Friday, January 4, 2013

In the middle of comfort

My [Mostly] Daddy's Girl

Admittedly, my Chloe is anything but a "mama's girl".  She is, in fact, the epitome of a Daddy's girl in every way.  The cliche that "little girls love their daddies and little boys love their mamas" is tried and true in our family.  This often creates a dilemma all its own in the equitable sharing of custody.

All that to say, when my phone rang last night a little after the kids' bedtime, I never expected to hear Chloe's little voice, cracking through tears, "Mommy, I miss you".  I asked her what was wrong, even though I knew.  She has a dentist appointment today and she's been dreading it all week.  Tucking her in the night before, she had asked me to pray about it specifically.  "Can I come spend the night with you?", she asked.  This was a rare, very serious request.  In fact, I don't know that she has ever willingly given up a night at the Daddy's.  I picked her up and brought her home, explaining the dental procedure, assuring her there was nothing to be afraid of.  Recounting my own childhood fears of the dentist - and all things medical - and how one time, to my own mother's humiliation, I had broken loose from a nurse and ran through the hallways of a doctor's office screaming and crying. 
 
Already clad in her pajamas, she crawled into my bed and half-smiled at me.  Her big brown eyes were brimming with tears.  "I'm afraid something might go wrong", she confesses, finally.  Her still small voice is barely above a whisper, yet revealing the depth of the fear inside of her that is engulfing her heart.  I snuggle her close, assuring her that she will be fine, and yet knowing that my words can't bring her true comfort.    
 
"Chloe, you know that God is all powerful, right?"  She nods.  "He has power that is supernatural, that means that His power is far above anything in this natural world.  There is nothing else like it.  His word tells us that there is power in His word and in His Spirit.  Now, if we have both His Word and His Spirit inside of our hearts, doesn't that mean that we have His power inside of us?"  She nods again.  "It's His supernatural power that can comfort us when we are afraid, simply through our prayer - there is power in our prayers when we have His word and His spirit in us .... and if Mommy would've known those things when she was eight, it would've changed my life". 

"Let's pray about it some more," I tell her.  I lay my hand on the side of her face and she closes her eyes.  We pray and I speak words of truth over her - and I speak His power over the spirit of fear that has invaded her heart.  Scripture buried in my own heart during my own times of anxiety and crippling fear come pouring out, covering my little girl:  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7); He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1); He is always with us, we will not be afraid (Psalm 118:6); Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9). 
 
After she had fallen asleep, I wrote a few verses on a piece of paper for her to carry with her today.  As I wrote, I was filled with awestruck wonder at the gift of His word.  These are not just words on a paper, but the very power of God to comfort my child when she is afraid and I am not with her.  
 
I wrote the last verse at the bottom of the paper:
 
"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted..."
Isaiah 66:13
 
 
She smiled as I gave her the little note this morning.  "That verse on the bottom, Chloe... that's God's promise just for you.  Just as Mommy comforts  you, God is going to comfort you today.  You will always be comforted by Him." 
 
It is His promise to my Chloe. 
 
And to me. 
 
 And to you. 
 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 
who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

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