I remember when my children were infants. My husband and I would often go into their rooms at night and peek at them sleeping peacefully in their cribs. Sometimes we would just stand there in the soft glow of the night-light of their room, arms entwined around one another, and we would marvel at their precious baby faces and the miracle of their being. Sometimes we would smile and laugh quietly at their funny little sleep-time expressions, their tiny open mouths, and the barely audible sounds they would make. Our hearts just swelled with love for them.
After that we would climb into our own bed where slumber awaited us. We’d snuggle and hold each other close. My husband has always been the type to fall off to sleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Not a worry in the world. I, however, have never been able to do that. Back in those days, that was the sweetest, most peaceful part of the day. And definitely my most favorite time of the day. The time of day when I had the peace of knowing that my entire family was all safe, sound, and asleep under one roof. All was quiet and still and I would lay there saying quiet prayers to God, thanking him for keeping us all together and safe. I’d lay there listening to my family sleep and just bask in that peaceful feeling. And eventually, sleep would come. Oh how many times I wanted to make time stand still during those days and have that feeling last. It was so different from the daylight hours when I was a busy, exhausted, stressed-out mess of a young mother and there didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get things done.
I remember the first week of my empty nest and how I climbed in bed one night and suddenly missed having that peaceful feeling of knowing that all of our family was safely tucked away at home together. I missed the heavy deep sleeping sounds coming from my sons’ bedrooms. I hated the quiet as it no longer felt peaceful, but anxiety-filled. Instead of that calm serenity, there was an obtrusive uneasiness that had taken its place.
Now I seem to be an expert at tossing and turning. Insomnia has become my closest companion. It seems there is so much to worry about these days…. The world’s unrest, increasing crime, whether my son’s are safe and making wise choices in college, advancing age and new health problems that go along with it, impending test results from the doctor’s office, a hurtful comment from a friend, finances, never-ending housework, etc., etc., etc. I don’t want to be so anxious but it seems I always am.
Lately, I’ve felt desperate to find that peace again and I know where I need to go to find it. I think of Isaiah 26:3– You Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you. Lord, come into my heart and bring me that peace again, for You are the only one who can calm my storms. I long to draw near to You and spend time in Your presence, resting in Your capable arms and knowing that when I do, peace will come. I need to learn to give my burdens and worries to You for good, not handing them over and snatching them right back as I often am so guilty of doing. Knowing You, believing in You, and abiding in You, brings me peace. I thank you for Your peace that restores me.
Amen. It’s so hard for a parent, and perhaps especially a mom, to let go and let God. (Actually, it might be impossible for a mom!) I take spiritual inventory a lot — like life isn’t tough enough, I have to run over my own foot?? — and every day at 3 when I pray the Divine Mercy prayers (“Jesus, I trust in Thee” etc), I come face to face with my not quite 100% trust in Him. I think back to how earlier in the day I might’ve stocked up (or at least planned to) on canned goods in the face of what purports to be an awful winter, and even in those little things, no, I do not trust in Thee, apparently! One has to labor, sometimes, to trust in Him. As a Christian mom with my kids and loved ones in a true diaspora of souls if not their very persons, I also do that kind of worrying about things that worrying never helps, so sometimes, I am reminded to hand them over — I mentally re/trace the Sign of the Cross on their not-right-here foreheads and say to Him that I know He loves them even more than I do, and sees even more than I do what sorts of danger they are in.. Ah, well. It helps a bit, because we know it to be true. Or, we trust it to be true! Hang in there. 🙂
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I know as moms we never quit worrying about our kids, no matter how old they are! I’m learning to put hope and confidence in God and I’m finding it’s not easy…. I wish it wasn’t so hard for me but I’d be lying if I said otherwise. It’s something I have to continually work on and make a conscious effort over and over and over, day after day. It’s a stepping stone process. But I know that God is always faithful and will bring me through whatever I’m going through. He’s there with me every step of the way. I guess trust is a learning process.