I recently babysat my friend's grandchildren so that she and her husband could go to dinner with their daughter and son-in-law. The oldest child is a very capable four year old and the younger child was already asleep when I got there. Before I arrived, Makenna told her mom, "Tell Miss Debbie that I can put myself to bed." Then later, "Tell Miss Debbie I know how to pray by myself." We giggled together as her mom and grandma relayed the message to me. Truthfully, I had little doubt that it was true and fully intended to give her her space.
However, as bedtime arrived, she burst into tears. "I just want my mommy!" she exclaimed. "I just love my mommy SO MUCH!" I rubbed her back and explained that mommy and daddy would be home soon. It didn't soften what seemed to be the overwhelming truth that her mommy was gone. I suggested we pray together. Through whimpers and tears and gasps for breath, she said, "I'll just pray in the morning!" She told me she just wanted to be by herself so I left the room, not closing the door all the way so that I could still listen and monitor from just across the threshhold. In just a minute, there was a break in the tears, as she got up from bed and closed the door all the way. She returned to bed and started crying again. Though I couldn't understand all the words, she kept on talking through her tears. I gave her a few minutes and went back in. I began to gently sweep her golden curls away from her face and reassure her that truly, everything was going to be ok. I went ahead and prayed outloud for her, even though I know she could have done it herself. She was asleep within a minute.
When her parents and grandparents returned they asked if everything had gone as scheduled. "Not quite," I said with a smile and went on to recount the story. We laughed at how dramatic she can be and made guesses of who in the family she may have gotten that from! They shared other stories and we sat and laughed together.
Little did I know that the same weekend would bring real 'drama' to the Rivers' household. I never would have guessed that I would be much like Makenna, crying and gasping for breath wondering where my Father was in all this. Like Makenna, I vowed to "just pray in the morning," not being able to muster an ounce of strength or spirituality in those moments. Oh, the difference that a few hours can make! Like Makenna, I was sure I could just do it myself. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone with me assuring me that everything would be alright. I guess that's the difference between being 4 and being 50!
The abundance lists have gone unwritten these last two weeks. My blog, until today, has remained unchanged in the last two weeks. I have needed time to catch my breath, dry my tears, and find my Dad while trying to continue to function 'as usual' with my daily responsibilities. Though I would hope that I have gained some wisdom between the years of 4 and 50, one thing is true of both Makenna and myself. We can not do it by ourselves! Our family would appreciate your prayers as He brings us to mind.