For the past month I’ve been walking through one of the hardest seasons of my life. Our baby boy has literally been screaming in pain for 10-11 hours nonstop for the past four weeks. As a mama, nothing can hurt my heart worse. James’s tear ducts came in, so his water-filled and flowing eyes would lock on mine as if screaming out, “Mom, please help me!” And there’s nothing I could do to take the pain away. Sure, I’ve been trying everything – removing everything from my diet to see if it could’ve been my breast milk causing the problem, trying different digestive aiding drops, gripe water, different formula, doctors appointments, etc. But I couldn’t take the pain away. I would just hug him tight and cry with him.
As I laid in bed at night, exhausted from the day of being so emotionally broken for my baby all day, the enemy would whisper lies to me over and over. He would torment me with the questions of “what if’s” and lies that “this is my fault.” “I should do more.” “I should have ignored the pediatrician and sought help from various doctors sooner.” “He was underfed and it was all my fault.” The horrifying thoughts rushed in with force.
I would replay the day over and over in my head. I would replay James’s last 3 ½ months of life. I wondered what I did wrong to get preeclampsia; what I did wrong for him to be in NICU; what I did wrong for him to be colicky, to have reflux, to cry in pain all day long, everyday.
In the night, when our baby was finally asleep and not in pain; in the night when my ever-so-helpful and encouraging husband slept next to me; in the night, when I should’ve been sleeping… This is when the real battle took place. This is when the enemy attacked me hardest. But this is also when Jesus was the sweetest to me.
After what seemed like hours of agonizing over what I did or did not do to have this happen to MY baby, and honestly having a little pity party for myself, I began to fight back. I would look up Bible verse pictures on my phone, or I’d just starting rehearsing the ones I had memorized in my head (even ones I didn’t know I knew) over and over until peace came. I would sing songs of praise to my Savior in the night. I would choose to look upon the goodness of the Lord; of His involvement in our lives and those surrounding us. I would look at the beauty of spring and trust and KNOW that He was bringing life through this situation.
This season of a month-long night has been shaping me. I didn’t know how fearful and untrusting of the Lord I was until I had James. He was having episodes of bradycardia in the NICU, so when we brought him home, I would literally pray every night that our God would keep him breathing and his heart beating properly while I slept. I have literally worried about our boy from his head to his toes – I’ve worried about his eyes not being normal, his heart beating too slowly, his stomach issues, his bowed leg and seemingly crooked foot. I’m that new mom that checks on her baby about 4 times every nap (that might be because his “naps” were only 8 minutes before this week, so when he sleeps for over an hour I’m in shock!). But I was so fearful since day one.
Now, however, this dark, yet beautiful season has been really making me release everything to Christ – our baby because James is truly HIS baby, my control of anything in my life, our home and finances, my wants and desires. Jesus has been so present, so close and so reassuring through His Word, His people, and His faithfulness in my life.
This season taught me and is setting a pattern of praise for my “night seasons” ahead. It is teaching me to trust when I can’t see; to know with my whole heart that Jesus sees and He cares and He knows; to become intimate with the Comforter – the Holy Spirit. This season surely has been quite dark and stormy, but Jesus has been the bright and shining light to refresh, encourage and sustain me through the night.
If you’re walking through the darkness and the night seems endless, relinquish your fears and the unknowns to the all-knowing and all-loving God. Choose praise. Recite Scripture. Be prayerful. It’ll bring some light in the midst of your storm.