I was waiting right outside her door, listening as she whimpered ever so slightly, and praying that it was her falling-asleep-whimper and not waking-up-more-cry.
It sounded as though she was drifting into a deep sleep. I slowly start to step away when she increased her whimper volume ever so slightly. I stopped. Held my breath and waited, knowing that if I make one wrong move it could mean starting the cycle all over again.
She stopped making noise and started a rhythmic breathing. She’s asleep.
I sigh in relief as I closed the bedroom door in victory. Another night of a successful bedtime routine! Even after having an entire day of battle for nap time, we won the night! I put my feet up as I finally delve into the other half of the protein bar I’d been munching on all day and relax.
Even though we had done this routine for months now and had only a few rough nights I will still get anxiety when I think she won’t sleep at bed time. I get flashbacks of when I would hardly get any sleep at all, where I was crying more than I could bear. And now, with her sleeping so well I get anxiety from worry that she is breathing and alive and well. It’s a never-ending cycle of worry for a mother.
So I try to be constantly aware of my gut feeling, of the spiritual promptings that will help me be there for my baby if she needs me. And I have had many a night where I’ll just sit outside her door, acutely listening for her deep breaths to ensure she is ok. Or, like this night I’ve recounted above, I’ll sit outside her door when she is a little overtired, and she’s taking a bit more time to fall asleep while talking or whimpering to herself.
I will stand there and listen because I know she needs to sleep and I’m a distraction if I step in too soon, making it worse if I come rushing in and ruin her self-soothe.
I’m always there. She may not know it because I’m out of sight and she can’t hear me, but I’m always there ensuring her safety and making sure she has been fed, changed and rocked enough to send her to dreamland.
That’s what my purpose has become, to answer her cry when she is hungry, or needs help, or even when she has the occasional nightmare and is frightened, I’m there. But I also know now the difference between her needing me and her making it on her own.
How many times do we think we can’t do it on our own, crying out in prayer, “Why ME, Lord? Won’t You send assistance? Can’t this cup pass?”
Then, when we don’t get an answer, we get frustrated and believe our loving Heavenly Father has abandoned us. Left us to fend for ourselves and our trials. I know I’m guilty of these feelings, and I truly haven’t understood why our God who says he will shower us with blessings doesn’t seem to be showing me any sign He is there during my hard times, or when I don’t understand why I’m going through what I’m going through. My prayers feel like they are hitting a brick wall, that I’m talking to myself and not to Him, and that no one is listening to my cry.
Then it donned on me while I was standing outside Annabelle’s door listening to her whimper to sleep.
Just as I KNOW my baby needs sleep and I KNOW she needs to get to sleep without my distracting her calming routine and she does better without my interruption, so does our Father in Heaven know what we need, when we need it, and how we can achieve it.
Our Lord will not ask us to run faster than we are able and, really, we must have faith that He knows us SO well and that He would NEVER put us through things in this life if they were not for our good or for our eternal progression. (D&C 89:18-20) He is ultimately our Father, and just as I am my baby’s mother, I understand that the love a parent has for their child is immeasurable, incomprehensible, and unexplainable. He waits outside our door every moment during those trying times in our life, listening to our prayer and knowing EXACTLY when we will need his intervention because he knows us perfectly.
I would die for my girl without batting an eyelash. I want SO badly for her life to be meaningful, full of adventure and discovering who she is and her potential. But for her to have that, I cannot tell her how everything goes, I can’t spell it all out for her. I give instruction and guidance then give her the chance to take it in all on her own. I’m her guardian and safe haven to always come home to. The person during this earthly life that she can always trust to be annoyingly there for here, even if I’m not ever present physically. The one who can help her turn to her Heavenly Father when the world makes no sense.
Helping her light her own candle instead of always lighting it for her.
Our Father in Heaven is there whether we see Him or not. He is waiting outside the door, sometimes He waits for you to just open that door, and sometimes He is waiting until you have done all you can do before He comes to assist. Nevertheless, He is always there. By documenting this new connection I’ve felt with God, I hope it has ingrained in my heart the determination to be more like Him. To walk in His ways of Holy Parenthood, fulfilling my calling to its utmost standard.
Never forget the influence you have as a mother, the beauty of guiding our Father’s children in righteousness and spiritual self-reliance. I know that if I didn’t have my own foundation of the knowledge of Christ, I wouldn’t be where I am today in the calling of motherhood that I hold.
Remember, He is always outside the door waiting for you to do all you can do before interceding. He may be out of sight, but He loves you deeply and has plans for you to move mountains.
Wander with us! Check out the link up Confessions of Parenting hosted this week on #wanderwednesday. http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=737972 (And comment below with some love and thoughts on my article! Thanks for visiting!)
I love this!! This is so beautiful and so true. I had similar insights when my kiddos were small. So reassuring. ❤
Thank you, Jennifer!
This is obviously written from the heart, it is beautiful #wonderingwednesdays@_karendennis
You are so kind! Thank you. 🙂