It's about to get real. This whole parenting thing. And by real, I mean really really hard. I've been praying and seeking, googling and researching- straight up pleading with God- for some sort of solid conviction about a way to help my Sweet Baby to get to sleep on her own, and I finally have an answer, but I just plain do not want to do it. Because it's going to hurt. I keep stalling and making excuses and even though I know deep down in my mommy-of-this-child heart that this is the best thing in the world for her, I hate that she has to suffer in the process.
(**Just an aside: please no commentary on what is/isn't a good method
from the peanut gallery. I'm not spelling out what we're doing
intentionally- because I'm the mommy and I've made my choice, and I'm
not looking for any outside opinions. Thanks!**)
I know in theory that I can't keep her from suffering entirely, but to be the one who causes it? Ugh, that is HARD. Even if it is for her good. I feel like I wouldn't mind half as much if only she could understand why we have to do it this way.
I HATE that she won't understand why.
That she'll be screaming and flailing and just generally losing her cool, and that even though I'll be right there with her in it, she won't know what I'm doing, and she'll wish I were doing what she wants me to do (nurse her to sleep), what she thinks she NEEDS me to do for her. And though I'm glad we found a way to do this where I don't feel like I'm "leaving or forsaking" her, I hate that I'll have to reassure her through her confusion, when everything in me will want to fix it the way I always have- to stop her crying, her confusion, her pain. But then she'd never learn! And now is the perfect time. And this is the very best way.
It is so good for her.
And I can't help but think of how often I feel just like my tiny daughter in the hands of a Daddy God who often won't or can't explain what He's up to; Who takes me through things that feel so raw, so unkind, even hurtful. How many times do I think "Ouch Abba. Really?!" and plead through injured tears for another way, wondering how He can deal so violently with His own, with me, His child. And then I'm thinking about my Sweet Girl and what she doesn't know, and how she'll learn to trust me as she grows not because she gains some sort of magical understanding about what I'm up to, or because I kept her from everything that would hurt, but because I never left her in the midst of the pain, because I'm still with her when she wakes.
And so I'll walk her through the rough stuff BECAUSE I love her too much to leave her unchanged.
All of my waiting, my flailing in frustration at what feels so uncomfortable, so hard, so entirely un-Good. Why this trial, Lord? Why not now? Why the agonizing wait, the heartbreaking "no," when I know that you could just give me what I want, and you could do it right now? You could pick me up out of this wretched situation and it would be all better, You could wipe away my tears.
It is so good for her.
And if my heart aches as I watch my firstborn baby get so worked up as she tries to learn something new, something really hard, then why do I imagine that my Heavenly Father feels His daughter's pain less, cares less about her cries of distress? That He's up there in the clouds a million miles away with a very cold and untouched smirk on His face.
Honestly? Because in those moments when I'm angry and I'm hurt and I don't understand...
I don't care that His hand is on my back.
I don't care that His gentle voice continues to whisper healing truth.
I don't care that He's never let me down once, that He stands behind me and goes before me.
Instead I scream and cry like a scared child, protesting with every bit of my being because I just cannot stand the not knowing. It's scary. And it doesn't feel good. And if He loves me, why does this hurt so badly, and can't You just make it stop, Lord?!
But didn't Jesus say, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good
gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father GIVE the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:11-13)
And surely "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will He not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Rom 8:32) Hasn't He proven once and for all that He LOVES His children? That He's working all things, all gross and painful and confusing things we encounter in this sin-filled messy world for our very best good?
Whether I know it to be true in the moment or not,
whether or not I can see the gift in this trial or call out the fire as grace,
whether I can tell where we're headed or my vision is blurry,
it's still my Daddy who leads me, He knows the way and He will not let me down
because He is very very good.