Nothing is more evidence of God than my own limits.
I love this kid more than I’ve ever loved anything on the planet. He twists my heart in a new way every day and I always think it can’t hurt anymore. But tomorrow, I’ll pluck him out of his bed as he stretches his arms high, puckers his lips tight and arches his back poking his baby butt way out- and my heart will twist on itself once more. The unconditional love I have for him, seems endless.
But nothing else does.
Not my energy or strength.
Not my emotional capacity.
Not my open-eyes.
Not my knowledge or instinct.
Eventually, my arms ache. I find a pillow to prop under my elbow and my back aches. I bring my nose to his curls and breathe deep- making myself very aware that these moments will someday seem so far away. I appreciate it. The out of sync beat in my chest echos in my stomach and I reach into the memory-haze of years before our son and acknowledge the gravity of this spectacular moment; holding him and remembering the days when my arms were empty.
Almost every day I imagine who he may be. What the world may have for him. What God may have for him. I always make an attempt to be realistic and begin accepting whatever his life may unfold to be.
But, eventually it all runs out.
I don’t really know what his life holds. I eventually have to put him down, into his own bed and tuck him in tight. Inevitably my eyes will be too heavy. Eventually, I end up with my forhead resting on the side of his bed, one hand securing a passie and the other stroking the bridge of his nose, hoping for deep breaths fast asleep. Sometimes, I even cry I’m so tired. The feeling of failure, however slight it may be, greets me every day as I realize I can’t always make him perfectly happy.
These are my limits and they meet me every day. This has reminded me of the limitlessness of God. I typically don’t elaborate deep into my faith on this blog. Although, if you’ve read through it- it’s obvious I believe in God as an active and loving being. That’s not to say we haven’t struggled with our faith; honestly I even kind of loath expressing it that way. “Struggling with our faith” makes it sound as though it’s not normal to doubt. And we just don’t believe that in our house. It’s absolutely normal to doubt. And those of you who have experienced the severity of the darkness in this world may be entirely skeptical, and I don’t blame you.
But there is something about reaching the end of myself that solidifies my faith in a God bigger than me, every time.
I can’t love Eli perfectly. I wish I could. But I know at the end of the day- I have to meet my own needs too. I’ve spent time hating this. But really- do I want to be able to meet his every need? (selfishly- yes) Because of what I’ve seen of God in my life, the answer to that is no. I do not want to be able to meet his every need. I do not want to be the god in his life.
I desperately want him to have the fear and pleasure of God meeting his needs.
I can’t wait for the day he’s old enough for me to explain to him that mom and dad love him more than they’ve ever loved anything on earth, and we still can’t fulfill his needs the way he was created to have them met.
Midnight feedings have taught me quite a bit this week. Particularly, all the ways I just can’t love my son.
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pet 2:9)
God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:3-4)
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Rom 3:23-25)
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Rom 8:15)
“We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10)
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)