I hate it when my kids are sick. Their little eyes are glassy and sad, and their face scrunch up with pain when they swallow or their tummy hurts. The only good thing that comes from illness, is the chance to give extra cuddles, extra love, extra time. I enjoy serving my family when they are healthy, but it is an extra token to be their comforter when they are sick.
Only a few times in my life have I felt completely hopeless as their comforter. Once, when my 15 month old was hospitalized for the flu and I had to watch the nurses stick tubes up his nose and into his lungs to suck out all the mucus. Nothing Mommy could say or do would make it feel any better or calm him in such a panicked situation of being held down and prodded.
Now is another time where I feel like I am standing by, hopeless, without the ability to soothe. My son is not sick, but he is downtrodden. He cries out with uncertainty of himself, but can't explain the hurt inside. He doesn't want to talk, he holds back his words for fear they will come out wrong. My heart aches for his loss of self-confidence, his struggle to find joy. Sure, it is probably just a phase that is foreshadowing the pre-teen years which are not too far ahead, but right now, this mama wants to hold her baby and take away his hurt. But it's not that easy. How can you change the way someone feels? There is no bandaid except a destructive turn of the head that ignores his deteriorating self-esteem.
All I can do is pray and rely on the faithful hand of God. My only joy from this comes from the already answered prayers and God-surprises along the way that have assured me one very important thing:
That my son is not mine, but God's.
God has proven that He cares for my son these past few days. I can try and butt up against Him and use my own words, my own techniques, my own strategies, or I can step aside and allow the One who most assuredly has the ability to comfort the deep down hurts do His work.
It's difficult to imagine that there is someone who loves my son more than me, but no matter how much I love him, I can't always comfort him. I must accept that my Heavenly Father, my son's Heavenly Father, will love him more and will never fail as his ultimate Comforter.