It was Tuesday, March 8, 2011, my first full day alone with Wesley as a tiny baby. He was 15 days old. I can recall that specific evening with much ease. I had just given Wes a lavender bath (thank you Johnson and Johnson), had swaddled him up tightly (I miss that little glow worm) and I was quietly rocking him. There is something dearly sweet in rocking a newborn to sleep (as long as they actually go to sleep and they’re not wailing their head off).
As I watched the sun go down through his window and the darkness began to set in, that sweet feeling very quickly turned to an unfamiliar mother’s unrest. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. There I was, brand new, no idea what I was doing, and it was my first day to be a mom completely on my own. It sounds silly, but I actually think I began to panic at that realization.
This next part sounds even more irrational as I write it down, but my mind began to race that night and I began to feel really unnerved thinking about someone getting him. We live in a very safe neighborhood (all of our neighbors are 60 years old or older, and yes, they check on us frequently, we LOVE our neighbors), I have a house alarm (on windows and doors) and a gun (a gun that won’t just stun someone, a real gun that would blow someone away… it is Texas), but for some reason I felt this overwhelming intimidation of being alone with this new little being. I had all these illogical thoughts in my mind… What if someone broke in and took him? What if someone grabbed him from a store? What if he stops breathing while I’m asleep? I’m all alone. It sounds ridiculous, but I was really scared and these thoughts were very real.
I also remember being so drearily fatigued those first two weeks, all night feedings, trying to sleep while he slept, while still maintaining a household for two. I was delirious.
As I sat there rocking Wes, I remember talking to the Lord in a sort of high anxiety complaint and told him how urgently I needed Him to speak to me that night. I don’t normally rattle easily, so I knew He was the only one that was going to be able to handle these unusual and unfounded feelings.
I had Wesley cradled in my left hand in the rocking chair, so I grabbed my phone with my right and opened up my Bible app. (I remember I felt guilty that I couldn’t even get up to grab my real Bible, but I was literally so tired those first few weeks that moving while rocking a baby seemed too much at the time). I also knew I didn’t have it in me to study the Word for hours that night, as drained as I was, so I just asked Him to give me some kind of hope, even just something small. When the app opened, the verse of the day was the first thing to pop up and this is what it said:
“The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8
And then came the Lord’s unimaginable peace. I knew this verse was for us. It was the Lord speaking truth over us. It was His promise to us. God was assuring me that He would take care of my son and me. We were not alone. Through the years, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve felt a similar panic begin to stir in my heart, though not as intense as that night, but each time God has brought this verse back to my mind. It brings that same peace that it did when Wes was just that small 7-pound little person in our rocking chair.
Now, fast forward to present day, Wes is six years old. Last Thursday, I had already tucked him into bed and he called me into his room saying, “I’m scared.” As I went in, I asked him, “What are you afraid of?” He replied, “I’m afraid of getting kidnapped.”
I took a deep breath and decided to share this story with him. He listened intently and smiled when I was finished. He went to sleep. I figured that was the end of it. I thanked the Lord for His promise again.
The next day, Friday, his dad brought him home and Wes asked me to play blocks by the fireplace. As we were building, he said, “Hey mom, I told my dad about being scared I would get kidnapped and I told him about the promise and Bible verse God spoke to you. I said, “Oh good, Wes.” Then he followed it with, “Yes, but my dad told me, ‘God doesn’t make promises like that anymore Wes.’”
And then he stared at me waiting for me to respond.
(The fury and rage that I have as a mom cannot be conveyed in any sort of godly word usage here. The flesh side of me can go to very dark places when it comes to protecting my child’s spiritual life. For now, we will leave that here.)
“Well, Wes, you listen to me. Our God does make promises like that. When you have Jesus in your heart, the Holy Spirit can speak to you. You don’t hear it in your ear, but you sense it in your heart. When you read His word, He does speak to you and when He speaks, it’s always a promise. God always keeps His word and He always keeps his promises. They are one in the same. He speaks Wes, and one day, He will speak to you too.”
I watched his countenance change. He had a physical relief, a small liberation from the lie his earthly father told him. He knew what I was saying was Truth and I’m well aware that wasn’t from me. God really does give children a hidden knowledge of who He is.
So, this Thanksgiving, here is what I am most grateful for:
My God is the Ancient of Days and if He said it long ago, it is a promise today.
If He spoke it to me on March 8, it is a promise today.
Even if Wesley’s own dad denies it, calls it lies, and tries to sway my son away from it… His promises remain.
No matter what anyone says about my Savior…
When He speaks, it is always a promise.