Last night my husband and I had the most entertaining and special time. We had our 23 month old grandson, Brayden, over for a sleepover.
What fun! We all enjoyed each and every minute that we shared together. You know what moments I am talking about. The ones that are completely special while doing nothing special.
Moments spent building houses with blocks, reading favorite books, giggling together while Brayden paraded around in our shoes and slippers, being with him as he pointed to all the interesting things he found, including snow globes that completely fascinated him, and wind up Santas and Snowmen that played music. Time flew by as we sang songs, cuddled, and were just plain goofy together.
When it was Brayden’s bedtime, I thought that it was the end of our beautiful night together…and we started his bedtime ritual. His jammies were on, his teeth were brushed, and his stories were read. I cuddled with him a little, and as I rocked him, I felt his little head nestle into my neck. What a precious feeling that is!
Sooo…I laid him down in his cushioned pack and play, in the spare room, for the night.
Now, I have watched him many times, and he is a good napper and sleeper for me. When it is at his house. But although he feels secure with us, he wasn’t so sure about spending the night in a different room and a different bed..even with his familiar sound machine and favorite blanket.
As I turned out the light, and started to close the door, I heard him whimper my name in the most pitiful little cry. All I heard was a faint “Gigi.” (his name for me…pronounced GeeGee with a hard G) He melted my heart, and I turned back to him.
His pained little face with tears welling in his eyes were all I needed to gather him back in my arms to comfort him.
I know at this point, many will “judge” me because I shouldn’t spoil him! However, grandmas are not bound by all the same rules as parents:-)
The best part of the night was the forty five minutes that followed, and will remain in my heart forever.
I laid the little guy down in his makeshift bed, and told him it was time for sleep. As I rubbed his back, I told him I would stay with him. I turned out the light, closed the door, and laid down on the floor right next to him. He was positioned in the corner of the playpen, and I was facing him, with only the netting between us. It was completely dark, so we could not see each other.
He was quiet, and I could hear his rhythmic breathing. After about fifteen minutes, I thought he was sleeping.
Then, I felt his presence close to me, and his warm breath breathing down on me. I heard a whispered “Gigi” and realized that he had popped his head up in the darkness to see if I was still there. I answered, “Gigi is here,” and he laid back down without a sound. We went through the exact same scenario about five or six times before he felt safe enough to fall asleep.
What really touched my heart, as his grandma, was the inner knowing…that he was looking to me for comfort, and trusted me in a way that allowed him to feel secure enough to “let go”.
He just needed to know if I was still there.
My mind turned to this Bible Verse:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:1-4
Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
How can we humble ourselves like a child, so that we can enter the kingdom of heaven?
One way would be to follow Brayden’s example. When he was afraid in the darkness, in his innocence he called out my name…just to make sure I was still there. He could not see me, but he knew my voice when I answered him, and he felt my presence. He didn’t stop himself from calling out time after time. Once he felt secure that I was with him, he had no trouble falling asleep. He slept peacefully all night.
And when he woke up in the morning, and called out to me, I was still there for him.
We should never be afraid to call out to Jesus when we are afraid, hurt, or in darkness. As many times as we need to. In our darkness and despair, we will learn to feel His Presence and hear His voice. Sometimes, it will take many cries, of “Jesus, are you there?”
Once you feel the love of Jesus wash over you, like Brayden you will be able to finally let go. As you learn to recognize the voice of Jesus, you will find the peace and mercy that will allow your spirit to rest comfortably in the knowledge that you are loved, and you are never alone.
Always remember that truth…you are loved and you are never alone!