Out of the Holding Pattern and into His Grace

faith vs worry

As soon as he sat down in the car, I knew something was wrong.

His face was downcast and his step had lost its usual after-school skip. I thought maybe he’d gotten a red mark at school, an indication he’d played class clown one too many times.

I wasn’t expecting what came in the following minutes.

“How was your day?”

“Fine,” he said without further comment.

I wanted to push further but restrained myself. I tried to calm my three-year-old’s incessant repetition of “Mama.” Then, as I was turning down the road back toward our house, it started.

“Actually, Sam made me mad.”

He corrected himself.

“Well, Sam made me sad.”

Tears fell and he covered his face. I was glad I was driving with him in the back seat so when he looked up, he couldn’t see my expression.

I took a deep breath and asked probing questions. I learned Sam had told my son they were no longer friends.

My mind flashed like a negative reel to a time many years ago when I’d heard those same words. I told my son I was sure this boy didn’t mean it and silently prayed. I asked why his classmate would say this.

I fought my lioness urge to track down the school bus, find this kid, and demand an explanation.

Later, after my son calmed and we talked more about the situation, my wise husband reminded me that at the tender young age of six, everything is in absolutes.

That will never happen. We never do anything fun. You’re not my friend anymore.

The next day when my son stepped off the bus in a chipper mood, I realized my spouse was right. I was relieved, but wondered what would happen if the situation had turned out differently.

My mind went outside of God’s grace into the unknown, and questioned the tiny details of my son’s life.

What if this sort of thing continued? What if he isn’t making the right friends? Would his tender heart later lead to heartbreak?

The further I went down the trail of circumstances I couldn’t control, the more restless and anxious I became.

Several days later, I sat outside soaking sunlight when God hit me with the truth of these words:

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 NIV

How often to I say I believe God with my mouth and my words but my attitude says otherwise?

He says he knows the plans he has for my children, and they are plans for good. He says not a sparrow falls to the ground without his care.

Abram’s story goes on to show he not only said he believed God, but was obedient and acted on this faith. You see, friends, James cuts straight to the heart of the matter when he says, “Faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:25 NIV

Faith moves us forward in obedience. Worry keeps us in a holding pattern of regret.

Faith means doing what I can to raise boys who love, forgive, and give grace, and then trusting God to do what only he can.

I trust him to protect them and watch over them. To guide their steps when they’re out of my watchful care.

It means relinquishing control to the one who is in control, and believing he’s more than capable of taking the wheel.

So today, when my mind becomes restless with worry, I’m going to surrender those thoughts to him and actually do something. I’m going to pray.

I’m going to fill the endless wheel of anxious thoughts with a list of his promises. I’m going to trade relentless worry with unwavering faith.


*Photo credit (text added)

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.

*Post written using this COMPEL tip: I turned off social media notifications and put my phone on Do Not Disturb.


15 thoughts on “Out of the Holding Pattern and into His Grace

  1. Oh Abby! What a beautiful post. I love your sticky statement on the graphic. This encourages my heart friend, because I can remember worrying over the friend spats that my kids have. (Little girls can be MEAN!) And now I sometimes worry over their bigger problems. I’ve been doing the #WalkinFaith Bible study, and so God is speaking to me on many areas of faith. #lifefreeThursday


    • Betsy, I don’t have experience with mothering girls but I certainly remember them from my younger days. It’s always a blessing to hear from a mom who is a little further down the road and survived. 😉 Thank you for being here today.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Abby! These moments with our children can be the hardest. Now, with my little ones in their 20’s, I still have to remember who is in control, who must be God in their lives – and it isn’t me! I love the words, “Faith moves us forward in obedience. Worry keeps us in a holding pattern of regret.” Yes and amen! Blessings to you today! #livefreeThursday

    Lisa Murray


    • I’m always blessed to hear from a mom who is a little further down the road and made it through, Lisa. 😉 Thank you so much for sharing. Oh, and I tried to comment on your blog as well but it says comments are turned off. I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you weren’t aware. Have a blessed weekend!


  3. It’s so easy to become a “mama bear”, isn’t it? But you’re on to something here. Your words are resonating with truth, Abby. I stick my hand up in agreement with Betsy, the sticky statement captures us. Love it!


  4. I love this, Abby. 🙂
    I don’t think that that mama bear inside of us ever really moves out.
    I had an incident with my 17 year old son recently where I would have liked to have some words with a certain ex-girlfriend. 🙂 But, like you, instead I prayed. Seems like the heartbreaks are sweet opportunities to pour into our children in ways that only a mother can.
    Lovely words today, Abby. Thank you. 🙂

    ~ Brenda Ottinger


  5. Not too long ago my 3-year-old granddaughter experienced her first rejection by a friend who was older. They were best buddies and then one day Jane was “too young.” It broke her heart. My son said that he wanted to fix it. He wanted to give her the world if it would only make her feel better. Watching my son be a dad who wants to love and protect his little girl was a beautiful example of how our God watches over us. I love this post. Thank you for linking up with me today on #livefreeThursday.


  6. Abby,
    It can be tough to relinquish the welfare of our children into the Lord’s hand. I don’t blame you for your initial reaction. I would want to jump in and fix what is wrong too. But, as you can see, God has got this too. He has your child in HIs hands.


  7. Abby,
    I understand the concerns of motherhood. But always know God is readily available to help you with your children at every age and every stage. He has good plans for your children, and He is truly faithful!


  8. Abby,
    God wants us to trade our worries in with prayer. What if, what if, we wonder….what if we prayed? God is challenging me with that this morning. I’ve been wondering about the severe pain I’ve been continually experiencing in my foot. What if it never gets better? I wonder and I worry. Thank you for the reminder to take it to Him in prayer. Prayer may not necessarily change the situation, but it changes us. I do know that God hears and responds to our prayers. Trying to put my faith in that today. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Bev xo


  9. Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6 NIV.

    Abby, thank you, thank you for this beautiful reminder. I’ve really been making an effort to just simply “believe” and I’m seeing just how faithful He is. My daughter is struggling with friendships in a new community. She suffers with depression and that just makes it more difficult. I needed this reminder that I can trust God with her… God bless. Glad to have discovered your blog!


  10. Thank you for reminding me that praying is doing something. Sometimes when my mama bear comes out, I really want to make things happen instead of taking them to the Maker of all the happenings!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Putting feet to our faith is sometimes so much easier said than done, right? The flesh still kicks in and tries to wrangle grace. I’m convinced the enemy is pouncing more fiercely than ever trying to keep our eyes off God and throwing detours in our path. It’s amazing what the power of God can do when we activate it in our life by simply going to Him first…oh, to remember that!! And mama bear…I’ve done some humiliating things in that getup. 😉


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