Ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? When everything, even the smallest thing has you on the verge of tears? When you just feel lousy all day?
I have them from time to time.
My littlest had one recently too.
For some unknown reason, he woke up on the weepy side of the bed that morning and from the second his eyes opened, he was on the verge of melting down all day. Getting in the van to go to church, stopping at our favorite Mediterranean place for a quick lunch, choosing a game to play on the Wii...all were close calls with the tearful side.
Later that afternoon I ran to the grocery with my big girl for some rare one on one time. While I was gone he reached his breaking point. Ian said he had spent much of the time crying over the simplest things and eventually took himself to his room to "let it all out."
I wanted to hold him and try to quiet his heart, but in the moment he wasn't looking for consolation and brushed me off, preferring to sulk in his sorrows. Hating to see him in that state of mind, I simply scooped him in my arms, despite his initial protests, and went to sit on the couch. Ever so slowly the full body heaving sobs gave way to tears which eventually passed into sniffles. As each stage subsided, I felt his little body relax and then before I knew it, he was sound asleep.
I closed my eyes and soaked in the moment...holding a sleeping child in your arms, this is really good stuff in this crazy role of motherhood. Sure I had about 50 things that I could have been doing...laundry, meal planning, house work...but right then meeting the emotional needs of my child took top priority. For that 45 minutes as I held him, drifting in and out of sleep myself, there was nowhere else that I wanted to be.
And just before he woke up, as I held him close, feeling the rhythm of his heart beating, and listening to Ian and the big kids doing experiments with eggs in the kitchen, I was washed again in the goodness of understanding the father's love for me. I reflected on how He calmed my heart just a few days earlier in the midst of my struggling to hold it together as we wait for Natalie.
Just as I wanted nothing more in that moment to comfort and hold my child, so God wanted nothing more than to hold me in the midst of one of my tough days...it's what He wants in any of my tough days.
But lately, instead of stopping to rest in Him, to be held in His peace, I have pushed away with my distractions, with all I see in front of me that I feel I need to take care of. What I just needed to do in those times is slow myself and be willing to be held.
Just as Daniel eventually calmed when he submitted to being held in my arms, so my soul was restored when I trusted Him and sought His peace instead of trying to manage on my own.
Now just to remember that lesson the next time my heart is troubled...
[Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. 4) Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.] Isaiah 46:3-4 NIV