Fighting Rest

One of the things we have learned about our daughter in her 4 short months of life is that she is not the biggest fan of sleep.The funny thing is, she really wants to be asleep and gets pretty mad about it, but she fights the thing that would give her relief. She doesn’t yet understand that she can just let herself fall asleep. (Oh, how she would love to find a way to be both awake and asleep at the same time.) Nick says he’s convinced she has Baby FOMO (Fear of missing out) and I can’t really argue with him. We’ve learned that when it’s time for bed, we have to quiet all of the distractions and help her focus on sleep.

Many parents have told me that they experience God in a fresh way after they’ve had a child. Now, I am finding it to be true for myself. Last night, I had one of those moments where I saw myself in my little girl as God must see me some times.

It was time for bed, and as I had a late meeting, Nick had been with her for a few hours. I opted to give him a break and put her to bed myself, even though he usually takes the night shift. We headed to the bedroom and I settled into the rocking chair. She was halfway wrapped in her swaddle and I put her head on my shoulder. She had been rubbing her eyes for some time and showing all of the signs of being tired.

I tried rocking her to sleep, but she kept fighting.

I turned on some worship music, but she didn’t settle.

I sang her some lullabies, but still, she fussed and fought to stay awake.

I changed her diaper, but that didn’t totally solve the problem either.

At this point, it felt like we had reached a battle of the wills in which I was fighting for her best and she was just fighting rest. So, I swaddled her, held her tightly, rubbed her back, and rocked her until she finally gave in to sleep. I had to press on through her tears, knowing what she needed, even if it was breaking my heart to hear her cry.

How often am I like that? I push myself past my limits and fight the rest I need. I do this, for sure, in my physical life, but also in my spiritual and emotional life. I have the power to set boundaries, say no, take care of myself, and most of all, surrender my hopes, fears, needs, and care to the Lord. But, like my daughter, I cry and struggle against the arms that hold me and know what is best.

And, also like my daughter, when I finally give into that rest, I find it to be so sweet and restorative. It’s so beautiful to hear her soft breathing and see her relaxed face, sometimes smiling, as she dreams. How much more then must the Father love to see us fall into His rest?

May the Lord continue to teach us who He is that we may show her His grace.

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