Sunday, March 7, 2010

I will be here for you

  Human comfort - such a need from our beginnings.

My babies have always wanted to be close to my side.  In the early days, they snuggled close to the hollow in my throat as we slept.

At six months - stranger anxiety.  By toddlerhood, they were hesitant to detach from security.  Not even cheerios or new toys could persuade them that these could be a good trade-off for the comfort of the familiar.

Of course, most of them eventually outgrew the need to have me so close.  Only my youngest two mind if I leave a classroom, and only the youngest four need a hand to hold to cross the street.

 My husband tells me that I have job security.  I'm needed!  
You are too!  We all have job security in God's Kingdom!

My oldest ones need me now in different ways - but they do still need the assurance that I am "here" for them.  They need to know that I am here to make a warm supper most nights.  They need to know that I am waiting for them when they come home from work, or that I am here to prompt them to finish an essay or to clean their room.

The mother's role does change as children grow.  But people never do outgrow their need to know that someone will always be there for them.

I see it in my parents:  We talk about the future when they may not be able to live alone or when they might need care for their daily tasks.  They are loathe to ask, dare not impose - yet they fear the unknown, fear losing their lives' savings in a matter of months via nursing home care.

I tell them, "I can not see for sure how things will unfold as time passes.  Maybe you won't need me as much at all.  But I WILL BE HERE FOR YOU.  This is why we moved to live close to you." 

I see the relief wash over them as they consider the implications.  "We are not alone.  We do not need to face the future without human companionship and comfort."

 Now, that's comfort!

I swallow hard, sometimes, because I honestly do not know how we will pull it all off.  Eight kids.  Home-educators.  I can not think too far ahead, can not stress out.  I must give it over to God as soon as it enters my mind.  Yet I mean what I say, to my husband, to my kids, to my parents..."I will be here for you."  (There is always the underlying knowledge of "As God allows, and as He gives strength...", for He is under all and over all, enabling all that we do...)

Until a few weeks ago, I spent a few nights a week staying with an elderly woman, first in her home and then in the hospital.  She gained so much comfort simply by my presence.  We need to know that someone "is there," from newborn days until our last breath.

God is this for me, for you.  He is always here, always with us.  He is ultimately the love that we feel beneath our deepest of relationships.  He is the real comfort, the real support, our true life-line.

  Now, here's a little bit of something that gives me 
"non-human" comfort.  (Photo of coffee and the cat by Em.)

Even if, even when, our mothers may fail us:  may leave us in the nursery (oh, the horrible offense!) or neglect the warm supper, even when we as mothers may fail our own children (and we will...), even when we as children fail our parents or when we fail our friends...

God never will, never does.  We may think He has left us, we may not feel His presence, but He is always, always with us.  Here is what God says in Isaiah 49:15-16.  (I think that these are some of the most powerful words in the Bible.  They tell us so much about God and how He feels for His creation!)

Can a mother forget her nursing child?
      Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
   But even if that were possible,
      I would not forget you!
  See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

Within our human selves, we are born with a need to be loved, no matter how inwardly ugly or wretched we may know ourselves to be.  We need to know that we are not alone, will not be left alone - devoid of love and friendship - no matter what our condition.  We  - you and I - do not take from God's role when we give strength and comfort and say to another, "I will be here for you.  I will be with you."  We are echoing His words, His love, His promise. 

Don't underestimate the role that you - through God's love - can have in the life of another.  Don't hold back from one another out of fear, or lack of ability, or even the knowledge that at times you will fail.  God provides.  Together, we share in His love and bring great strength and comfort to each other. 


  1. : )
    I loved all of this, but especially the last paragraph!!!


  2. Beautiful, Holly. You have such a gift for putting these longings of the heart into words. Lovely. Thank you.

  3. This has been my heart from before I even had children - to be there for the good and the bad. It's a large part of why I moved back home to Georgia - my extended family is here, my grandparents especially. Now I'm always in prayer that God will bring my parents, brother and sister here as well. I have to leave that in his hands though. But like you I can't worry to far ahead...

  4. Lovely.
    Thanks for sharing.