Get my baby out!” I screamed with a raspy voice. My desperate pleas for help were barely heard. Smoke filled the room as the cries of my newborn awakened me into a living nightmare. The house was on fire, and I could not get out.
As a young girl, my mind would wonder, “What would I do if my house caught on fire?” Then, I would create a very clear, level-headed plan. However, smoke inhalation disorients your brain.
The sounds of my precious 5-week-old daughter’s wails pierced my sleep. Walking to her bedroom in the dark, half-asleep to feed her every night had never been a problem. Now, suddenly, I was lost and could not find her door. I clawed at the clothes in my closet, trying to find my way out. Then, stumbling in the other direction, I felt the windowpane. It was not until I opened the window and looked out that I realized my house was on fire. I tried to scream for help, but no one could hear my cries.
I collapsed. In desperation, I prayed the prayer everyone prays when they think they are about to die — “Help!” My daughter and I would have died that night if my husband had not gotten home in time. Imagine his horror when he rounded the corner and could see the sky lit up by orange flames. Cars and people filled our street, watching in disbelief. The home next to us, which was under construction, had already burned to the ground. A home on the other side stood engulfed in a raging inferno. The family of four stood huddled together, watching all of their belongings turn to ash.
There was only one fire truck on the scene. The other fire trucks sat motionless, waiting for a passing train. My husband grabbed the arm of a fireman. Frantically, he asked, “Did you get my wife and baby out?” The fireman dropped the hose, and together they ran to the front door. The neighbors had assumed we were still on vacation. They did not realize we were trapped inside.
When I heard someone coming into our home, I began to scream hysterically, “Get my baby out!” I do not remember what the fireman who saved my life looked like that night. I just remember him holding his flashlight up and saying, “Come toward the light.” I made my way toward what looked like a tiny penlight in the smothering darkness. At last, I felt his arms as he led me out to safety. We were both saved from the fire.
Every Parent Needs Help
You may not have woken up to your house in flames and your child in danger, but you have needs. If you are transparent, you do not have it all together. Your life is not perfect. There may be some wonderful aspects to your life right now, but there are other areas that are just plain tough.
It is when we come to the end of ourselves that we find God. He is the source of our life. He is the maker of Heaven and Earth. He created you in His image. He gave you life, breath and purpose. God is the life-giver. He cherishes each life on this planet. No child is a mistake. Every child, for which He has a unique plan, is precious to Him. God is the One who designed motherhood and fatherhood. Since the beginning, it has been His plan to use the family. God is also the one who designed community.
It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
Learning to be a life-giving parent is cooperating with God’s redemptive plan for the universe. God takes the mess of life and makes it into a message of hope. He uses moms, dads, teachers, coaches, pastors, doctors, firemen, police officers and business leaders in the community to make a difference in the lives of our children. Sometimes, we are literally saving someone out of fires that could destroy their life.
ALL Parents Need Encouragement
You need to know that the meaning of your life is not measured by the sum total of the mundane moments and monotonous tasks. You need to know that what you are doing has immense purpose. You need a fresh experience of God’s presence in the midst of your ordinary, hectic days.
You also need friends. Not the kind of friends who have it all together in their Instagram-perfect homes with fashion-ready children. No, you need friends who will be honest with their own struggles — friends who will cheer you on to cross the finish line of being faithful to God within your calling.
My daughter, Rachel, taught me the importance of having help on the sidelines. I ran with Rachel, helping her condition to try out for the high school soccer team. Then, one night, she came to me in tears. “Mom, we have to run the mile tomorrow. It is my last chance to make the team,” she said. “What do you want me to do? Do you want me to come to practice?” I asked. She nodded “yes” as she wiped her tears.
The next day, I showed up beside the track and smiled at my daughter as she prepared to run. Then, as she came around the track for her final lap, I listened to the coach calling out the time. I knew she was not going to make it. I dropped my purse and sprinted across the center of the football field to the other side of the track where she was making slow progress. I put my hand on her back and said, “You can do it!” Immediately, she picked up the pace and ran to the finish line with fresh energy. Everyone cheered for her and she made the team!
You Can Do It
Whatever struggle you are presently facing, you can overcome it! You may be a single mom trying to raise your children to love God — you can do it. You may be a businessman who is taking risks to live out your dreams — you can do it. Whatever your challenge, you can overcome the adversities of life with God’s help. The good news is that you do not need to overcome challenges alone. Encouraging one another and sharing God’s love can help communities through the toughest of times. Let us make Frisco a community of hope, where we help one another in times of need!