Several months ago at Maggie's 9-month check up at the doctor, the subject of sleep came up. For several months I had been getting up with her multiple times a night. Mainly because in my mind it was easier for everyone for me to nurse her back to sleep and be back in bed 10 minutes later. However, I was really starting to feel the toll of getting up two or three times a night. Our doctor strongly encouraged me that we needed to "sleep train" Maggie, saying that she thought that it would only take a few nights of crying it out and she would be cured. Sure enough, it only took one night and a rough bedtime and she was sleeping through the night like clockwork!
Now, after an extended period of time traveling back and forth to Cleveland and also being very sick last week, we are unfortunately now at the point of needing to re-train her again.
Is there anything more excruciating than listening to your child cry and intentionally NOT going to comfort them?? As I lay in bed at 2 a.m. Saturday night thinking about this, I thought about how many new and different emotions and responses parenthood produces. Then, I started thinking about something I read in my Bible Study this week about us being God's children. And suddenly all of my feelings toward Maggie took on a whole new meaning. God loves us as his CHILDREN. Just like I love my daughter.
As I pondered this refreshed view of God in a new light, my mind was suddenly brought back to the moment as I listened to Maggie crying. It seemed so WRONG not to go in there. Yet I lay there continuing to tell myself, "This is for her own good."
Then I started thinking about our current situation with Gary's job and living in different places, etc. There have been a lot of hard days in the past two months. It occurred to me that this is perhaps a season that God is using to "train" us, and even though it's hard, it is for our good. We just need to cry it out. It doesn't mean that God doesn't hear us or care about our house selling, but as our Father, he knows best, and we need to trust that his love runs deeper than our day-to-day comfort or happiness.
Things are always worse in the darkness of the night. But morning always comes.
I hope that through this time we learn to sleep deeply and peacefully through the darkness of the night, secure in our knowledge that our Father is there - sometimes right outside the door - and will be there in the morning. What a comfort to think about God being there even when we can't see him. How reassuring to think about him crying with us, longing to comfort us, but not doing so out of his deep, deep love for us.
Hopefully, we will grow to be more like him and a little more at peace next time the darkness comes.