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  • Writer's pictureLauren Mitchell

Crying Under Cribs

This is Kate in 2007, at eight months old

Quick throwback to 2007, be patient:

My daughter can’t see me, so she cries frantic, pathetic cries, while shaking the bars of her crib. She is sure I have abandoned her behind her bars. Even though I have never abandoned her before, she is sure I have now. Her eight-month old self can’t see, hear, or smell me. In her limited vision, I am gone. She proceeds to scream at the top of her lungs. It’s a cry of complete exhaustion, and if she would just give in and shut her eyes, she would collapse in a peaceful rest, but she won’t let go.

If you entered the room right now, you would laugh at the picture we make. It would take you a minute to find me lying on the floor, under Kate’s crib. When she cries, I cry. I tell myself, “It’s for her own good. She needs rest.” More tears follow, more mine than hers. When she cries, I cry; it’s my gut reaction as her Mamma. I assure you it is a physical reaction; every mother knows the feeling. Doing something for your child’s good is never easy. I remember my parents saying, “This hurts me more than you.” I just thought it was an expression!

It is hard for me to fathom that God loves me more than I love my own children.

Really hear that: God loves us more than we love our own children.

Do you believe that? Knowing that something is true doesn’t always make us act like it is. Believing the truth isn’t a one-time deal. Sometimes believing the truth is a repeat process, it’s a remembering process.

Kate has grown up a lot since I cried under her crib, but her pain still gives me that gut wrenching reaction. God loves us like that.

This last week I’ve had to watch my daughter navigate something really painful. It was all I could do to keep myself from acting like a raving lunatic and demanding someone fix it. It’s not something I would have ever chosen for her, but she is growing stronger from it. God is using it. He is trustworthy in her life and mine. He knows that we have to go through life’s pain to become sanctified through and through (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “He is faithful; He will do it” (v. 24), because I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be faithful to choose the hard things that make me grow. There are some things I want to fight just as hard as Kate fought that nap. Like the perfect parent, God will do what is best for us, even when He feels the pain. He knows that letting us choose for ourselves would be like letting my 6-year-old choose what we are eating for dinner, pass the Cheetos and cookie dough.

Nobody tells us that being a parent is this hard. If someone had really explained it to me, I might have been more prepared, or more likely I wouldn’t have had children (Oh you know you were thinking it too). If any of us had known what it actually costs to have children, the world would not be facing over population. What we didn’t know then could have kept us from the amazing privilege of being a parent. Not one of us would give up our children, not for anything. I don’t want the other things I don’t know yet to keep me from experiencing all that God has for me.

God knew exactly what it would involve when He chose me to be His child. He chose to be my parent anyway. He knew exactly what it would cost Him to redeem me, and He still chose me. He knew I needed a shepherd, someone to make the hard decisions, and He is still willing to be it. He knew what a basket case I would be.

He chose me anyway. He chose you anyway.

God help me remember and trust each day that you love me more than I love my own kids. Thank you that you will choose the hard path to grow me, when I am too lazy and complacent to choose it for myself. Help me let go, stop fighting and choose rest. Thank you that you see the best in me always, because you see Jesus. Help my limited vision.

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