Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Parenting a Sick Baby Taught Me About the Heart of God

This past week, Lucia's was sick.  She's had a cold a few times before, but this is her first real illness (double ear infections!).  She was so miserable.  It broke my heart. 

sick, miserable baby

When you or I are sick, we know that the pain and discomfort are only temporary.  Knowing that we'll soon be better makes the sickness more bearable.  But my sweet baby, she's too young to understand that there is an end in sight.  I can't imagine how distressing it is to her to feel so awful and not understand why she feels that way or when the pain will cease.  

Last Wednesday, Lucia was at her worst.  David was able to take the day off to stay with her and when I called on the way home, he told me that she had been laying in his arms moaning all day.  She was in too much pain to be able to completely fall asleep.  When I got home, I took over, holding my sweet pea in my arms the rest of the day and all night.  I tried to comfort her, I tried to explain that this would all be over soon.  Try as I might, I think my efforts just didn't make it through to her.  

I realized that this is maybe a bit like God's relationship with his children.  We all go through periods of suffering in our lives.  We cry out to Him from our misery.  He tries to comfort us, knowing that whatever our struggles, they will pass soon enough.  But in the midst of it all, we are often incapable of accepting His comfort because we can't see the end of our suffering.  Just like my little Lulu can't comprehend that her illness is temporary, we can't conceive of our sufferings ending.  We begin to give in to the pain, to stop fighting back and preparing for life after our current battles.  

Right now, we are struggling with David's unemployment/underemployment.  It seems as if there is no way out.  He applies for every job he's even remotely qualified for, yet has only gotten a few interviews and nothing has come of them.  We can't foresee this changing anytime soon.  We're starting to get depressed without an end in sight.  When he was in school, it was difficult, but we had an end date to look forward to: graduation.  Right now, there is no guarantee that he will ever find a job.  And that's scary.  Overwhelming.  And yet I imagine our Heavenly Father looking down at me thinking, "Don't you know that this will soon be over?"

When I lean down and whisper in my sweet baby's ear, "It will all be fine, I promise.  Mommy is watching over you.  Trust me that this will soon be over," I hear this same echo in my ear: "It will all be fine, I promise. Your Father is watching over you. Trust Me that this will soon be over."  

Right now, I'm choosing to trust.  I don't know when David will find a job, but I know that the Lord knows.  That he's laying plans.  That there is a purpose for this time.  As difficult as it is for her, as difficult as it is for me to watch, Lucia needs to get sick as a child to build her immune system.   I don't know the exact reason for our sufferings right now, but I am consciously choosing to trust that the difficulties we face today have meaning.  Perhaps I will someday know what that meaning is, but it's just as likely that I never will.  And today, I'm ok with that.


  1. Such a beautiful post! Hope your little one is feeling much better.

    1. Thank you, Rita! She's back to her normal self now (except for a lingering cough but those always seem to take a while to leave). I should have put an update on her after putting up that pitiful picture!

  2. This is a great post... a great reminder. Thank you for sharing. I hope Lucia is feeling so much better! And, I will continue to pray for your fam... and David's job search. I wish I had some inspiring words to say to be of some encouragement, but then I realize that this post is just that.

    Hang in there, Mandi! :)

  3. I love this post and even more, love this realization you came to. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective! I needed to read this today - not sure (yet) for what reason.

  4. Huh. Such a simple concept, but one I never thought of. Now I have something new to meditate on when I have sick ones. Thanks :)

  5. Such a beautiful post. My husband and I are going through our own little suffering right now, and it is good to hear "this too shall pass."

  6. Thank you. This was a post I really needed to read today, and it has brought me great comfort!

  7. Hi Mandi,

    Just catching up on your blog. Great post. And umm, that picture of Lucia is awesome! Haha, too funny.


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