Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recognizing a Pattern

Those of you who are parents know how much we can learn from our children. When Nicole and I found out we were going to have Ava, I kind of imagined a new apple growing on our family tree. However, since she has been born, I have realized that our tree has grown an entirely new branch! It is such a privilege to be able to experience first hand her little personality as it develops and the temperament and characteristics she is growing to possess. It is funny at times to get to see the little quirks of human nature that all of us have as they begin to surface in the personality of this little person. Seeing these has helped me to understand myself so much better.

When we first brought Ava home from the hospital, she weighed roughly 5 lbs. She had been born about six weeks early, but she was doing well and growing fast. Because she was so small, we had to feed her every three hours whether or not she seemed hungry. I can remember many nights having to wake her up at 3:00 a.m. to change her and feed her, and there were quite a few times when she seemed more content to sleep and was upset with me for waking her up. Just about every night it was the same. Before I would wake her up, I would go get her bottle ready and place it in the bottle warmer. While it was warming I would go wake her up. As soon as I picked her up she began to cry. She would be upset because she wanted to go back to sleep and she was hungry. Before I would feed her I would change her diaper, which normally made her cry more. Not only is she tired and hungry, but now she is also feels cold and uncovered.

She was mad at me because she was sleeping comfortably in her nice warm bed, and then I came along, woke her up and stripped her of her clothes. Little did she know that I already had her food warming up in the next room and she would soon be back in her soft bed wearing a fresh, clean diaper. To her this was all a big inconvenience, but in reality, I was doing what was best for her. As the weeks passed, it was still the same night after night. After all that time of going through the exact same thing, she still did not seem to understand that her warm bottle would be waiting as soon as her diaper was changed. After she finished eating I would burp her and place her back in her comfortable crib. Through all of this, I began to notice a pattern . . . but it was not with Ava - it was with me.

I looked back in my life and saw many examples of the Lord doing what was best for me, and I responded more like an infant than I did an adult. He would begin to shake me out of my comfort zone and I would cry out because I wanted to stay warm and cozy. He would begin to strip away my defenses and clean up my mess, and I would complain because that season wasn't very enjoyable. I would grumble and gripe that everyone else is being blessed and I have all this pressure. You would think after a while I would begin to understand that these seasons all have the same outcome: I always end up better off than I was before. Just as Ava would lie there and possibly think: "Am I going to be cold and hungry forever?!" I have often wondered: "Are things ever going to get better? How is this going to end?" Even though Ava could not see the bottle that was just a few feet from her and would soon be hers to enjoy, I still had everything covered. Even though we cannot always see the outcome of our unpleasant and uncertain seasons, we can rest assured that our Father has everything taken care of, and everything will work out just in time.

No comments:

Post a Comment