Yesterday, Emma had a rough afternoon. After feeding her around 11:30, I put her in the Baby Bjorn and went on a walk to a nearby ‘lake’ with her and the pooches.
She fell asleep on our walk and I contemplated whether I should take her out when I got home or leave her be. I decided to leave her and started making lunch. She woke up. Crap. She had only been asleep for 20 minutes.
That was 12:30. She didn’t stay asleep until 3:00. She ‘fell asleep’ countless times during those 2.5 hours. I shushed her, bounced her, swaddled her, fed her, changed her, tried her in the Baby Bjorn again. But the minute I stopped bouncing or shushing, her little eyes would pop open, her little mouth turn down and she’d start wailing.
My frustration grew. Why did she keep fighting the very thing she needed most? Being overtired was what was making her so miserable. She just needed to surrender!
I also felt completely discouraged that nothing I did made Emma happy. It breaks my heart to hear her cry until her throat is raw and see her little face as red as a tomato. I would do anything to help her.
In the midst of my temptation to lose hope, I was reminded by the Spirit that I should pray and ask God to help me. I should crawl to the cross and lay my burdens there, “to receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.”
But I didn’t want to. I wanted to stew in my pain and despair. I wanted to be mad at God for it being so hard with Emma every day that I actually dread her waking up. I dread myself waking up. I live in a constant state of feeling like I’m holding on by a single strand of thread.
I knew that pouring out my heart to God was the exact thing I needed. My own stubbornness and self-pity was creating my misery.
Then I realized… I’m exactly like Emma. Fighting against what I need. And God looks at me with His heart breaking, longing to help me, to instill His hope in me, to prove His love for me. But I fight it. And for what?
I was humbled. And just as Emma finally succumbed to sleep, I went on a drive and poured out my fears, hopes and thanksgiving to the One who is faithful and sovereign over all.
That wasn’t the last time Emma will need sleep – or fight it. And I’m sure I’ll need the reminder again of my willfulness. But luckily, God is patient and lavishes me with blessings and grace I don’t deserve – or even ask for.