Seeing children suffer is one of the hardest things in the world. It can even make us begin to question whether or not God is as good as He claims to be. And if you're anything like me, you would much rather do something other than sitting idly by. While I think learning to wait well is a skill that every believer needs to develop, I also believe there are at least six things we can do when our mama hearts hurt.
Choose to trust God
We have an important choice in life: are we going to trust God no matter what, or will we question His goodness toward us?
Note that even when you deliberately choose to trust God, it might not always feel like you're trusting Him. Remember, choices and feelings don't often work together. Ignore your feelings. Instead, pray God's promises out loud. He's promised us that He's good (Ps. 73:1; 109:21); He's promised to work out all things for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28); and He's promised to provide everything we need (Phil. 4:19). He cares for us far more than he cares for the sparrows and flowers. Make the choice to trust in Him no matter what your feelings might be.
Surrender to His will
I'm not particularly fond of the word "surrender." It means that I need to relinquish control to something or someone else. And that's really, really hard for me. But when I stop and consider that God has ultimate authority over all things anyway, it's easier for me to surrender to His will. By giving up my perceived control over things, it helps me to acknowledge His authority over everything, including His authority over my children.
Have you surrendered yourself to God's plan for your child's life? Have you relinquished your desire to control the situation? This can be terribly difficult, especially if means being okay if He takes your baby home to be with Him.
Don't forget that as a Christian, you have the help of the Holy Spirit. With Him, we'd never be able to fully surrender to God's will, but He enables us to do this. It still won't be easy, but with God, all things are possible (verse), even this.
I've noticed that whenever my mama heart hurts - when Turbo's in the hospital, when one of the other spark plugs is ill - verses I don't even remember having memorized come back to me. Somewhere along the way, I must have hidden them in my heart, because they're there when I need them.
One of the most frequent verses that pops into my head is Isaiah 26:3 - "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." It's such a powerful verse for times of turmoil, and there are hundreds more like it.
When your mama heart hurts, you need to have Scripture at the ready. So start memorizing it before the crisis hits. I'd recommend going through and collecting verses that minister to your heart. It doesn't matter if they're popular verses or simply ones that the Lord has laid on your heart. Make a list, start committing them to memory. If you're struggling to find some, here are a few verses you might want to consider:
Let others minister to you
A lot of Christian women struggle to let others minister to them, myself included. Just know that I'm preaching to myself here as much as to anyone else. If you're in a season of struggle with a child, don't hesitate to take up family and friends' offers for help. A meal here, some housekeeping assistance there - these can be a huge blessing.
Don't cheat yourself out of needed help, and don't deprive your willing friends and family of the opportunity to bless you when you're hurting. I guarantee you will have the opportunity to return the favor at some point down the road.
There's nothing worse than not knowing. Much of our fear stems from the "what ifs," but often times, if we'd only educate ourselves on the situation, we'd be able to put to rest many of our concerns. If you're facing a medical diagnosis or something similar, do some research. While I don't at all recommend letting Google turn you into a hypochondriac (I once looked up Little Princess' symptoms and convinced myself she had a brain tumor!!), gaining some general information about your specific situation can help prepare your heart during your crisis.
Rest in God's peace
Most of all, take comfort in God's peace. He promises us the peace that surpasses our human understanding (Philippians 4:7), so dive into it. It won't make sense to the world why you can be so calm when your mama heart is hurting so deeply, and that's okay. It might actually open up opportunities for you to share your faith in the midst of your pain.
It won't be easy to rest in the peace that the Lord offers to us believers. But we can do it with His help.
As mamas, we're going to face hurting hearts over and over again. It doesn't matter if we have one or twenty children; at some point, we'll all face hardships with our little ones. And while we weather the storm, we can take quiet action. By choosing to trust God, surrendering to His will, memorizing Scripture, letting others minister to us, educating ourselves, and above all, resting in God's peace, we can actively wait for the difficulty to pass.