Releasing Control: Entrusting the Gift to the Giver

With an empty passenger seat, I sat behind my husband on that first drive home from the hospital with our precious new cargo. As we rode, I felt a thousand fears invade my mind: pressure to figure out the exact recipe of schedules, diapers, nursing, and bathing to be considered a “good mom.” 

Months prior, I compiled a list to include a video monitor, socks to detect the oxygen levels, organic cotton onesies, the cadillac of strollers—all “must haves” from other more experienced moms. I felt my heart grasp tightly to my dream of a house full of baby essentials where I held control and success in parenting. 

Caring for our first daughter seemed easy. She quickly fell into a routine and gave us long stretches of sleep. She was happy and hit all the milestones. Everything we did seemed right and our novice parenting felt under control. A quiet sense of self-sufficiency slowly crept in and began building a nest in my soul. The nest grew larger and more comfortable over the next year. Though I was unaware of it at the time, I desperately needed the Lord to pry open my grip and teach my heart to entrust my children to Him. And He would.

The Battle Within

When my second daughter was born with a rare genetic diagnosis, for the first time, I felt completely out of control. Fear and anxiety bubbled to thesurface, having laid dormant for thirty years while life seemed to go as planned. In His perfect timing, the Lord handcrafted a gift that would chisel away the dross. We named her Blair.

Thankfully, my mom was driving when my grip finally began to loosen. We were on our daily commute to the city to visit Blair, who was inpatient for weeks following major heart surgery just after birth. Suddenly, it felt like the temperature in the car was a hundred degrees and an elephant refused to lift his hind leg off my chest. I was overcome with panic as thoughts of recent days in the hospital flooded my mind. 

That experience marked the beginning of an intense battle with anxiety. Eventually, the Lord gently drew me to the story of Hannah. After this once-barren woman weaned her long awaited son, she worshiped, “I now give the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD” (1 Sam. 1:28). I needed grace to adopt Hannah’s prayer as my own. 

Trusting God through the Darkness

When we finally brought Blair home from the hospital, we tripped over the long cords attached to her body. Beeping monitors sent out alarms when her heart rate, oxygen level, or respirations fell out of range. When bedtime approached, we changed her into her pajamas, labored to bottle-feed, and swaddled her tight. As we laid her in her crib and kissed her goodnight, we prayed over her—entrusting her to the Lord.

Each night we prayed, and each morning He proved faithful. This daily practice slowly became a constant, ongoing conversation with Jesus. I prayed during every bottle feed, trusting that He would help her grow despite chronic vomiting. I prayed each time her face slowly turned a pale shade of blue and trusted that He would breathe life back into her lungs. I prayed daily for her growth and development, that God would do what I could not.

Over time, God nurtured a conviction within me that He was the only one who could answer these pleas.The more helpless I felt, the more confident I grew in Him. As I saw Him breathe life into Blair’slungs, He reminded me that He also supplied life and breath to each of my children. He was teaching me to have a heart like Hannah.

These events hold a unique space in my memory because we were forced to exercise ourtrust in the only One who could keep her lungs breathing and her heart beating. Though themonitors beeped, we could do nothing to keep her alive. The Lord was patiently showing mewho sustains Blair’s every breath.

Faith for the Future

Fear and anxiety still tempt me. In this season of life, my daily petitions are for protection from the preschool stomach bug and safety riding the bus. I feel desperate to pray for wisdom for teachers and therapists. When I’m reminded of my lack of control over the behavior of my other three children, I beg the Lord to soften their hearts. 

I am humbled when He reminds me that I am a dependent creature. He is God and I am not. He gave these children to me as a gift—not to own but to steward well. They are ultimately His and I must return them daily. Constant prayer frees me from the paralyzing thoughts that every choice I make holds eternal consequence. I have hope despite my failure.

In this season, two truths have anchored my soul: Jesus loves my children infinitely more than I do, and He is able to care for them infinitely better than I ever could. He has deepened my prayer life and dependence upon Him for each one of my children, regardless of their physical or intellectual condition. I trust that what He is teaching me in these years will bolster my faith for the future.

Raising children is hard. From infancy to adulthood, we parents carry a unique burden for them, desiring to see them flourish and sharing in their suffering. What does it look like to give our children to the Lord? Prayer. An ongoing conversation with Yahweh—the one true God who has made Himself known to us through His Son, Jesus. We need the humility to admit that we cannot control their hearts or their health. 

Whether your children are walking closely with Jesus or running in rebellion, in a bassinet at bedside or grown and raising kids of their own, medically complex or excelling in achievement—regardless of where the Lord has them—like Hannah, let us offer them back to Him in prayer.

If Michelle’s story sounds familiar to you, perhaps it’s because you’ve heard it at Revive Our Hearts before . . . we featured it in a video in December 2022. Watch it now to find out how Revive Our Hearts played a part in Michelle’s acceptance of Heaven’s rule in her life. 

By the way, it’s because of the gifts of friends like you that we’re able to share the call to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ with women like Michelle. Would you consider giving a special fiscal year-end gift by May 31 to support our ongoing efforts to serve women like her around the world? We’d be so grateful if you do. 


About the Author

Michelle Leach

Michelle Leach

Michelle Leach resides in a suburb of Philadelphia with her husband, Mark, and their children. A former high school math teacher, she now focuses on the care of their four daughters, one of whom is severely disabled. She continues to … read more …

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