Feeling God’s love through sickness

My poor little one is sick.  She has her first really bad head cold.  The good news is she’s made it until almost 3 before this happened.  She’s had the sniffles a couple of times, but this is her first big cold.  And she’s miserable.  She uses Kleenex on herself, but she also needs help, because she is still little.  And she’s a bit on the whiny side, because she’s miserable.  In all, she’s being a trooper.  But, she understandably needs extra attention right now.

Last night we put her to bed and left the room.  She was exhausted after a rough nap time and not feeling well.  I hoped she’d be able to sleep through the night just fine.  Just over an hour later and she was up crying.  My husband took the first round and got her back to sleep.  Within 10 minutes, though, she was back awake and crying.  We decided one of us would go sit with her until she fell asleep completely.  I volunteered.

My poor sick kiddo lying in my bed this morning watching an episode of "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" while she rests.

Though she’s in her big girl twin bed now, there wasn’t room for both of us to lay down.  She likes to sleep sort of diagonally.  I’m taking up even more space than usual these days with my belly growing.  So, I sat beside her.  I remembered being a kid and sometimes I just loved feeling my mom beside me.  Even just a hand on my back would comfort me.  I stroked her hair a bit.  I sang her a couple of soothing songs.  Then I just sat as she settled in.  I put my hand on her back and waited.  Eventually she fell asleep.  Right as I was about to leave, she woke back up.  I moved a bit and ended up by the end just sitting on the floor by her bed.  Until she fell asleep she’d sneak a peek every so often to make sure I was still there.  Just my presence comforted her.

It made me think of how I feel with God.  When I was in college a friend shared at Bible study how she’d been comforted by an image of God stroking her hair when she was lying in bed upset about something.  I’ve thought of that off and on in all those years since.  Having someone I love stroke my hair comforts me a lot.  I like to imagine God doing that when I’m upset or worried.  I think of times I’ve been in bed and not feeling well physically, emotionally or both and think that God is right there.  Sometimes He’s sitting on my bed stroking my hair, sometimes His hand is on my back and sometimes He’s on the floor sitting close enough to reassure me of His presence.  But, He’s always there.

After she was fully asleep, I was able to sneak out of her room and go into the living room with my husband.  I turned on the baby monitor so I could hear if she woke up again or needed anything else and get to her before she was crying loud enough to be heard on the other side of the house.  I again thought of God.  There have been times where I felt like He wasn’t around.  There are times when He withdraws as He’s teaching me.  There are other times when I inadvertently withdraw.  Either way, I’ve had moments of missing Him and feeling like He’s gone.  I realize, though, that just as I didn’t actually leave my daughter, He hasn’t left me.  There are times He’s sort of just in another room, but He’s always paying attention.  He’s always listening and nearby in case I need more help.

Last night my kiddo did need more help.  Right as my husband and I were about to go to bed ourselves, she woke up again crying.  We decided to just let her sleep in bed with me.  My husband took the couch.  He’s a good man.  She’s never gotten to sleep in our bed before or with me.  But, it was the best thing for us all to get the most rest last night.  I was able to wake up with her off and on and help her wipe her nose.  I like to think there are definitely times that God does that for me.  When I’m hurt and helpless and He just lies beside me ready to help me at any moment I need it.  When I need more, He’s able to give me more.  The cool part is unlike me, He doesn’t get tired.  He doesn’t lose patience like I do sometimes and try very much to stifle.  I’m tired this morning.  It was a long night.  I prayed a few times for wisdom on how to best take care of my kiddo.  And I prayed that He’d help her get some rest.  I’ll do it all again tonight if I need to.  And I’ll do it all day.  I’ll do it as long as I need because I love my child so much.  I can’t fathom how God could possibly love me even more than I love her, but I know He does.  He’s able to deal with all my craziness and needs and everyone else’s, too.  And He’s able to do it with love and compassion.

I strive to be more like Him in all I do, and this is included.  While I will take care of myself, I will also strive to remember that life isn’t all about me.  I will put my kiddo’s needs above all and make sure she has what she needs when she needs it while she’s sick, especially.  I’ll comfort her as much as I can.  And when all else fails and I’m lying next to her with my hand on her back as she’s struggling to breathe and trying to sleep, I’ll remember that I can still turn to the One Who loves us both.  He gives me all the strength I need to care for my baby girl.  While I’m comforting her, He’s comforting us both.

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