Friday, December 21, 2012

for all the mamas who bravely stand post on the nightwatch...

Nothing causes a mama's heart to quiver like a sick baby.

The fever-flushed skin so fiery it begs for relief.  The rapid, raspy breathing that could be heard down the hallway.  The appetite that has vanished into thin air in the still of the night.  The pleas to drink more juice.  The panic of monitoring pull-ups and diapers.  The resolve that crackers and bananas and apple sauce and crush ice are in fact, a balanced diet.

Baby girls need comfort and snuggles when an invited guest such as the flu invades the comfort of home.  And they need mamas who fight to protect with all the gusto they can muster.

She goes back and forth between mama and daddy, settling more for the warm, sturdy arms of daddy.  He soothes her and rocks her and speaks to her gently.  He gets her to take her medicine better than anyone.  He strokes her hair and rubs her back.  He lulls her back to sleep.  The place where healing happens.

And yet, mama takes the nightwatch.  Tears in her eyes, she stands her post armed with an arsenal of prayers and love.  She gazes into the darkness to ward off further attacks.  She places calm, cool hands on blazing skin in the hopes that the fever will vacate this tiny body so sweet and enter her own.  She wills the virus to take over own body so as to heal her daughter.  She whispers prayers into the quiet because she knows the One who doesn't sleep is listening. 

Fear.  Doubt.  Anxiety.  Worry. 

They are not from Him. 

Mama shakes her head no and does not give the Enemy room to trod. 

She tells her Jesus that this child, her child,  is His.  She asks for His healing hands to go to work.  In His time.  And then she asks for strength and renewal of her own.  To stand her watch.  To always protect.  She has suffered from mommy guilt because, well, work demands do not cease when a baby is sick.  She asks Him to replace her mommy guilt with peace.  She stands on the hope and love and support of family.  Of Gigis and Nanas who willingly take over.  Caring for granddaughters like they cared for their own.  He brings her comfort because she feels His arms around her.  Carrying her so she can carry her daughter. 

The nightwatch is less daunting when mama's invite Jesus to join them.  To stand beside them. With Him, He brings the peace and comfort needed to renew weary mama hearts.

As light bursts on the horizon and the gray light of morning spills through the blinds, a mama's heart feels strengthened.  Renewed.  Ready to face another day.  She feels the warm, comforting blanket of His love around her.  She prays, as her feet hit the carpet and she stumbles towards the shower, that this will be the day when fever will break.  But in the very next breathe, she knows the One who brings healing and she trusts that His timing is always perfect.  When the steam from the warm shower fills the bathroom, she knows in her heart His goodness has rained down over her.

She leaves for work at peace. 

Because she knows Jesus still stands watch over her baby girl.

My soul, praise the Lord!
    Every part of me, praise his holy name!
My soul, praise the Lord
    and never forget how kind he is!
He forgives all our sins
    and heals all our sicknesses.
He saves us from the grave,
    and he gives us love and compassion.
He gives us plenty of good things.
    He makes us young again,
    like an eagle that grows new feathers.
Psalm 103:1-5

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