Saturday, March 3, 2012

be still.

There are nights when her cry booms through this house like an echo in a dark, scary alley.  It wakes me from a dead sleep and I pounce to my feet quickly.  Many nights I stand outside her door.  I listen to the pattern of her cries and the breaths in between.  I can tell if she is going to calm.  I can tell if she will soothe herself back into a quiet rest. 

This was not one of those nights.  Outside of her room I heard the cries of a baby that I knew were not going to end anytime soon.  The dim night light casts just enough of a shadow for me to see her from the doorway.  As I walk into her room she still doesn't realize I'm there and cannot see me.  She is writhing.  Crying out in pain, or discomfort, or frustration.  There's no way for me to really know.  All I know is that seeing her body move is all I'm used to.  In fact, watching her sleep brings me so much rest because when she is awake, she is never still.

Her movements are scattered and jagged.  Her arms are twitchy and her fingers interlock as they catch one another in the rhythm of her movement.  Nothing that she does is intentional.  She has no control over her many exhausting movements. 

On this night, I reached in and picked her up gently.  I felt her lip quiver as I laid her up on my shoulder- in her position.  I rocked her back and forth, back and forth.  Some nights as I do this she gets irritable with me holding her and as I sense it, I quickly lay her back down.
I bend in and kiss her forehead and calmly walk away.  I turn around, close the door slightly and think to myself that I hope she can work it out... on her own.

Some nights I feel that way with the Lord.  I feel Him sweep in, reach down and gently pick me up.  I feel His strength wrap around me and I allow myself to fall into his embrace...for a moment.  Only then do I realize that His embrace actually feels uncomfortable; irritating even.  And in the midst of my unknowing, He calmly puts me back down.  He allows me to feel that way and work it out for myself.

And then there are those nights like this one where I knew that she needed me for much longer.  I heard her breath and her long, lean leg was shaking violently on my hip bone.  She hangs on me like a rag doll on drugs.  Literally.  She is limp and lethargic.  The strength to lift her own head is too much and so she doesn't.  Many nights I move it for her to position her just right in the crease of my neck.  As I walked downstairs to our dark toy room with the big window, I felt her seizing almost constantly.  She wouldn't calm.  She wouldn't still.
"Oh baby, please.  Be still baby.  Just be still..." I whispered. 
And then, singing, I felt her calm.  Slightly- but I felt a release that was only noticeable by her long, deep breath and a sigh that said she heard me and felt my comfort.

I may not be physically seizing but there are nights I will not stop.  My mind races, my body trembles.  My hands ache and I cringe with pity and fear.  Somewhere in the dark of it all; in the plunder that is my journey I hear Him whisper to me,
"Oh baby, please.  Be still baby.  Just be still."
Desperately He comforts me.  Desperately He rocks me-back and forth, back and forth.  He is pressing His lips to my forehead and screaming from within for my spirit to just be still.
Much like her body; my spirit is moving.
Constantly moving.

As I cradled her in my left arm, I grasped her body tightly.  I continued to rock vigorously until finally, I felt her head release and her body grow limp.  Not a scary limp but a peaceful one.  One in which I knew she would not move or twitch again.  The seizing stopped.  Her body was still. 
I had moved in the dark of night to where my child was.

Don't you know He does that too?

The Lord, in the dark of night, wants to tip toe to you.  He wants to watch over you, quietly, even if you are blind in the dimness.  He wants to listen to your breath and navigate your situation. 
He knows you.
He knows you well enough to put you down and let you carry on alone if need be; or to hold you tightly, grasping your body with force that is vicious if He must.
In order for you to still.

Seeing my girl laying still brings me the most peace I have ever known and I mean that.
I can imagine He must feel the same way when we lay still in His embrace and surrender to the calm that He brings. 

He is our comforter.  In the light of day, or the dark of night.  He is near.

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

I carried her upstairs slowly and dropped her tired body gently into her cozy, warm crib.  She didn't move; didn't flinch.  I stood over her and watched as she breathed.
In.  Out.  In.  Out.
I thanked God for wisdom and mercy and His unending love for us.
He quietly whispered, "Rest child."
And I did.  I laid my body down quietly, I felt myself go limp.
And I was still.

One of my favorites right now.
In fact, if you truly are weary, you may find yourself in a pool of tears. 
That's ok.  Go there.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Ramee, somehow you are able to put these horribly trying times into elegant words that leave us feeling warm and inspired by the grace which carries you through. But know that I know it is a difficult life and that the trials are sometimes more than any human can possible cope with. Your strength and humble service to your daughter and family will change and inspire many parents. Thank you for your blog, keep strong. Love you!