They Don’t Need You…They Need ME

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It was an ordinary day. I was pulling my hair up in a ponytail before going outside to play with my husband and children. And I felt it. A lump on the side of my neck. I remember panicking as my hand rubbed against it. That was all it took. I didn’t waste any time.

I ran outside and told my husband I was going straight to the doctor’s after-hours clinic, as it was around 5:00. When the doctor came in, he felt the lump on the side of my neck and calmly told me that it was probably just an infection and would clear up within a month. A month???

He wanted me to wait a month to see what would happen?

What if it was cancer?

Or something worse?

The Grip of Fear

Now some of you may be thinking, “Wow, this chick was freaking out over nothing.” And I was. But what you don’t know is that, at the time, I had been struggling with a very real fear of dying young. It had started pretty soon after having my second child, who was 2 at the time. It was hard to explain. I wasn’t afraid of death because as a Christian, I long to see Jesus. But I was afraid of not living and leaving my children behind.

My husband is a wonderful father, and I knew he would be fine in time. But my children…who would do all of those little things that only their mom could do? Put the bow in just right? Cut the sandwich triangles perfectly? Pray over them and teach them about Jesus with that cheesy mommy charm? They don't need you they need me

My heart was racing as I headed to our church for a worship service that night. I was supposed to meet my mom, but was running late and ended up sitting alone. As it turns out, the Lord had a plan. The music was powerful and you could feel the Lord’s presence there that night. As I sang loudly, in my head, I was praying-begging really-to the Lord. “Please don’t take me yet, Lord. Please don’t let me die. I can’t leave my children yet. I just can’t. Please keep me here and use me for your glory here…I”m just not ready…”

When God Speaks

I was rambling on when I very clearly heard this message break through. “They don’t need you, Maggie. They need me.” I quickly, and defensively, rared back with “Yes they do. Please, please…” It came again, but more firm. “THEY DON’T NEED YOU. THEY NEED ME. AND YOU HAVE GOT TO LAY THEM AT MY FEET.”

I thought I had done that. I had prayed for the Lord’s will to be done in our lives. I had prayed for Him to guard and protect my babies. But the truth was, that I hadn’t completely given them to Him. I was holding on with a tight grip…just in case He needed my help.

But then it hit me. They really didn’t need me.

I couldn’t be their everything.
I couldn’t heal all of their hurt.
I couldn’t give them ultimate peace.
I couldn’t love them with a perfect love.
And I couldn’t save them.
There is only One who can.
And they need Him.

Choosing to Trust

My life changed that day. I gained a peace I didn’t have before. I felt a calm wash over me. And my pride took a hit, as I realized how very small I am in the grand scheme of things.

I can’t say that I haven’t worried about my health since that day. But when I have, it has been a different kind of concern. It is not a frantic worry full of panic and overwhelming fear. It is a concern that says, “I am afraid of what may come. But I trust You in the good and the bad. I will love You in the good and the bad. And I will lay my life and my children’s lives at your feet. Because You are all we need.” And He is.

Trust Him.
Let Him be all you need.
Lay your life at His feet.
And live the abundant life, free of fear, you were meant to live.

Maggie Meadows Cooper

Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mother, educator, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book Bumper, helping others to see that the heart is what counts most. She blogs at The Little Moments and contributes to IBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women, Devotional Diva, and the Connecting Ministries Blog. ! She lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.


  1. Vicky says

    Thank you so much Maggie for posting this! I can’t tell you how timely this post is. I have been struggling with this fear since my second child was born three years ago. These feelings became somewhat of a reality six months when ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was benign and I had surgery to remove it. The Lord has fully healed me, but I now struggle with the fear of becoming sick and dying more than ever. Every ache and pain is followed by a panic that it could be something serious and I have the exact same thoughts about what my children would do without their mommy. Some days I find myself in tears thinking about this and it’s a struggle to pull myself together carry on with my day. I know that what you wrote is true- that what they need is the Lord and my ultimate responsibility is to teach them about Him. I know that even if something happens to me, He has them in the palm of His hand and they are precious in His sight. Thank you again though. I can’t tell you how much it helps to know that other moms are experiencing the same feelings.

    • Maggie Cooper says

      I am just seeing this! I am so thankful to know you get it too! I have had a basal cell skin cancer since then that I had surgery to remove and a couple of smaller skin cancers as well. It is a daily choice to remember that the Lord has my babies no matter what comes. I am thankful you are doing well now and pray your good health continues! My favorite verse is Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” It hangs in my kitchen as a reminder that He’s already there…wherever that may be each day.:)

  2. Kay Kathleen says

    Oh my gosh, that is EXACTLY the fear I have been grappling with since I was pregnant with my 2nd child (my 3rd child is now 2 1/2, so…).
    Thank you! So very well said, and I will definitely be remembering this. Incredibly humbling but true…they really DON’T NEED ME, but they sure do NEED GOD! Kind of takes the weight off your chest, doesn’t it?!
    Great post!

    • Maggie Cooper says

      I am so sorry I am just seeing this! It is a daily choice, sweet friend, to give them to Him and trust that He is enough…for me and for them. Take each day at a time…not getting too far ahead or looking back. I love Psalm 139:5, which says, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” It’s so nice to know that He has got me, and my babies hemmed in, and yes, it does take the pressure off! It’s wonderful to know that we have a Savior who is leading us in this crazy mom life! “He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. He gently leads those who have young.” Isaiah 40:11 Prayers for you to find freedom from worry (and you can do the same for me!)!:)

  3. Betsy says

    My daughter is 30 and the concern never stops that she will be okay. It is true, Moms have to keep giving their children to the Lord because He is awesome at fixing the thiings in their heart that need attention.

    • Maggie Cooper says

      So you’re telling me I have a long way to go?:) I’m glad to know I’m not alone…it seems that it’s minute by minute sometimes. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Leslie McNutt says

    I LOVE this message!! I give my children to my Father then take them back. Thank you for the reminder that He loves them and wants them to be His so much more than I do.

    • Maggie Cooper says

      Yes! It seems like it’s always a give and take… We just have to keep taking it day by day. Thanks for commenting!:)

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