The “Need-Meeter”

I’m a fixer and a helper.

I’m a comforter and a “make-it-right’er.”

I’m a protector and a Mama.

And this fixin’, helpin’, protectin’ Mama is realizing (as of late) that I don’t like it when I can’t help, fix, and protect my little bear cubs.  

My daughter needs some comforting arms…I’m there.

My son needs a helping hand…I’m there.

They need me…I’m there.

I can make their food, pick up their messes, clean their bums, soothe their tears, find their toys, wash their clothes, locate their ‘lovies,’ and arrange their play-dates…I’m there.

I enjoy assisting them in their little burdens, fixing their little problems, and easing their little chaoses.

Bottom line: I like being there and helping them with their needs. 

But this last Sunday, my heart realized what my mind already knew…

I can’t always be there, and I can’t always meet their needs. 

As I peeked around the doorway of Caden’s Sunday School classroom, I saw him standing there…ALONE.

Not playing. Not engaging. Not at ease. Not himself.

My heart hurt ached.

In that moment, I couldn’t spur him on to play with the others.

In that moment, I couldn’t aid him in engaging with the activities.

In that moment, I couldn’t help make him comfortable.

In that moment, I couldn’t inspire confidence in him.

In that moment, I couldn’t help him, protect him, fix it, change it, or make it right.

With a lump in my throat and tears pooling in my eyes, the Lord gently whispered to my heart, “Jessica, this won’t be the last time you feel helpless. And besides, you were never intended to be his ultimate ‘need-meeter’ anyway.” 

And in that moment, I knew the following:

I needed to walk away; 

I needed to surrender my desire to meet his needs; 

I needed to remember WHOSE he was; and 

I needed to entrust him to his ultimate “need meeter.”

Though my mama-heart was still aching, I walked back to the sanctuary with a calming reassurance.

I didn’t have to help him, protect him, fix it, or change it because the creator of my child was in control.

And though I will always love my children and have a fierce desire to help them, I will NEVER, EVER love them more, or be able to help them more, than the ONE who created them and died for them.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, [nor standing alone in a classroom] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39


9 thoughts on “The “Need-Meeter”

  1. Such wisdom…for all ages and “stages” I am still struggling with my “fixing” tendencies as a caregiver for my 96 year old mom and in other situations as well. Thanks for the reminder of what to do when those fixing urges become so strong.

  2. Jessica, so do you pray for your child and give him?her back to the Lord ? It takes such wisdom to know when to stop being Mama fixer and know the limits of our own control,and to remember who lover our child more,thanking God for doing what we cannot.

    • Absolutely, Judith! This whole Mama-world is only 3 years old to me, so I am most certainly in the learning phase and HARDLY an expert. What I will say, in my short experience, is that when I find myself not trusting the Lord and trying to fix and change the things I can’t, I need to “let it go.” I think every situation, every person, and every child is unique but in my heart, I usually know when I’m trying to control, rather than trust. Control seems like an easier option (because I feel safer) but it tends to leave me weary and anxious. There’s certainly nothing wrong in assisting and being part of God’s plans to help meet the needs of our children (He most definitely uses us), but sometimes…I go too far. 🙂

  3. Hard lessons but such holy ones, too. I don’t have kids, but I too often rush to be a need-meeter and a fixer, too – in the lives of family, friends, and people I work with. We are instruments, and an instrument itself can’t do the work. The only way the instrument is effective is to be held in the Hand of the one who can use it. Thankful that as parents, Tias, wives, friends, daughters, employees, congregants, etc., we are asked just to be usable, not to do the job ourselves. Thanks for this reminder!

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