Releasing Control and Embracing God's Design for Your Family

By Mollie Talbot

mcftmh (1).jpg

I really want a little girl. I don’t know why; they sound complicated, emotionally volatile, and terrifying but still, I know my husband would father a daughter so beautifully that I might feel remiss if at the end of our lives I don’t get to see that relationship lived out. Here’s where I should mention that I’m 35 weeks pregnant and we don’t know what we’re having. With both of our pregnancies, we’ve chosen to forego the gender reveal in lieu of a big ol’ hospital surprise. 

When we tell someone that we’ve chosen not to find out, we’re often met with the response “I don’t know how you do that, good for you, I’m just too much of a control freak.” Ladies, let me just tell you this is the exact reason we choose not to find out; because this is one of the few times in my life I can discipline my desire for control in a way that puts me in near-constant submission to trusting God’s will and design. So then when you find yourself at 35 weeks gestation with a desire to give your husband a little girl but almost entirely convinced you’re getting another little boy, you’re driven lovingly to your Father’s arms for comfort and reassurance. To crawl up in His lap and say “I’m doing it again Dad. I’m not trusting that your way is better than mine. Will you remind me again how far you’ve brought me?”

As believing moms, we’re in a constant tug of war with our desire to white knuckle the outcomes of our family or to relinquish control and trust our Father. We set up systems for success—plans and calculations that help maintain the heart of our homes. If we didn’t have some of these systems, we’d end up with hangry husbands, empty refrigerators, and some pretty creative means of accidental cloth diapering. We have to make it to the grocery store, or at least clicklist here and there and sadly, cleaning is an unfortunate necessity every once in a while. But when we can no longer accept interruptions to our plans and calculations as areas that God is present and working in, then the thorns of our sin will begin to draw blood.

Isaiah 55: 8-9 says,

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’

But do we believe this when our second grader comes home from school crying because the same twit from first grade is in her new class and tormenting her again?

Or when we find ourselves transactionally approaching our marriages, riding on a wave of building resentment? “I just cooked dinner after cleaning, running errands, and taking care of the kids all day and you’re telling me you won’t even be home for it?”

Do we believe God’s ways are higher than ours when we desire nothing more than to grant our husband his silent wish for a daughter when we just KNOW that we’ve got another boy coming… and it’s breech?

This is not a message saying you should suffer in silence, or submit and sacrifice your needs and wants—it’s merely encouragement to contemplate that even when you’re frustrated someone else has shown up during a nap time you were going to use to write, that God might have work and love waiting for you in a moment that looks completely unlike your initial plans for it. That His ways, His thoughts and His will are higher than yours and worthy of your whole-hearted trust.

I write this from the eye of the storm. I may be peace-filled enough right now to put language to the conflicting feelings in my heart about the gender of this sweet little baby and my fears about it being breech but I’m also prepared that the second wave of the storm will still come. That I might need to crawl back in my Father’s lap after a C-section and brand new baby boy to have Him walk me back down memory lane saying, “Mollie, remember when you stood on the steps of the AA hall smoking a cigarette and bawling your eyes out? When you threw your head back in defeat and asked, ‘Why me, God?’ You didn’t see Kyle’s love for you then; you couldn’t know Banks’ blonde curls; just as you don’t see what I have in store for you now. TRUST Me, but even when you don’t, you’ll know where to find Me because your posture toward Me will never alter My proximity to you.”

This morning, as if by some sort of sweet encounter with the Holy Spirit, I laughed hysterically with God when Banks, my two-year-old boy broke into my room at 6:45am saying “MAMA! ROLEY POLEY.” I laid there smiling in the dark at how sweet these moments are; that he woke up after thinking about roley poleys and rushed to come tell me about it. That was until I felt something small on my neck and realized he hadn’t been dreaming of pillbugs at all, but instead had legitimately found one on his floor and ran immediately into my room and put it in my hair. I laughed hysterically and began my day with an extra heap of joy as I recognized—I don’t know many moms who would calmly pick a bug from their hair first thing in the morning and thank their son for wanting to share it with them. Maybe boys are exactly what I need.