“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” - John 14:27 (NRSV)
Before I became a parent, I had a lot of expectations. I had enough experience to have reasonably realistic expectations: I knew I would be tired; I knew it would be hard; and I knew it would be joyful. What I had not anticipated was the fear.
The first night our 6-day-old daughter spent at home she got the hiccups at o’dark thirty. She had only been there a few hours, but I felt like I’d loved her from the beginning of time. She was so tiny, so fragile, so precious, and those big hiccups were terrifying!
Was this normal? Was my baby okay?
Of course, I did what we all know we shouldn’t do: I picked up my phone and turned to the google.
After perusing all kinds of obscure ailments while my hiccupping daughter slept—oh yeah, did I mention she was asleep the whole time I was freaking out?—I finally had enough perspective to take a deep breath and seek peace.
Loving another so deeply makes us deeply vulnerable, and with that comes fear of things both real and imagined.
Parenting is terrifying. And beautiful. And disgusting. And hilarious.
Even in this wild adventure, even when the scary hiccups strike, we are reminded of God’s peace that does not depend on outcome, or circumstances, or conditions. It lives within us, a precious gift from our loving Divine Parent.
Loving God, there are times when your peace may be hard to find, but we thank you that you remind us that it is there, waiting for us. May we know your peace deeply and teach our children to abide in you.
Thea Leticia Racelis contributed this devotional (edited for length) to Hard and Holy: Devotions for Parenting, a collection of spiritual encouragement and practical solidarity and messy joy. Order Hard and Holy here.