Sunday, August 20, 2017

Darkness to light: feeling God's nearness

As I prepare to give birth to our sweet baby boy I have been trying find a way to say goodbye to the twins as the babies of our family. It has always been hard for me to make these transitions, but with two of them I find it to be even more emotional.  These little boys have had such a profound effect on our lives and although they will be ours forever they will very soon be sharing their place in the family with a new precious one.

 Life's transitions often bring pain but generally also provide overwhelming opportunities for growth. I think of the very important transition of helping a little one sleep through the night without assistance (nursing, comforting etc). Every parent faces this challenge with their baby at some point but with our twins we felt compelled to sleep train earlier than we had with our other babies out of sheer exhaustion and the need to care for 5 other children including older kids who kept us awake at night for other reasons.

  As parents we know that sleeping alone is going to be a skill that will bless the child (and the rest of the family!) with needed sleep, and subsequent growth that can only occur during intervals of quality sleep. We also know that in order to gain this new skill, the child must experience the feeling of total abandonment in order to recognize that he can truly make it on his own.                                        
What the child doesn't know is that during those moments when he feels the most abandoned and confused that the parent is really very near. Many nights I have waited outside my child's door just feet away as they cry in confussion, I lay there listening praying, sometimes weeping, pleading with the Lord to help my child to make it through the night without me.

As adults we continue to make painful but needed transitions. We finish school and move away from home, we get married and follow our spouse across the country to a new and unfamiliar place, we lose someone who is very dear to us, we feel inspired to do something that doesn't turn out as we envisioned.  These times can make us feel such loss and abandonment. Why is it that at these times we look for God and sometimes wonder where He is?
As the parent of all mankind, it is during our painful transitions when God is outside our doorway listening, waiting and asking the Lord to comfort us as we push through our own painful transistion in order that we might gain the new skill of greater  spiritual strength and maturity.
Since discovering that this baby would be a brother and not the sister that I was sure would come to us I have tried so hard to understand God's plan for me. I find myself asking Him: was the sister the baby I lost last Fall? Am I supposed to have another baby to actually get her here? Am I just spiritually off and not able to actually discern what Thy will is for me?
I have realized that perhaps I don't need to know the answer to these questions now. Perhaps I will not know them in this lifetime.  I do know that although I have felt intense pain over this lack of understanding that God has not at all abandoned me. I believe He is closer than ever waiting, listening and pleading with the Lord to give me strength as I grow the new skill to trust and follow and believe in His power to guide, lift and nurture our family to new heights.
In less than 24 hours our little town will witness total darkness during midday during a total eclipse of the sun. This miracle of total darkness to full light is not unlike the miracle we all experience when God through His great power can take us from full darkness to endless day as He heals our broken hearts and makes us even stronger than we ever knew we could be.

No comments:

Post a Comment