“Pull yourself together,” I scolded myself, pulling my hair into a messy bun and looking at my tired face in the mirror. “You are so blessed. There are moms who have multiple kids at different ages. Moms who work full time. Single moms. You have it so good.”
But my usual approach to making myself feel better didn’t work. I felt exhausted and guilty. I knew that my teething 4-month-old who refused to sleep longer than 15-minute stretches was tiring, but I was frustrated with myself for not being positive and full of energy despite the sleeplessness. I whispered a quick, embarrassed prayer.
God. I know I should just be thankful and taking this all in stride. I’m sorry I’m like this.
In my effort to feel more positive, I took my son and dogs out to the front deck and grabbed a book to read out loud. I sat my son’s chubby legs on my lap, opened the book to a random page, and began to read a children’s version of a Bible story.
The story was from the book of Mark when a man named Jairus asked Jesus to heal his young, sick, and dying daughter. My son’s babbling quieted as he looked at the colorful pictures. I read about Jesus going to heal the sick girl and getting intercepted by someone else—a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years.
My own interest was suddenly piqued. I had heard these two healing stories before, but I had never realized they occurred on the same day. If I were Jesus, I know what I would have done . . . I would have asked the woman to hold on and rushed to get to the sick little girl who was literally taking her last, gasping breaths. Sure, the woman’s bleeding was probably horrible, but if she had already lived with it for 12 years, then she would surely be OK for another day. In fact, if Jesus would have told that woman where he was headed, I bet she would have eagerly jumped aside and made room for him to rush on to the young girl.
But that’s not what Jesus said or did.
He stopped. He listened. He wasn’t annoyed—in fact, He commended the woman for asking for help.
He had taken so much time with her that by the time he got to the sick little girl’s house, she had already died. But He wasn’t bothered by that, either, He simply healed the girl, too.
As I read the story, my voice began to shake and my tears began to fall on my son’s tiny yellow T-shirt.
Yes, it’s essential to count my many blessings. Yes, it’s important to know there are others who have much harder lives than I do. But when it comes to talking with Jesus, my Savior, I don’t have to be embarrassed when I am struggling. I don’t have to roll my eyes at myself and say, “Jesus, I know you have much more important things to hear about today.”
He wants to hear it. All of it.
I closed the book and set it down beside me, hugging my sweet baby close and closing my eyes. I whispered out loud, “Jesus, this is so good. Thank you for this baby. Thank you for everything. But Jesus, I am so tired. I worry I am doing everything wrong. I worry that my baby isn’t breathing. Please, calm my fears. Help me relax. And thank you for hearing every anxiety-filled prayer.”
When I opened the book back up to finish the story, I smiled when I read what Jesus said to the woman after she made her request to Him. Fellow mom, I think He’s whispering the same thing to you today.
“[Jesus] said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering’” (Mark 5:34).