“ssshhh…I’m right here”

My 1 year old has started screaming when it’s time to sleep. 

I don’t mean crying, fussing, or whining. I mean screaming to the point of almost puking. 

She’s been a decent sleeper up to this point, and we’re hoping it’s just a phase, but we’ll put her down in her bed, and as long as we are still in the room, she’s fine. It’s when we open her door to leave that she loses it. And no amount of “crying it out” is working. 

So last night, at 11, after an hour of crying, an hour of sleeping, then another 30 minutes of crying, I did the only thing I could think of. 

I grabbed my blankets and pillows, and went to her room. 

I was frustrated. I was angry, tired, and worn out. I had just worked all day and wanted my sleep. But the strangest thing happened. As soon as I walked in the room, I felt a calm come over her. I put my hand on her back and felt her little body stop heaving, and felt it settle down. I softly whispered, “shh…I’m right here.”

I laid down on the floor of her bedroom, covered up with my blankets, hoping to go to sleep.

But all I could do was think, “Isn’t this the way it is with God?”

We go through life afraid. We come to these moments in our lives where the only thing we know how to do is cry and scream and succumb to the terror. In those moments, we (me) actually sometimes cease believing in God for a moment and believe in the fear. It has won.

Then God makes himself known. He puts his hand on our back. Our bodies cease their heaving, our countenance settles, and though nothing in our world has changed, the peace begins to return. Our chest begins to loosen, our breathing returns to normal, and it’s as if we can hear God standing over us, saying, “Shh…I’m right here.”

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Excerpt #4

I still hear those preachers from time to time. They still say the same thing. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”[1]  I’m not here to debate theology, but that’s not what that verse is talking about. I know it. You know it. They know it. But still they are convinced that I’m sinning because my wife is employed outside the home. They would condemn my friend Mark who is a stay-at-home dad. They would condemn him without even knowing him. They’re wrong. Is our situation perfect? No. Is it ideal? Far from it. Are we doing the best we can with what we have? Absolutely. And I think God looks at that, sees our hearts, and smiles. I think anytime he sees loving parents, whether they’re employed or not, loving on their kids, he feels like his heart will explode out of his chest with pride. Because all we’re trying to do is love our kids the way he loves us. It’s all we can do. And it’s all he expects.

 

[1] 1 Timoth 5:8 (NASB)