His desperate cry shattered the silence of the night. His plea for “Maaammmaaa” broke through my sleep and I quickly threw back the covers and rose to my feet, still groggy yet immediately alert in a way only God could have designed deep in a mama’s being.
I made my way to his room, carefully dodging the empty cardboard diaper box that needed to be taken downstairs to the recycling.
Opening the door, I headed to his crib where my boy stood, chubby fingers tightly clutching his gray blankie. “Mama rock”, he said.
“Oh buddy”, I sighed as I scooped him up and headed towards our beloved rocking chair.
I love rocking my boy. I cherish the fact that this 2-year-old wiggle worm stills himself long enough to put his head on my shoulder and rock with me each evening. I know the days of this are fleeting.
But lately, my boy and I have been having a tough time. Separation anxiety has led to a major sleep regression and now my boy doesn’t just want to rock in the evening before bed, he wants to rock all night long. And he’ll wake nearly hourly to let you know about it.
I’ve never been one to function well on little sleep. I get grumpy. I feel like I can’t think clearly, everything seems a bit foggy.
Thankfully both of my kids have been good sleepers for the most part. Sure, we’ve had rough patches here and there when we’ve gone through growth spurts, moved, or been teething. But nothing has compared to what I’ve been going through with my little man recently.
He wakes more now than he did as a newborn. As a newborn, though, all you had to do was nurse him and he’d usually go right back so sleep.
There were no toddler- sized protests then. And my strong-willed redhead can certainly put up a protest. For sure, determination is not lacking in that one.
So here we were, me and my boy, rocking once again. And somewhere from that partially asleep, not fully awake state that I was in, a favorite Bible story came into my head and calmed the worries in my anxious heart.
I’ve always loved the story of Esther. Perhaps it’s the biblical Cinderella story, a normal girl transformed into a queen. Maybe it’s because she’s a hero that God used in a mighty way to save so many. Probably it’s because the story so clearly demonstrates that God is at work orchestrating something bigger than what our eyes can see.
One of the most well-known lines from this story, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) is what came into my mind on this difficult night.
Now, I wasn’t feeling particularly royal sitting there with my bedhead and sweatpants, but the Lord reminded me that I was here “for such a time as this“.
My job was to sit here and rock this little boy. To love him, to comfort him, and let him know that he was safe. This little boy needs teaching and training. He needs to be nurtured and shepherded. And although the job is often challenging, I have been put into this position as his mother “for such a time as this”.
Many days, I don’t feel equipped for this task. I fear I am not up to the challenge. I worry that I’m doing it wrong and messing it up.
So when the Lord spoke these sweet reassurances to me, it fortified me for the long days (and nights) and ahead. The Lord gave me this child. He made me his mother. God is at work in us both, orchestrating something bigger than what our eyes can see.
I kissed my boy goodnight, placed him back in his crib, and covered him up.
I made my way back to my own bed and quickly fell back asleep.
All too soon, though, his cry for “Maaammmaaa” broke through the stillness of the night yet again. As I rubbed my tired eyes and slowly trudged to his room I reminded myself, I was made “for such a time as this”. I scooped up my little man and we began to rock again. And as he snuggled close I knew, without a doubt, I was made “for such a time as this”.