Thud! Thud! Thud! “My head hurts Daddy! My head hurts!!” I can still see that little 2 year old boy in his toddler bed. Huge Curls all over his little head, and he was a chunk! He had on his cute little Lion King pajamas and was sitting in the middle of his toddler bed with his back against the wall. He had huge tears streaming down his face and his little arms reaching up to me as I walked in his room saying, ‘Wock Daddy! Wock!” He wanted me to take him down stairs and rock him. His head was hurting because he would bang his head against the wall and scream to the top of his lungs after we would put him in bed for what seemed like hours. Donna and I would let him cry, and we would sit at the bottom of the stairs waiting for him to finally give in and go to sleep in his own bed. That's what the books said to do, and on this particular night after we made it through the head banging and screaming, he did what I like to call “crossed over.” When a child "crosses over," he reaches what appears to be a point of complete and total insanity.
Picture this…My wife and I were standing at the bottom of our stairs in our little home looking toward the top. Every few seconds a little curly headed chunky little boy, screaming at the top of his lungs, runs back and forth with his hands high in the air! He had crossed over! Have you seen the movie “Home Alone?” That is what our son looked like as he sprinted back and forth from the play room to his room as fast as he could in and out of our view. We began to think thoughts like, "Have we lost our minds?" “Do you think he has a demon?” I would literally hold him up in the air, stare at him, and wonder "who is this child." I was in the delivery room when he was born, and I mentally understood that this was my child, but I would begin to somehow have my doubts. Why? Because he wasn't responding to us like the books said he should! I remember thinking, “Will this child ever sleep in his bed?” The strongest thought was simply, “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!”
I would eventually go up the stairs and corral that curly headed wild child, that was apparently my son, into my arms and put him in his bed. I would lay him him down and pull the Lion King covers up around his little neck. He would begin that "whimper thing" that all kids do when they have cried hard. Then he would say in his little scratchy hoarse voice, “Da-Da-Daddy…wo-wo-would you la-la-lay down b-b-eside me?” I can still see that moment. I can almost feel the feelings as I write it. I can close my eyes and transport back to that little room. In that moment I didn't think “The books don’t tell you to lay down beside your child! Let him cry!” Instead I heard a voice say, "Just lay down beside him." So, I would lay down on the floor beside him, pat his little booty to the rhythm of the bedtime songs playing in the background, and he would eventually doze off to sleep. I remember thinking, It is so to good to be a Dad. I wouldn't take anything for those moments!
After he went to sleep, I would crawl out on my hands and knees to the door. I would work so hard to make sure the wood under the carpet wouldn't creak to loud. Any sound could unleash the fury again! Sometimes I would go to sleep too, and Donna would come and wake me up. Either way, I would always kiss my little boy on his forehead, stare for a few seconds into his face, and thank the Lord for such a beautiful gift. That was a stark contrast to the “demon thoughts” I had entertained just a short time before.
There are as many opinions on how to raise a child. People have written countless books on it. Some of the authors never even had kids! Family members offer their counsel, and advice from people is always in unlimited supply if you ask. (The same is true on pretty much any topic or issue I've faced over the last 42 years.) But do you know who helped me the most during those times? People that would look at me and say, “Steven, you guys will make it through this time! It will pass, and one day you will look back and think about how awesome these days were. You know what to do because God's in you. He will show you what to do. Listen.” I remember wondering if the day they were talking about would ever come. (I also wondered if I would ever quit buying diapers and formula!).
After going through that same adventure with 3 more children, and spending countless hours on the floor in their room, here I am writing a blog about it 16 years later. It passed, and that little boy is 18 years old and in college. Donna and I face new struggles and challenges as parents and individuals. What hasn't changed is that I still don't know what I'm doing. Not just about kids, but about life in general. I need help!
God began showing me then, and continues to show me today that the answer isn't found in books, articles, and opinions. Don't get me wrong they can help, but only when we are lead to them and yielded to God's Word & the Holy Spirit in our lives. That still small voice. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God." God's presence, the Holy Spirit, will lead, guide, convict, and speak to us. He is the presence of Almighty God in our lives. He is IN us to show us what to do.
Look at what II Corinthians 5:17 says, "If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!" When we receive Jesus Christ we are changed instantly. Ephesians 2:5 says that God, "made us alive with Christ." God's presence comes into us, and is then available to guide us to the verses we need, through circumstances face, and the people that can help us. We have to choose to listen and allow Him to do what only He can do. Whether it is a 2 year old child or a deep rooted issue we may face personally from our past. He knows what to do! Romans 8:26 says, "God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how are what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves..." Isn't that awesome! He knows what we need to do, and He wants us to know too!
Are you facing some pretty heavy issues in your life today? I know I am! There is Great News for both of us! ! When we choose to receive Jesus Christ INTO our lives, we can KNOW what to do. Whether it's Children, Sickness, Issues from the past, Marital struggles, Financial obstacles, etc... There are answers to the questions and struggles we face! Here are some verses from God's word that have helped me begin to understand how to hear the Spirit's voice and understand more about what to do. I hope they help you too. (James 1:2-8;
Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 6:30-34; Galatians 5:22-26; I Thessalonians 5:16-28; Philippians 4:6-9; John 14:25-27)
As always thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement. I plan to write a blog soon on ALL that God has done through weDIGit in 2011. It has been amazing. Pray for us as we enter the weeks ahead. Pray that are faith will become stronger, and that we will find more and more agreement with the Spirit of God in us and with one another as we seek to glorify Him in all we do! As we walk by faith, we appreciate your financial support. Checks can be made out to weDIGit and sent to 504 Tumbleweed, Forney, TX. 75126. Thank you in advance for your support.
Have a BLESSED Day. If you are about to put a 2 year old to bed, or your 2 year old is screaming as you read this Be encouraged...you are not alone!