First Friday: Cradle Time

I can hardly believe it has been two years since I cradled a newborn baby.

The tiny fingers.  The tiny toes.  The tiny shoes they don’t even need.

All of it so new and fresh and untainted by the world.

And we can’t help but marvel at it.  

Even though the frequent diaper blowouts make you dry heave on command.  Even though you might wonder if you will ever sleep again.  And even though the crying marathons nearly drive you insane.

Most of us who have been through it once, will still beg to do it all over again.

In many ways, those first few years of parenting are a beautiful if yet, frustrating dance of calm and chaos, bright beginnings and bittersweet endings.

But the thing I miss most about a newborn is that moment when all is right with his world.

Belly full.  Bottom dry.  And body warm.

Snuggling right into the nape of your neck, completely and utterly at peace.

Seeming to inherently know that you are his safe place.

And even though you may be such for a number of years to come, there is no greater moment of complete dependence.  Just as there is no greater picture of what I know my Father so often gives me.

My perfect refuge.  My place of safety.  My God, in whom I place my trust.

All that He is declared to be in Psalm 91:2...

He is.

And yet, the inevitability that storms will rage in our lives remains.  We have been promised that they will come.  We are to prepare for that certainty.

But even in the midst of storms, we are given what my momma calls cradle time.

A time when our bellies are full, our eyes are dry and our bodies, strong.  A time when we keenly feel the peace, the strength and the assurance of a Father’s arms.  A time when we’ve been removed from what is messy and cold and wanting and instead, have been given the haven of our safe place.

But so often, what do I do in times like these?

I become like a colicky newborn.  I writhe and kick and scream.  I create drama and storms and crises where there are none.

And it is in this madness, that I miss the warmth of a Father’s arms.  I miss the renewal of my strength. And I miss the precious comfort of cradle time.

Not because it isn’t waiting for me...

But because I fail to rest in it.

With all that energy spent over little hiccups along life’s way, it is of no surprise then, that when the storm comes, I am exhausted and spent and done.  I am not ready to meet its demands.  So I writhe more and kick harder and scream louder than I did before.

“I need rest, Jesus!  Why can’t I have rest?  Don’t you see that I need rest?”

And yet, even through my screaming I hear, “I tried, my love.  I tried to give you what you needed.  But you cried so loud, you missed the calm before the storm.”

You see, when I forget to rest, I miss my cradle time.

I forget how I am purposefully loved by a Father, a stronghold for all who He carries.

I forget that I am held.

During the calm.  During the storm.  During everything in-between.

I forget that His grasp is steady and faithful and constant.

I am the one who changes and wiggles and writhes.  But I am also the one who has a choice. I can choose to see that the same arms that carry me in the storms, also cradle me in rest.

In a place where all writhing and kicking ends.  In a moment where I relish the haven of my safe place.  And in a time when I am cradled by the God of the universe.

It is there in the warmth and comfort of His arms that I can finally declare, slowly and with intention, “He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful.