There is Only One in Charge…God!
I remember the feeling and the place all too well, Reno, Nevada, 1970. Although our faith had always been our beacon, we were young and fear can have a strong hold, particularly when charting unknown waters. The Bible verse found in 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casts out fear,” had long been my mantra giving me strength through difficult times. I was also aware that as scared as I was feeling, perfect love seemed outside my reach right then.
At the time, my husband was a graduate student and we had two boys, a three year old and a nine month old. Jack had recently taken a job with the United States Bureau of Mines, giving us group health coverage. That coverage had been in effect for two weeks when our nine month old son, John, was admitted to the hospital. John had battled a variety of problems since his birth, but this time was different. His breathing was more labored and his color wasn’t good. After several days in the hospital, the reason for his problem still alluded the doctors. Our family doctor, Dr. Peters, whom I trusted completely, came in and said, “This baby is going to die and there isn’t one damn thing I can do about it.” The nurse next to me gasped in horror at Dr. Peter’s blunt comment, but I knew he loved John almost as much as we did and he knew he had to let us know just how sick John was.
This was at the time when even parents had to adhere to visiting hours and so, despite his serious condition, we had to leave the hospital. I remember so well that brisk October night as Jack and I walked hand in hand down the sidewalk. I felt as if I was abandoning my child and felt hopelessly inadequate as a parent. Suddenly it became very clear to me, John wasn’t ours, he was God’s. A defining moment in my role as a parent and in my journey of faith. No matter how responsible I thought I was to save John, no matter how much I worried nor how scared I was, there was only one in charge, God. I had to give John over to Him both for John’s sake and for myself.
God heard and answered our prayers. John is now 42, married with four children of his own. Although he still battles allergies, they do not hit with the life threatening vengeance they once did. The lessons of that autumn night have stayed with me over the years. Am I always constant in the knowledge of my role and God’s? No, but the experience always draws me back to the realization, my family isn’t mine to clutch, but rather to cherish. Thanks be to God.
About the Author:
Mary Kay Woodyard lives in rural Kansas with her husband, Jack. They have five children and 11 grandchildren who live from Tokyo to Kansas. She has been a writer for years and for the past few years has written a column, Phase II, for the Norton Telegram. Previously, she worked as an executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, but decided to resign and pursue her writing goals. Although writing of any kind is her love, her true passion is in the political arena and nothing provides material for a writer like an election year. To follow Mary Kay’s blog, click here.
“(c)2012 Mary Kay Woodyard, all rights reserved. Used by permission.”