I’m sure you’ve been asked the question, what keeps you up at night? Your response will vary based on the two different connotations that this question implies…
The first, “What worries and anxieties keep you restless in your bed?”
The second, “What gets you so excited about the future that you burn the midnight oil in anticipation?”
One seems negative and one seems positive, but both mean you are getting less sleep! Thankfully, I’m typically able to answer this question with a resounding “Nothing!” On most nights, I’m asleep within about 30 seconds of my head hitting the pillow. I’m not exaggerating.
However, one night recently I found myself lying in bed wrestling with my thoughts.
I was just entering that first level of sleep when I heard one of my girls cough from just down the hall in her bedroom. That’s not an uncommon sound with four, more often than not, allergic, sometimes sickly daughters. On most nights that sound wouldn’t cause me to even bat an eye, but for whatever reason hearing her cough late this evening created an emotive response in me that made my heartrate rise and my mind begin to churn.
Within seconds my mind began racing with thoughts of her life, her safety, her future, her well-being. My heart was suddenly flooded with the reality of what could possibly go wrong and with an acute sense of how little control I had over her future. I intimately sensed my helplessness (just being honest) and the reality of the pitfalls, dangers and demons that awaited her path in the days, months and years to come.
But within a few seconds of those thoughts and feelings entering my mind and heart, they were soon overtaken by a much stronger set of thoughts and feelings. Rushing in like a flood was the reminder of my dependency in a much greater force, namely the One True and Living God.
Five years ago, Wynter and I set out on a 30-Day Prayer Journey. Every day for 30 days, we reminded ourselves, and God, that our daughters were His, first. It was a simple prayer – She Is Yours. It was a reminder that our daughters were God’s and that we were trusting him to equip us and be with us on our journey of parenting all four of them.
We were fully aware that He had given them to us to love, train, discipline, and equip for a world waiting for them to impact. And we knew that our main purpose was to give them a full view of who God was and what he expected, much of this coming through them seeing us as parents authentically loving God ourselves. We were convicted that to the degree that our lives reflected God’s character, would be to the degree that we would give our girls the best view of their Savior.
All of our hope and every one of those 30 prayers rested on one simple truth:
“But the Lord is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 3:3
As followers of Jesus Christ we are learning to trust that we can have hope in and dependence on what God tells us, starting with the fact that He is ultimately responsible for our daughters in every area of their lives. From their relationship with him, to their relationship with us and beyond to the world around them, God is with us and working in us for the betterment of our girls!
Ultimately, we discovered that parenting girls is a journey. We’re still on this journey and we are inviting you into our world, asking if you would join us in navigating the ups and downs together. Will you join us on the journey?
This article is inspired by content in our upcoming book release She Is Yours: Trusting God as You Raise the Girl He Gave You, available September 1, 2017. Pre-order and submit your receipt details by August 31, 2017 to receive these great pre-order offers:
*The first 100 pre-orders will receive a canvas print of the She Is Yours prayer. All pre-orders will receive a digital download of the She Is Yours prayer and the opportunity to attend a special Live Q&A with Jonathan and Wynter in September!