How to Go to Sleep without a Stomach Ache
Every night, I feed & rock Collins in her room with the lights off before I put her in her crib for the night. It’s one of my favorite parts of my day, and every night while this is going on, I pray for her. Towards the end of every prayer, I plead with Jesus to help me trust Him with her life—because I already find that difficult sometimes. Between Isis, the Ebola virus, & stories of tragedy we hear and see and witness every day, our minds can grow weary—being a mom has done this to me. I watched an interview in bed last night of a woman in her 20’s who had been given six months to live because of a massive brain tumor. I then went to sleep sick to my stomach wondering what would happen to my family if I woke up the next morning with a crazy bad headache. (PS. Don’t watch this stuff at night—you will react much worse than you would during the day. In fact, I almost want to recommend not watching these things at all. Watch The Sound of Music instead. You will smile and sing and want to make play clothes out of curtains for the remainder of the day.)
When I say I plead with Jesus about this though, I mean plead:
Jesus, please help me to trust You with my baby. Please. I love her so much, my heart could burst. I would do anything to protect her. You love her even more than I do. I can’t wrap my mind around this because I know no other human loves her more than me, but I know You do because You created her. And I know because of that, You are with her and watching over her always. But Jesus, what about all the crap that happens in this world? Please keep her safe. So many babies are dying, Jesus. So many. They’re sick, and their homes are being invaded, and they don’t have parents to love them and hold them tight. Oh God, give them parents. I can’t imagine my little girl not being held when she is hurt or sick or sad. So many babies will go to sleep sad tonight. God, how do You stand it? You give us free will, but then horrible things happen and You see it all. You’re in it all. Do these babies feel Your presence when they’re scared? Do moms and dads who have tragically lost their child see You in their grief? I just can’t imagine. I don’t want to. So heavy.
And then there is a pause, and this prayer follows because it must. It’s so needed. It’s here that there is peace:
Jesus, Collins isn’t mine. She’s Yours. And I’m so thankful You’ve chosen Blake & me to take care of her, love her, and raise her. Help me to do it well. Don’t let me keep a tight grip on our lives out of fear because I don’t have control anyway. I just pray that no matter our circumstance or situation, we feel Your peace in our hearts—we feel Your presence fill us like a warm drink. Help Blake and me show her what it looks like to be that close to You. I do pray that we are kept from harm, from sickness, and from evil—that Collins always feel safe and secure. But more than anything—more than anything—I pray she follows You & You are her very breath every day of her life. If I can help her get there, my heart will find joy. Don’t let me harbor thoughts of fear and worry, Jesus—it’s not worth my time. Fill me with thoughts of love and hope so I can go and fill others with the same.
He wants all of our prayers—all of our thankfulness, questions, doubts, requests, & struggles—He wants them all. He wants them not because He doesn’t already know what we’re dealing with, but He designed prayer to join us to Him. There is something to be said of verbally handing over our thoughts to Jesus. Our body begins to relax, our breath releases, our soul finds peace— & it’s then that the Spirit can reach us.
If you’re a parent (or teacher or youth leader, etc) of young or old or maybe you’re not yet but might be one day, you need to take three extra minutes out of your time RIGHT NOW and go listen to Jenny & Tyler’s new song, In Everything You Do. They wrote it for their baby girl, & it’s beautiful. Collins and I think it’s a great song for a slow dance around the kitchen. (You will then want to proceed to purchase all of their music because this couple can sing.)