forgiveness and telling her story of redemption to answering the call to adopt seven children when she least expected, is filled with the exhilarating, radical, unexpected life that we experience when we walk into God’s plans for us.
“I neither planned or expected any of this—from the ten kids to the stamped-up passport. I didn’t accomplish these things by making a list and checking it off. They happened as I took steps of faith to follow God’s directives.” ~Tricia Goyer