What should have happened was not what happened. He should have laid there peacefully, maybe playing with his hands as his sweet baby blue eyes began to stare off, overcome with heaviness. He should have rolled to his side as he usually does right before he falls asleep. But instead he looked up at me and started to cry. I kissed his forehead and walked out of the room. I call my little boy the sleep ninja. I stole the term from my friend Tara who is way more creative than me in coining terms. He fights sleep like a ninja. I knew in about ten minutes he would be out.
Ten minutes passed of him crying. Then the crying turned to screaming. I went upstairs and his little face was bright red. Big tears were rolling down his apple cheeks and his breathing was heavy from crying. I scooped him up and held him against me. I held him close to my chest and bounced trying to calm him. He just kept crying. I started to whisper, "I've got you, mommy's here," over and over again. But he was inconsolable.
"I've got you. I've got you. I've got you," I said over and over and over again. I was holding him sideways, so his head was in the crook of my arm and his belly was against mine. He reached his arm up and rested it just under my neck and he closed his little blue eyes. But he was still doing the heavy breathing. You know the breath you take when you cry really hard, in, in, out. In, in, out. He had stopped crying but his breathing wasn't back to normal. Even though I had him. Even though I was holding him. Even though nothing was wrong and his mama was right there.
I felt in that quiet moment, as I listened to my son's labored breathing, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit say, "I've got you. I've. Got. You." And Zephaniah 3:17 washed over me like a warm summer rain.
"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
There are things in my life that get me as agitated and upset as Sully got over having to nap. For him, I don't think he wanted to be alone. He didn't want to sleep, in a room, by himself. He wanted to be near his mama. He wanted to be in my arms. Even though what he did need was sleep and sleep isn't a bad thing. Because I am his mama, and my heart towards him is good and loving, I wanted to comfort him. I whispered truth over him that I was there and that I have him. I sang him a song to calm him and I rocked him and when I looked down at the little hand resting on me and his chubby cheeks and his little patch of blonde hair I rejoiced over him, overcome with love, for the little boy I bore.
God delights in us. It's a crazy thought, especially if the concept of God being a loving father is new for you. But he delights in us. And in the moments when I am fussy, upset or downright hysterical He can quiet me with his love and he can rejoice over me with singing. It's what parents do. And the truth is when God whispered over me, "I've got you," I knew exactly the things that he was scooping me up from. They aren't bad things, but they aren't easy things. Trusting God in areas isn't a bad thing. But it's not always an easy thing. Some days I just don't want to have to trust him, just like some days Sully doesn't want to nap. Napping is good (and all the moms and dads out there said, "Amen,"!) just like trusting God is good. But sometimes it just seems like life would be easier or better without
napping having to rely on a mighty, powerful, loving God.
When I scooped up Sully it didn't mean he would never have to nap again. What it meant was in that moment he needed me. He needed to be comforted and quieted and he needed to know his very loving Mama was there. As God whispered, "I've got you," over me in that moment I knew he wasn't letting me off the hook for having to rely on him. But he was comforting me, quieting my soul and reassuring me that my very loving Heavenly Father was there.
He's got you, too. If you'll let him.