Doubts in the Dark

I’m going to be real honest with you. Sometimes I’m not so sure I’m doing this mothering thing right. There are times when her little face looks up to mine and she smiles and says the wittiest thing that has ever come out of a three year old mouth and I am in awe by what I have made. But there are other times, when it all seems so much harder. When the darkness is around us and she’s been struck by whatever bug is circulating  and neither one of us can sleep from the coughing and the wheezing, I have my doubts. Why would the Lord trust me with His amazing creation? What if I don’t deserve it? What if I fail? Her soft skin burns and her teeth chatter and I lay beside her helplessly holding her and wishing I had some kind of magic to take it all away.  I think of everything I know to do. I turn to Google in the middle of the night. I pray.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear.  I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:14)

Tears creep down my face because helpless is not a feeling that comes easily to me.  I feel a little hand reach out in the darkness and find my hair. She twirls her little fingers around the dark ribbons and looks up at me with sleepy eyes, “I love you, Mommy. I’m better now.” And she snuggles in close and fades away to sleep. Of course, she’s still sick, a miracle did not strike down from the sky. But I realized right then that I have everything she needs, even when I have nothing at all. A mother’s job is a hard one, and often we underestimate ourselves. When I step back and see myself through those little eyes I know exactly how she feels. I was a child once and in the darkness of the night, when I was sick or scared, there was only one thing that I truly needed, my mother. And I wonder now if she doubted herself too while I snuggled in close and trusted in her as Reagan now trusts in me.