Faith and Parenting

by Andrea Cooley

faith and parenting


Parenting is a crash course in many things. From learning to survive on limited to sleep and doing everything with one hand while bouncing a baby on one hip to slowing down and noticing every puppy and squirrel that goes by. I didn’t know how much I’d learn about my faith through having a baby. But after being a mom for a year, I understand why the Lord tells us to have faith like a child.

Emerson trusts me completely. Adam and I joke that he has no fear, to the point where he doesn’t know what it is to be afraid. He doesn’t worry about flying off the couch or tumbling down the stairs head first, because he trusts that I will catch him. The possibility that I won’t be there doesn’t even cross his mind. Some day he will have to learn there are limits to my super powers. Inevitably he will fall and get hurt, and as a parent I want to keep him from that as long as possible.

When I watch him I see a living, breathing example of what the Lord wants my relationship with him to be. Emerson is completely dependent on me, and my love for him is unquestioned. I protect him, love him, teach him, guide him. And then I consider, how much more does the Lord love me? But how often do I push him away? Question his will? Try to do things my way instead of trusting his will and his timing?

It’s like when Emerson fights me when I change his diaper. It’s something we do many times every day, but sometimes it feels like every time I put him on the changing table he kicks and squirms and tries to get away. I know that if he holds still and lets me do it we will get it done faster and he can get back to playing, but he never seems to remember that.

But just because he fights me doesn’t mean that I don’t change his diaper. Instead I gently remind him, for the countless time, that this is something we have to do. When we finish he can get down and play. But first he has to let me change him.

In the same way, when I face uncertainty or trials, my first reaction is usually to worry and doubt and play out all the possible outcomes in my mind. And just like I am patient with Emerson when he squirms and kicks, the Lord waits for me to stop and come to him in prayer. To surrender my will and my heart to him, trusting that he knows what is best. That he has a plan. And that he loves me more than I can imagine and wants to bless me.

With faith like a child, I can rest in his arms. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is always there to catch me.

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Andrea Cooley

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