Before my youngest was born, I had heard about post-partum depression, but had never experienced it. I wasn’t diagnosed with it, but I am almost certain I would have been, had I reported my symptoms.
The enemy used this tiny baby to tempt me to fear, and fret, and despair. I would wake up in the middle of a deep sleep, with my heart pounding, and run to her crib to check on her just to make sure she was still breathing. I remember checking on her on one particular occasion, and seeing her so still…and my mind screamed at me “she’s dead!”, and my heart pounded as I put my hand on her back to try to feel a heart beat, and when I didn’t…and my fear escalated, I lifted her little body from the crib, with images of doctors, ambulances, and the like running through my tortured mind, I managed to wake her up and make her cry. As I rocked her back to sleep, I prayed for God’s protection on her life, and that He would give me wisdom as she grew, that I would teach her to love Jesus, and that she would live her life to please Him. Most of my prayers for her were as a result of fear, and I reacted the only way I knew to react, and that is to run to Jesus and give it to Him.
I still run to Him for her.
I am recently reminded of the warfare I engaged in for her in her growing up days, and the lessons that God used through her to grow me up, as a child of God. It was during this time that I heard a very moving series of messages by Calvary Chapel preachers about Abraham and Isaac. As I read the passage in Genesis, I could hear that still, small voice of God in my spirit,
“Do you trust me?” Of course, I trust you, Lord.
“Give her to me.” What? I already gave her to you, we dedicated her a few weeks back…she’s yours.
“Then why are you fretting over her? Who’s is she?” Wait…are you going to take her from me? I can’t bear the thought of losing a child, please Lord…”
“Is she yours, or is she Mine? Do you trust me? Will you give her back to me?”
I struggled for a long time with giving her to the Lord, but I finally did. Every time she rebelled and broke my heart, I struggled more, and did it again. Every time I was tempted to fear for her, or it looked like I was losing her, I could hear God’s voice “Who’s is she?”
She turns 18 this week, and I’m faced with the same questions I was posed when she was a tiny girl. I was reminiscing tonight and listening to some of the old time hymns that I was raised on, and happened on one by Elisha Hoffman, which is the title of this post. “Is Your All on the Altar?” The lyrics are very convicting, and I’m convinced that I will not have peace until I have let go of my expectations, desires, and intentions for her, quit jumping in to try to save her or fix her, and allow God do the work He intends to do in her life. Anyway, the lyrics to the hymn:
- You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.
- Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.
- Oh, we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.
- Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made;
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.