Therese is almost 14 months old. Wow, time flies! So it is high time she sleep through the night - but she has other plans. Tate says I have lost my touch with getting babies to sleep through the night and am getting soft in my old age. It certainly doesn’t help that James will not stay in a regular bed yet without roaming around - so the T Rose is still in our room.
She varies it up, sometimes getting up once, sometimes twice, and even on the rare occasion three times. Usually a quick nurse next to mom in bed and she goes right back down. A week ago though, she decided nothing was going to make her happy. When I picked her up she never really woke up, refused to nurse, arched her back and just continued to wail. Now, I know you experienced parents out there are thinking ear infection, fever, gas, teething, etc., etc. She didn’t have a fever or ear infection. Covered my bases with the usual teething aids and prayed any gas would pass - but still inconsolable. Finally, I just had to lay her back in her crib to let her cry it out. She was asleep in less than 10 minutes. Therese was sleeping, Tate and I were awake. Such is the life of a parent;)
It broke my heart that I was not able to comfort her in whatever was distressing her. It really did unnerve me a bit. I suspect she had some teeth that were bothering her. The next night, I dosed her up before she went to sleep and she was fine. Nothing since, praise God.
How often am I inconsolable in my worries and anxieties? How often is God holding me in His Hand trying to comfort me, and I continue to keep my eyes closed and fret away. How much does my lack of confidence and trust in His care cause Him sadness?
I have been reading a great book this summer called I Believe in Love. It is a personal retreat written by Fr. Jean D’Elbee based on the writings of St. Therese. It has been wonderful. A key point is encouraging readers to have total, unwavering confidence in God. Fr. Jean notes that often an initial trial of confidence is followed by a second. God gives us two opportunities in our distress to turn with full confidence to him.
Fr. Jean writes, “I have often noticed that to reward an act of confidence, Jesus gives us the occasion to make an even greater act of confidence.” To illustrate this point, he gives the example of the Apostles in the boat during the storm. At the fourth watch of the night, they see Jesus walking on the water. He says, “Have confidence; it is I; be not afraid.” Peter initially does trust, but we know what happens next. Jesus saves him, “Man of little faith why did you doubt.”
We must have that confidence that casts out all fear. When I reflected on this, my soul rejoiced at the mere thought of a life no longer weighed down by worry. If I could have this confidence in God, no matter what storms are waging around me, I could truly be free from the prison on my own making.
I never need allow myself to become inconsolable. I need never cry in the darkness. God is with me. “Have confidence; it is I; be not afraid.” I must have confidence.
In our Gospel this Sunday from Matthew 11 Jesus tells us:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I must foster this confidence in my life, one moment at a time. It is not going to be easy. But every act of confidence I make is an opportunity to tell God, “I love you and I trust you.” This is what God desires from me. Nothing less than my whole heart.
Fr. Jean writes, “Confidence, confidence without limits, full, filial, total, all-inclusive. It is this confidence which works all miracles.”
Lord, increase my faith! JMJ