Sleep training. Probably two words that have brought most of the anxiety I’ve felt as a new mom. It has been the source of many tears—Gabriel’s and my own. It has been the yard stick by which I measure how good of a mom I really am, as I compare how well I’ve done it to how well (and really how fast) other moms have done it. Today, while I watched and listened to my son fussing in his room from having been laid down for a morning nap, I heard the LORD say to me, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
[If you recognize this statement, it’s because it’s in the Bible a few times. It’s in Deuteronomy 31:6, when Moses is (as the go-between for God and the people of Israel) giving his last instructions to the people of Israel before he dies and they cross into the Promised Land. It’s repeated by God for the people of Israel to Joshua, the new leader after Moses dies. It’s said again by the writer of Hebrews to Followers of Jesus, connecting the promises made to Israel to what Christians can expect from this same God.]
He continued to connect how diligently I watch the monitor for his distress level while my son is fussing to how diligently He has his eye on me, even as He prepares me for the next level of maturity in Him. You see, my son has to learn how to self-soothe and put himself to sleep. It’s a skill he’ll need for development and functioning well in different settings he’ll be put in as he grows. I don’t want him to still be distressed in kindergarten when it’s time to take a nap. The LORD is also preparing me to know He’s taking care of me even when I feel like he’s in another room while I’m struggling. He’s not neglecting me any more than I’m neglecting my son. He’s leading me into a new place that’s good for me. Plus, He’s ready to run in in a flash if I really need Him.
Last night, I had laid my son down to sleep right as EJ got home from work. It was uncharacteristic for him to be asleep at that time, so we were surprised to have a few moments with one another while he did some extra sleeping during this period of teething. (Did I mention that some ground I had gained in sleep training seems to have been lost in this teething period?!) All of a sudden, Gabriel cried out—like a real cry—in the middle of sleeping soundly. I’ve never seen my husband move so quickly! He jumped up from the couch and leapt over obstacles (the activity mat and jumper in the middle of the floor) to get to his room more quickly, just because the baby sounded like he was in pain. I almost heard the old Nickolodeon Double Dare tv show narrative saying, “Obstacle Challenge!” I’m laughing just remembering it, but it was so precious.
The LORD reminded me of it this morning, though, assuring me that He’s watching me even more closely and, if the need presented itself, would jump, has jumped over any and every obstacle to rescue me when in distress. Maybe you needed to know that today, too. Be assured, and let it settle in the bottom of your heart. We can rest in the Truth that our God, our Heavenly Father, will never leave us or forsake us. He’s always attentive and ready to run to our rescue.