Yesterday I held my baby. He’s getting big, almost 4. He fell asleep on the way home from picking up his brother from school, and usually when he does that I just lay him down on my bed so he can get a little nap out. But I couldn’t bring myself to put him down yesterday. I just marched over to my mother’s house, let the bigger boys watch TV and sat and held my baby for an entire hour and felt him, and watched him, and breathed with him. Our breath was so in sync I had to stop breathing for a moment just to make sure he still was! As I had done a million times before…
I just felt like I needed to treasure that moment.
They are so fleeting.
When my babies were small I was a mess. I never put them down. I held them as much as I could. I had been told it was a good idea to let them sleep in another room. I knew myself well enough to know that wouldn’t happen right away. (I didn’t even let my puppy sleep in another room…) So I put a little old-timey wooden bassinet at the foot of our bed. I laid Nolan in it that first night and laid down and stared in the darkness with my eyes as wide as saucers, thinking how barbaric and ridiculous it felt. So I decided to situate the carseat right beside the bed, put him in it, and just rested my hand on his belly. Making sure he was still breathing….
When he made a noise, I just finally scooped him up, went out on the couch, and positioned him in the crook of my elbow and was able to get some rest. I stayed there for six weeks. When I went to the doctor for my postpartum check-up I told him I was experiencing neck pain. He felt my neck and told me I had 2 vertebrae out of place…from staring at him so much while I held him. He had to realign my neck (only in my small town is the OB also a chiropractor).
When Josiah came along, I just went ahead and started on the couch. I knew it was best for us. But I felt like I didn’t get to hold him as much because I had 2 babies then. My mom informed me that I never put him down. I guess I didn’t. I held my children. I still hold them. It’s mostly in the early morning, puffy-eyed moments when they forget that they are big and they nestle right in between my coffee and my Bible, into my side, and allow themselves to be held.
It’s in those moments I’m so overwhelmed with God’s love for me. He loves me more than I love them. He even loves them more than I do! I cannot fathom that. I really, really love them. Like with a wild kind of love. With a take-your-breath away kind of love. With a love that holds them tight.
Have you ever been held by God?
I know I have. I was deeply ministered to one time by a clown ministry, of all things. It was really unbelievable. I don’t have a feeling about clowns one way or the other. I don’t fear them (I think it’s a weird phobia) or dislike them, but I don’t have much of an affinity towards them either. They just are. But this particular ministry, on this particular night, acted out the Gospel message, and then came to each person in the room and hugged us. That clown looked me directly in the eye and pointed up to the heavens, then to himself, then to me. As if to say, ‘from God, to me, to you.’ Then he hugged me. As much as I can figure his arms were transfigured into the very arms of Jesus. As sure as I sit here today, I believe that hug came directly from my Savior. That was nearly 10 years ago, and I can feel it like it was yesterday. It was so comforting.
Sometimes in moments of desperation, I think back to that treasured gift. I am reminded of being held by my Savior. I wonder if he gazes at us. I wonder if He is pleased when our breaths are so in sync with His that we really appear as belonging to Him when we are out and about in the world, trying to at least be a dim reflection of Him who holds us tight..
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Find comfort in your Savior today as he holds you tight. Be held, sweet child of God.