I have not slept well in days. Over a week now.
If you ever read anything about the trials of parenthood, I guarantee “sleep deprivation” hits the top of all the lists. And I admit, this part of the job has been grueling. But for me? The hardest part has been the fear.
When we brought Jackson home, I hated the night. As desperately as I wanted to sleep, I was terrified to. I was so afraid I would lay him down and wake up in the morning to find he had slipped away in the night. I would check over and over to make sure he was still breathing before finally falling asleep. Some nights I would just hold him and rock him for hours.
Sure, hormones play a huge part of that. Post-partum anxiety is a very real and common issue. And I’m told the fear of SIDS is especially common among first-time mothers everywhere. But honestly? Fear has always been my “thing.” The thorn in my side.
When I was a little girl I was so afraid of tornadoes. I would see a black cloud and anxiety would take over my little heart. Storms in the night were the end of my world.
When I got a little older, it was a car crash. What if I lost my whole family in an accident? Then 9/11 happened and a whole new book of fears were opened. The possibilities are endless and I can almost promise you that I’ve worried about every one of them at some point in my life.
So place a tiny baby in my arms? One that I was told would never make it to his birth if he were ever conceived? Well, I think that is the recipe for an anxiety meltdown.
And so I sat, night after night, not sleeping; crying every time I laid him down. It took a few weeks before I finally calmed down enough to listen for the voice of my Father. (He was with me right along, He always is, ya know?)
“You have to trust Me with him.”
And oh, how I have argued. But what if? What if he stops breathing? What if he chokes on his food? What if he hits his head to hard? What if he gets sick?
Friends, there is a lesson that I am still learning but it’s such an important one. We have to settle in our hearts that the Lord is good, no matter what. And no matter what, He is trustworthy. I have to re-settle this in my heart nearly ever day.
Case in point? Tonight is the first night my child is sleeping in his own crib, in his own room. I have looked at the video monitor a bajillion times. I am finally writing this post at 1 am when I should be sleeping so that I can continue to peek over at the monitor. Clearly, I still have trust issues.
But the news tells of shootings and bombs and snipers and kidnappings and on and on the terror is broadcasted and dissected for all our trembling hearts to hear, and I’m thinking that maybe this lesson is one I should share with you? Even though I am in the midst of it myself? After all, are we not here to grow together?
So to the tired and weary, I am with you. And to the scared and anxious, we can hold each other. I will tell you it’s all going to be okay and then you can tell me. And then maybe I will dim the video monitor and close my droopy eyes and finally get some sleep.
After all, the Lord IS good. And He IS trustworthy. No matter what. Sweet dreams, my dear friends.