Mothering by faith—not fear

Written by Joanna Weaver
Published on September 02, 2022

There’s nothing like the moment you first hold your baby. As you caress their tiny fingers and count their tiny toes, a holy awe settles around you. Instinctively, you know you’re holding a miracle and with a whispered prayer, you thank God for entrusting this child to you.

But a few weeks in, the weightiness of the situation begins to hit you. This beautiful little human being is completely helpless. It’s up to you to help them survive. Without warning, an unholy fear can start to develop, depleting your joy and devouring your peace.

“I never considered myself an anxious person until I had kids,” my daughter Jessica told me recently. 

Living in a fallen world is dangerous. There are so many things that could happen to our children, including accidents, illness, and trauma. Or worse…their mother could mess them up!

“If I let my head go there, I find myself spiraling into fear,” Jessica said. “I’m learning that I have to take my thoughts captive before I become a captive of my thoughts.” 

Choosing trust over fear

As a young mom, I struggled with fear as well. Coming from a long line of Swedish worriers, I operated from the twisted belief that if I worried, bad things wouldn’t happen. It was a miserable way to live—both for me and my children. But as I cried out to the Lord for help, he began to rewire my soul. 

Here are some things that have helped me mother by faith rather than fear.

1. Invite God into the equation. Much of our fear comes from the idea that we’re all alone. That it’s all up to us. But nothing could be further from the truth. “When they call on me, I will answer,” God promises in Psalm 91:15, “I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them” (NLT).

2. Ask God for wisdom. If you find yourself going to Google more often than God, you’ll be overwhelmed by a glut of information—so many different options, so many strong and polarizing opinions. But God knows your child better than any earthly expert. So as James 1:5 promises, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (NLT).

3. Don’t feed the fear. Limit your intake of negative stories—especially if you find yourself fixating on worst-case scenarios. Do what you can do to keep your child safe, but then trust the Lord to do the rest as you follow Paul’s instructions in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (NIV). 

4. Go to the end of your worst fear. Satan loves to terrorize us with what-ifs and oh-mys. But we can call his bluff by asking, then answering these two important questions: 

• What is the worst that could happen?

• If it happened, what would still be true of God? 

When we see Jesus at the end of our fear, we’ll be able to “say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (Hebrews 13:6 NIV).

5. Declare your trust out loud. So much of our fear and our anxiety takes place in our minds. Perhaps that’s why it’s so important to declare our trust in God out loud. It not only interrupts our fear spiral, it also puts the focus back on God. “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him” (Psalm 91:2 NLT).

Trusting God with our children

Though most of my kids are grown and out of the house, I still find myself worrying at times. I don’t want them to struggle. I don’t want them to experience pain. But in a sense, my fear does them a disservice. For it’s been the hard things of life and times of deep pain that have pressed my heart closer to Jesus. 

Why would I want my kids to have a life that feels no need for God?

Instead, I’m learning to trust God with my adult children just as I did with my toddlers. Choosing to mother by faith rather than fear. Dedicating them, once again, entirely to Jesus. Interceding rather than interfering. Stepping back so he can step in. Allowing God to have his way in my kids’ lives, even when that way is painful. 

For I want my children to discover the fear-busting freedom that’s made available when we put our hope in God. “I sought the LORD, and he answered me,” David writes in Psalm 34:4, “he delivered me from all my fears” (NIV).

This article was adapted from Embracing Trust: The Art of Letting Go and Holding On to a Forever-Faithful God.

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Joanna Weaver

With more than 1.6 million books in print, Joanna Weaver is the bestselling author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit, Lazarus Awakening, and the devotional At the Feet of Jesus. Her video Bible studies have been used by thousands of groups around the world and her podcast, “The Living Room with Joanna Weaver,” has been featured in Apple’s New & Noteworthy. A pastor’s wife and mother of three, Joanna loves speaking to women about the powerful freedom that is found in making Jesus Lord and trusting Him for things bigger than themselves. She lives with her family in Hamilton, Montana. Learn more about Joanna at

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