Separation Anxiety: Unexpected Lessons About Jesus and Sacrifice
Coming up on her second birthday, I find myself reflecting on my daughter's life and her impact on mine. Already a "miracle-baby" in her own right, when we found out she had less than a 50% chance of survival because of my PCOS (that added with my MTHFR gene mutations, her chances were slim and we didn't even know it).
At the "almost-two" mark, Sawyer is experiencing major separation anxiety from me, waking up 2-3 times a night screaming for "Mama!" calmed only by my embrace. After holding her into a deep sleep, I lay her down, but the tears are back 30-40 minutes later when she stirs and discovers I am not there.
I've read the books. I know the studies. Heck, I crawled into bed with my parents until I was almost 10! I don't want that for her (or my marriage!) I want her to continue to be a good sleeper. I want the fear to dissipate. I want her to fall asleep on her own.
There is a ongoing battle going on between my head and my heart and they both have good points.
When I lose this battle to my heart, I'm agreeing with my emotions. Emotions that tell me how tired I am and that I can't listen to the cries two nights in a row. Emotions that are screaming she needs me. Emotions that tell me how many children are grown and no longer need or want their parents to hold them. Shouldn't I savor this now? Emotions that remind me of the people I know who have lost their children and would give anything, ANYTHING to hold them, even if they cry all night for the rest of their lives.
What would I give for my daughter? My own life? Absolutely. If she needed my heart to survive, I'd find a country where they'd allow that surgery to happen. It's a love beyond explanation, beyond comprehension. A love I can only relate to that of my heavenly Father.
I sing to Sawyer every night at bedtime. I started when she was born, singing the same song my mom sang to me as a girl, "Somewhere Out There," from the American Tail soundtrack - 80's kids, ya feel me? We added later, at Sawyer's Request, "More Heart, Less Attack" by NEEDTOBREATHE.
Somewhere in between, though, I started singing "Jesus Loves Me" to her and, let me tell you, as impressive as it is she can sing most of the lyrics to all three songs, it makes my heart soar to hear her singing that Jesus loves her.
My husband looked at me last week saying "Man, isn't that a great and simple fact? That Jesus loves me? How awful would things be if Jesus didn't love me?"
And in that same spirit, Jesus died. He died so that I could live. Because he loves me. It's here where I find myself knowing Jesus just a little bit more. Understanding a tiny glimpse of his heart, because if I could die so that my daughter could live, there's no way I could deny her that.
And then as I hold my daughter these late nights, I think about my lack of separation anxiety with the Lord.
Being a parent is hard work, and I understand the want/need to plop on the couch at the kid's nap time and bedtime and between housework, cooking and staying fit (that was a joke, I work out, like, never) I still find time to play with my organic beauty products, write reviews and do near-investigative reporting. Which is all great, I love doing it, but I can't forget about the one who placed those desires in my heart. The one who designed me. The one and only creator of all things organic.
I cried when Monica and Chandler got their babies. I cried when Jackson confessed his heart to April. I cried when One Tree Hill went off the air. Don't even get me started on how hard I cried when Mark leaned up against the plane next to a dying Lexi. Oh the snot!
But more often I'd like my heart to long for Jesus when I am not getting enough. To cry out for him to hold me because I need him and he's the only one who can comfort me.
And that's what my daughter has taught me this week. She is a precious gift on loan from my savior, who quite frankly already died for her and fulfilled all she'll ever need. But I get to love her. And hold her. As long as she'll let me.
Happy (early) Birthday my sweet girl.