On Vulnerability, Parenting & Letting Our Ships Sail

On Vulnerability, Parenting & Letting Our Ships Sail

It’s four something in the morning, and I can’t sleep. Got to love pregnancy insomnia. To the hum of our ceiling fan in the pitch-black darkness, I was telling God I don’t know how He did it. I don’t know how He sent His only Child knowing the pain to come.

I want to cocoon my kids in bubble wrap. I want to make anyone who drives them pinky promise to not text while driving. I want to will the drunk drivers to hand over the keys. I want to put duct tape over the mouths of kids who might make fun of them. I want to turn off every TV, so they can’t see awful things like young girls being trafficked for sex or young boys forced to fight with weapons bigger than they are. I want to shield them, protect them, cocoon them in bubble wrap like a fragile piece of priceless pottery.

But this broken world doesn’t work like that. And no one knows that better than my Father. He wrapped His beloved Son in all the vulnerability of a baby and sent Him to this earth.

My friend has been working on a blog for a little while now, and yesterday she made it public. Last night she told me how vulnerable it felt to hit publish. I know just how she feels because I feel the same way every time I write. But I know that vulnerability is but a fraction of what she will feel when she stares into the eyes of her first-born in just a couple months.

More than any other emotion, motherhood to me means vulnerability. It means letting this precious gift you love more than your own life go out into the world. It means scraped up knees and black eyes and bloody noses. It means hurtful words and mean glares. It means bad drivers and ugly illnesses. It means humanity in all of its humanness.

But we don’t let them go without a guide. We don’t send them out aimlessly. We don’t let them journey without hope. No, we cling to the eternal promise that while we are entrusted with their care for a short time they belong to Someone Else. They have a Protector who flung the stars in place and tells the ocean to calm. They have a Provider who clothes the lilies in all their splendor and knows just what they need and also what would be too much. They have a Father who gave up His Everything so that they might have life to the fullest.

Thomas Aquinas once said, “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” God didn’t create our children for port. He created them for adventure, for purpose, for the open sea. I rest in knowing He understands more than I could ever fathom just how hard it is as parents to let our beloved ships take sail.

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