A story from a Safe Family for Children volunteer host family.
By: Jesika Knight @TheKnightFive
At night he screams. During the day he is tough and wild and independent. But at night he screams. He dozes off for awhile, but then out of nowhere his eyes open and he goes from sound asleep to terrified. And the only thing he screams for is his mommy. He makes it very clear that he knows that I am not her. But he still demands that I stay. So I do. Until I can sneak away before the next time he cries out, I stay. I stay because it’s all that I can offer. But I am tired and inadequate. He doesn’t seem to care about that though.
I kneel beside his bed and place my hand on his back and his scream turns into a moan “Mommy…Mommmmmy…Mommmmmy…” and I rest my head on the side of the bed and I try to make myself stop. Stop thinking about the 6:00 a.m. wake up call and the dirty laundry and the dishes still in the sink; stop thinking about everything I will have to accomplish tomorrow in a half asleep state. When I can’t shut down my mind, I choose prayer instead. I pray for him and I pray for his mom and I pray for me, too. Because kneeling here next to him, I am painfully aware of my selfishness. I am gently reminded by a loving God that in my weakness He is strong, and my soul is again quieted with His great love.
I think, as I listen to the cries of another child in crisis, that I actually know nothing of suffering. I only get the privilege of walking alongside those who do know what true suffering is. And it is privilege to do this. I am no saint though and so sometimes, I drag myself out of bed to a crying child and it takes everything within me not to cry along with him. Nevertheless, God is in this work. There is no way to greater experience Him than to put yourself in a situation where you are going to badly fail if He doesn’t come through. There is no greater intimacy with God than in genuinely needing Him in your day-to-day life.
He is here. And He never fails. He comes to the rescue again and again using the broken, emotional, tired mess of me to do something I never dreamed I’d be able to do. And as the sweet boy I am kneeling next to slowly drifts off to sleep again, I take a moment to thank God for being so near. And peace rushes over me because I know that when I hear the next scream, God will be ready to meet me here. And as that little boy finds rest in me, I will find rest in my Savior. For however long this family needs me, God will meet me here. And when the next child comes, He will meet me again. And every inch I fall short, He fills in. He bridges the gap between what I am capable of and what needs to be done over and over and over. The real reason I live to walk with the broken is because I am broken, and God still chooses to walk with me.