February 25, 2014

You Heard My Cry

Jocelyn wakes up from her nap. I hear her cries over the monitor. 

I understand why she might be a little frightened. Her room is dark. There is a roaring waterfall in the corner (baby white noise) drowning out our Guatemalan soundtrack of street dogs, firecrackers, car horns and alarms. And mommy is nowhere to be found.

In order for me to get from my work station to Jocelyn’s room, I have to walk across our living room and kitchen and down a long, slightly creepy hallway. For some reason it makes me think “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” The lights are dim, it takes ten large strides to get through it, and there are no doors until you reach the end.

To make the wait a little less painful for Jocelyn, I begin to sing. I sing starting at the beginning of the hallway, all the way to the end where her room is.

“You are my sunshine. My only sunshine…”

I get closer and closer. My voice gets louder and louder. 

And the moment Jocelyn hears my voice, she stops crying. In fact, many times she not only stops crying, but starts cooing along, laughing as she waits for me to arrive and pick her up.

I know she is not comforted because of my beautiful singing voice. (Because I do not have a beautiful singing voice.) She is comforted simply because she knows it's me, she hears my voice. Mommy is near.

It’s not just my familiar face that brings her comfort, it’s my voice from afar, reminding her that I am there, there to take care of her and to love her.

There are days when I feel alone, in the dark, confused, sad, angry, doubtful, frustrated, scared. These emotions can come on for a variety of reasons. Our decision to move back right now makes me sad, sometimes doubtful. Sharing my innermost thoughts for the entire world to see sometimes leaves me feeling scared, a little vulnerable. And then there’s the “everyday stuff” that at times gets topped with some “unexpected stuff.”

But just as a mother’s voice comforts her daughter, our Father’s voice is there to comfort us too. He hears our cries. And He responds. He reminds us He is always there, there to take care of us, to love us. We hear God’s voice in different ways, but it comforts us, guides us, {leads} us beside quite waters, {restores} our soul. 

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

One way I have especially been comforted, have especially heard God's voice recently is through the encouragement of family and friends. Many have taken the time to reach out and explain that they have had similar experiences and emotions as my own (a decision to move, the everyday life of motherhood). Others have encouraged me to say they enjoyed something I wrote, that it was perfect timing. (Although I can’t take credit for God’s timing, it’s certainly fantastic to hear that God used me in a helpful way.) And I want to thank you for taking that time to encourage me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

All the encouragement I have received has been a fantastic reminder that through the uncertainty, the stress, the unknown, God is always in control. He is leading me as his sheep, (his dumb, wandering, wayward sheep,) and comforting me with His voice.

Because there is nothing more comforting to me than hearing that there are others out there who understand how I feel, who have been through the same struggles, who get it.

Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

And how great is it to know that we have a Savior who can say that in any and every situation we are in? Who always understands how we feel, who has been there before, who gets it?

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

There are a lot of tough things about being a mom. 
This is not one of them.

I need to remember, as Christ's little sheep, to yearn for Him, just as Jocelyn yearns for me. If I am anywhere in sight, she wants to be with me, in my arms, patting my face, yanking my hair. I need to yearn for God with just as much fervor. Seeking His voice, longing for Him above all else. Clinging to His words. 

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding – indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

They are not just idle words for you - they are your life.

Grace and Peace,