"When Your Mama Heart Hurts" was one of the most-loved posts on the blog last year. And you know what? It was one of my favorites to write, too, because it's something that's often on my heart.
- Ten times a day, Turbo has to check his blood sugar. This involves an uncomfortable jab from his lancing device.
- Every three days, I have to help Turbo change his insulin pump site. This involves a needle stick every time.
- Once a week, Turbo has to change his Dexcom site (his Dexcom gives us a digital readout of his estimated blood sugar levels - this amazing device has probably saved his life on at least two occasions). This involves inserting a half-inch long wire under his skin.
- Four times a year, I take Turbo for his endocrine checkups, and twice a year he's supposed to go in for gastroenterology visits. Many of these involve painful blood draws, and at his endocrine appointments, they always stick his finger to check his A1c levels, which show his average blood sugar level for the past couple of months.
- Turbo has been hospitalized twice and in the emergency room on 3 more occasions. This involves IVs, countless needles, and myriad blood draws.
And this doesn't even cover the pain of watching my other spark plugs when they're sick; of helping Little Princess through her hypoglycemic episodes (thankfully, these are becoming less and less frequent); or any of the other "normal" pains that a parent's heart must endure.
From physical infirmity to spiritual struggle, there's no shortage of heartache that we as parents go through as we watch our children suffer. That's simply life in our broken, fallen state.
But for the believing parent, there is always hope. And I've come to realize that there are three very specific ways we can pray when our mama hearts hurt.
When my spark plugs are having a hard time, my immediate response is to pray and ask God to remove their thorn. I want to plead, beg, and bargain away their hardship. But as wonderful and good as it is go to immediately to the Lord in prayer, I think I often miss a crucial first step: I need to stop and praise Him.
When we take the time to praise God for who He is and what He has done, it helps us to keep our eyes fixed on Him. And when our eyes are fixed on Him, they're not nearly as focused on our problems. As He grows bigger in our eyes, our problems diminish. It's so, so important to keep the right perspective in times of anguish.
Next comes time to ask that, if it be His will, He remove the hardship, illness, injury, heartache, or whatever else it is that is bothering our precious little one. But instead of whining, begging, and pleading, we need to be humble, gracious, and bold (see Hebrews 4:16). We don't like it when a child whines for a snack, do we? Whining doesn't please God any more than our kids' fussing pleases us. For me personally, this is a big one I need to work on.
Submit to His Will
Last of all, we need to humbly accept whatever God's will is. We can follow Christ's example in the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39). Sometimes, His will won't be what we want. I really want the Lord to remove Turbo's diabetes and Celiac Disease. I really want Him to heal Jon of his CSF leak. And I really, really want to be free of the heartache that each of these "thorns in the flesh" brings them and me.
Right now, though, God has chosen to allow these hardships to remain. For some reason, we glorify Him more in these broken states than we would if we were free from them. And I can rest content in knowing that the Lord has our best in mind when He chooses not to heal. It's hard to have complete faith in this at times, but the Bible is clear that God loves us (see Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16), that He has our best in mind (Jeremiah 29:11), and that He does all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28).
Whether or not I can clearly see how these things are, I choose to trust that they're true.
If your mama heart is hurting today, will you join me? Will you commit to pray in these three ways? If so, let me know in the comments, and I'll pray along with you.