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Safe Arms

These are pictures of the aftermath...

Of what?

11:00pm shushing

11:30 pm walking

12:00 am singing

12:30am bathing

1:00 am rocking

2:30 am feeding

4:00 am calming

And all the moments in between.

The aftermath of what? A new layer of selfishness being stripped away as I take one step further into motherhood. The most refining and rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of.

My sweet boy caught his first real cold this past weekend while simultaneously cutting teeth number 5 and 6. A stuffy nose, an achy head, pain filled mouth, and no words to explain it made for a challenging night for all of us. So he cried. And cried. And cried.

I held him one way and he cried. Another way and he cried harder. Ryan took a turn and D still cried. We questioned if it was a night terror, or if he was possibly gassy. I pulled out all the things: The baby chest rub, humidifier, teething drops, teething popsicle, nasal spray, cuddle toys. We changed his diaper and changed his clothes. We bathed him and rocked him but nothing seemed to truly help. After mere moments of peaceful distraction that seemed like we made it through, he continued to cry himself hoarse. Screaming at the top of his lungs, absolutely exhausted, and unable to sleep.

In my short parenting journey this was the toughest night I can recall. Knowing how upset he was but not being able to fix it I just held him close and felt solidarity with all the moms before me. It strangely felt like holy ground, walking in the footsteps of every mom who has navigated these waters. A sick child and sleepless nights, feeling helpless while rocking and singing as one more layer of my own selfishness was stripped away. Leaving me a little more of a mother and a little less of whoever I was before.

When I wanted to be sleeping I held him instead. When I wanted to give up I pulled him close.

Not because of my great abilities but because of the compassion from God flowing through me. I sing to D every night, “I love you with the love of the Lord,” because my love isn’t enough for all that he needs and on this particular night it definitely wouldn’t have been.   

I would much rather my baby cry in my arms than for him to think I don’t care. I would much rather hold him close when he’s hurting than make him figure it out on his own.

In the not so quiet hours of this night I felt in my spirit a new level or realization that God is like this. Only infinitely more good.

Where my human patience has its limit, His continues on.

Where my selfishness gets the best of me, He gives of himself selflessly.

When I’ve physically reached my limit, He knows no limits.

With our anger, our pain, our clinched fists and tear streaked faces in our darkest nights, He opens his arms and says, “come tell me about it. I’ve got you. I won’t run out of patience with you.”

So until the sun rises and dawn breaks through our darkest nights, we can know we’re secure.

Safe in the arms of a perfect Father.


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