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On the Altar


From the moment I became a mother 27 years ago, I began to experience an overwhelming fear of losing a child to death.

Soon after my first baby was born, she began showing signs of apnea; Amanda literally stopped breathing and would turn blue! As this always seemed to happen when I was alone with her, it was hard to get anyone to understand how serious it was until after one particularly bad episode when we were at her grandmother’s house. She was hospitalized and tests revealed that she experienced apnea an average of 18-20 times during every four hour sleeping period! We were trained in CPR and our ten week old baby was sent home on an apnea monitor. Scary stuff for a new mom of nineteen.

It seemed that apnea monitor went off constantly and I became a nervous wreck! We moved in with my husband’s parents, mainly because I was afraid to be left alone with my baby for fear she would die.

Our second child was screened at birth and failed the test. In fact, our first six children were all prescribed apnea monitors for the first six to eighteen months of their lives.

My fears though, went beyond the threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; I was terrified every time I heard “THE SCREAM” (the cry that lets you know “I’m really hurt!”). And each time one of my little ones became ill I was sure of two things: 1) They had contracted some rare, fatal illness and 2) It was my fault.

The Lord began dealing with me on this issue soon after I became His child in 1997. What I discovered is that fear originates from Satan and is a result of lack of trust. Jesus wants me to walk in victory, not cower to the enemy. As I studied the story of Abraham and Isaac, I felt prompted to place each of my precious children on the altar.

I prayed something like this:

Father in heaven, these are Your children; You have only loaned them to me. You know what’s best for them better than I do. I thank You for these eternal souls that You’ve entrusted to me. Now Father I desire to place (child’s name) on the altar. I am giving (him/her) back to You and pray that Your will be done in his/her life. I pray also that You give me the necessary grace to accept Your plan for this child’s life and the wisdom to guide him/her. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

As I prayed this prayer for each child, my fears abated. Of course there have been times the Lord has seen fit to remind me of the vows I made. Like when MacKenzie ate berries that I was sure were poisonous. And when Isaac fell as a toddler and broke his arm. And especially when Stephanie was nearly run over by a speeding car. Then there was Amanda’s car accident…

Of course, I do all that I can to keep my children safe and healthy (although after reading this, it could make a person wonder!), but if I’m not trusting the Lord with them, I will pull my children right off the altar and all those old fears come back with a vengeance.

Are you a fearful mom? Perhaps the Lord is asking you to place your babes on the altar…

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