However, if I've learned anything in the past 6 months, I've learned that bringing a child into this world brings fear like I never would have imagined.
For one thing, I already feel like I would do anything to prevent Scarlett from ever getting hurt - physically or emotionally.
Let's even talk about my cats for a moment. There have been a few rare occasions when I have accidentally caused them physical pain. Like the time Ellie was hiding under the bed when I was making it, and I stepped on her tail, causing her to jump up and hit her head on the metal part of our bed frame. She yelped and ran across the house, and I frantically ran after her to scoop her up and try to make her feel better. You guys, I even shed a few tears because I felt so bad. Luke thinks I act ridiculous when things like that happen. But it's just an innate part of my nature: I want to nurture things. I want to take the pain away.
Lately I've been thinking about Scarlett. As much as I wish I could shield her from pain, I know that is impossible. She will get scraped and bruised. She will be betrayed by friends. She will have her heart broken. And as much as I wish this wasn't true, I'm sure I will be the cause of her pain at times, too.
But being afraid of all the pain Scarlett has ahead of her is just the tip of the iceberg. There's another aspect of this whole parenthood thing that really scares me. And that is that I have helped to create a human, and 50% of her DNA came directly from me.
Nothing has ever made all of my shortcomings seem so crystal clear.
I find myself praying things like, "God, please don't let Scarlett be timid like me." "Don't let her be as selfish as I am." "You can give her my curly hair [she's going to hate me for that when she's 13!] or my girly-ness but please not my freckles or my awkwardness. Please don't give her my terrible eyesight or my height. Or my tendency to worry to the point of making myself sick."
Unfortunately, I don't think it works like that. I don't think we get to pick and choose the characteristics we pass on to our children. And while there are certainly traits of mine that I hope Scarlett does not get because I know they've made my own life more difficult, God is the one who's in control of her life. Not me. I'm sure He has created her with so many sweet traits, and some not-so-desirable ones too. Because we are human, and we are not perfect. But God can use our imperfections for His glory, and I pray that He will do that with Scarlett.
I've been wrestling with these thoughts and fears for weeks, and I had finally felt a peace about it all. And then the other day I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw post after post about the Boston Marathon. As the horrific details unfolded, I felt the tears streaming down my face. And for the second time, I felt a little selfish for wanted to bring another human being into this evil, fallen world.
(The first time I felt that way was on December 14 -- Sandy Hook).
If the world is this corrupt now, what will it be like when Scarlett is my age? What will she have to deal with?
It's terrifying if you let yourself think about it too much.
But then God reminded me that, yes, we live in a fallen, sinful world.
However, we are all made in the image of God. And for every tragedy happens, there are hundreds of thousands...maybe even millions of people praying over the situation, and doing whatever they can to help.
There is still plenty of good in this world. And as Scarlett's mother, it is my job to help her find it. Once again, it goes back to the fact that she is a child of God. No matter what she faces in this life, He is with her, and He will protect her. He has a plan for her life. I am just here to push her in the right direction, and teach her what she needs to know.
In light of all of that, there is no fear that has any validity. I might as well stop with the "what ifs" and embrace the fact that I have a powerful God that can answer that question a million times over.
He is the answer. So I am ready to let go of all these fears!
Now, I wonder how many times I will have to re-read this post to give myself a pep-talk, as Scarlett and her future siblings grow? Ha! If only surrender was a one-time thing. But I find it to be more of a daily decision. Here's to many, many days of making that decision as we begin this journey of parenthood in a few months!