He had settled to sleep in my arms, my little laughter boy. His body, feeling longer and heavier on mine, is growing out of babyhood. I find myself savoring every naptime bottle-feeding, wanting to memorize every detail. I love how his eyes get heavy as he surrenders to sleep. I feel his warmth, caress his curls, and touch his sweet face, stealing a soft kiss without waking him. I know that I will blink and it will be over, this sweet sacred silence of holding Isaac as he rests.
I slowly began to shift my body so that I can gently put him down in his crib, when I feel his whole body startle. I hadn’t ever felt him do this, but as he did, my instinct was to do everything I could to make sure he knew he was safe. I held him tighter, closer and in these few moments I heard the words of God’s voice, deep in my spirit, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.”
You see, my spirit had startled in fear just a few days before.
Fear had been flourishing in corners of my heart, particularly with one of my children, as I had been finding it hard to not fast-forward in my mind’s eye, wondering what each season might have in store for this child. Fear that I was doing it wrong, that perhaps I hadn’t said enough or maybe had said too much. Fear that comes when I realize how little control I really have about the things that I care most deeply about. The tears flow as write those words.
But in this moment, this instant really, of settling my baby’s startled body, I realized that my God is settling me. I was the baby and God was my mother, holding me as I startled, shushing me with assurances of God’s presence, making it known to me that I truly had nothing to fear.
God had been reminding me of this in other ways too, particularly through the song “No Longer Slaves.” I sensed his presence, his arms around me and his promise to never leave me, as I belted out the words to that song alone in my car, crying from the deepest part of my soul, “You split the sea so I could walk right through it! My fears are drowned in perfect love.”
Yes. My fears are drowned in perfect love. I want to remember this, using my imagination in prayer as I picture receiving His love flowing to all the crevices of fear in my heart and in my mind.
Thank you Lord that you hold me firmly, securely, even when I startle with fear. You sustain me. You carry me. You are my fortress and my rock.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8
We are Held,Christy