Helpless. As I sat for hours with my screaming, writhing son, that’s how I felt – helpless. When he started screaming and projectile vomiting every time he ate at 15 days old, I had called and asked the doctor what was causing it and how to help him. I was told it was separation anxiety. Ummm…he’s only 3 weeks old and he’s not separate. At his one month appointment I asked again.
A few more doctors, a few more months, a year, the same questions. No more answers, help or direction.
It’s likely you can relate – symptoms with no answers. A diagnosis with no cure. A treatment plan or educational plan with no prognosis. A future that is murky and unclear except that it will likely be different than what you had dreamed and harder than you had ever imagined.
As my son screamed and writhed, I couldn’t take his pain away. I couldn’t make it stop. He was too young to talk or to understand my words. But, I could be with him in it. I could provide security and comfort just by my touch, love, and presence. He might still be in pain, but at least he knew he wasn’t alone. Neither are you.
Your life circumstances may be out of your control. You may feel overwhelmed and helpless, maybe hopeless too. But if you are God’s child, he is there with you and he is for you.
A verse that became a favorite of mine during these years of life and remains a favorite to this day is Zephaniah 3:17.
“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Look at all the words and phrases in here that describe how he thinks of and relates us: God, mighty savior, delight, gladness, love, calming, rejoice, joy. Whenever I think on this verse, I picture God, my Father, lovingly cradling me in his arms (as I did for my dear son), calming my fears and singing to me with joy and gladness, delighting in me, his beloved child.
I might still be helpless to stop my son’s pain, but I didn’t feel so alone and hopeless. Meditating on this verse helped me to remember that I am loved and delighted in by the creator of the universe and you are too.
Written by Sarah McGuire, Co-Founder of Hope Anew