Simone - 2 Month Lesson
Simone - "One who hears."
Our baby daughter has hit the 2 month milestone! Another way to say this is that her parents have hit a 2 month milestone :-) Thank God. These days we celebrate anything and everything there is to celebrate. Parenthood is such a joy, honor, and privilege. The joy of being parents completely overwhelm the challenges. I think this is what is meant by the phrase "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it." So far, it is 40% easier than what people have told us. That being said, it has only been 2 months. Also, Simone is a healthy baby, so we do not have to endure the hardships that many parents of special needs children have to experience.
I do not intend to sound arrogant or harsh, but for many people, being parents is the first hard thing they ever had to do. If you are used to doing hard things, then becoming a parent will just be another hard thing - except there is eternal reward in seeing your baby every day. Most hard things take time to develop - you have to sow into the Invisible. With parenting, you are sowing into pure love - you are sowing into a child that you seem to have immeasurable love for - it is amazing. I wanted to say this because our society has devalued parenting. Our society is constantly devaluing all types of treasures - marriage, parenting, love, joy, dreams, etc. If we can give in / surrender to the season we are in, we will not be fighting so hard. We can find ourselves thriving in every season. This is my prayer for all of us. My wife and I realize that nothing is about us anymore - haha. Everything is about Simone. We are enjoying this more and more each day. We are learning and growing in ways we never thought possible - it is such a beautiful challenge.
With 2 months, comes a baby's first set of shots.....need I say more? I am not sure if any parent can get accustomed to seeing their child cry in such horror. For the first time in my life, I experienced a part of God's heart that I never knew before. The nurse instructed me to help by gently holding Simone down. Shot 1 went in and her little body shook in fear and pain. This was tough to watch but she got through it. Immediately after shot 1, came shot 2 and 3 - Simone looked at me wondering why I was not doing anything to help her. She was so terrified and upset - something shook in me when I saw her eyes. I knew it was the revelation of God, so I wanted to share it with you all.
I am not sure if the pain was harder for our baby, or for Lydia and myself. Instantly we both could not help but shed tears for our precious girl. My initial tears were for Simone, but the latter tears were of pure conviction. I realized at that very moment, that God feels the exact way when His children are in pain. I got such a tiny peak into the heart of the Almighty. Even when things that are happening are good for us, God still aches at the thought of His children hurting. Can He intervene and stop it? Of course. Could we have told the nurse to stop? Yes. But in order for our daughter to be better suited for the world, she had to endure momentary pain. I cannot imagine how God feels when our pain is not for our good. When children are dying in Syria. When tragedy occurs every single minute across the globe. The Atheist in us grows cynical - why does God cause suffering? Why can't He just snap His finger and make things better?
I am not here today to answer age old questions. My guess is that those who choose to believe God causes suffering will believe this, regardless of whether God snaps His finger to alleviate pain or not. To choose out of acknowledging the existence of God requires some level of faith as well. The substance of our convictions grow deeper than what we think and see. There is an underlying depth of love and grace that we must experience to acknowledge Someone bigger and greater than us in the first place.
Why was I so moved by Simone's pain? Why did I not intervene to prevent her suffering? Love transcends emotions. Love almost begins when emotions end. Love is enduring. Love plays the long-game. Love is not easily satisfied. Love is not the same thing as like. If I am committed to Simone for her entire life, I must be willing to sacrifice affection for her best. I must be willing to vision for her, when she cannot see past her immediate circumstance. I must be willing to make her not "like me," for the sake of her protection. God has become very much disliked. We don't like Him anymore. However, the deepest love comes not from like, but from love itself. We get like and love confused everyday. I do not simply like my daughter. I love her. And love travels to the end of time. When Simone suffers, her parents suffer (potentially more). When Simone cries, her parents cry.
Shot 1 is fine. But Shot 2 and Shot 3 follow - these are tough. It is here where we have the ability to look at God in a certain way. Which way will we look at Him? In trust, or fear? The responsibility placed on a parent is great. The burden is full of joy, but it is also full of weight. We just have 1 child. God has billions. I choose to like Him a little more today. Thank you for loving me.
Peace, and much love to you - Jeevo.