In the month or so since I quit my job, there have been a few times I thought to myself (or, perhaps, in a moment of frustration, said to my daughter…), “Child, do you know what I’ve given up for you? Do you appreciate it? Do you care?”
As she’s sitting or flailing about in a fit of fighting a nap or not wanting to eat or needing to be changed, I find myself wondering. Does she know that I gave up a job that I enjoyed? Does she care what struggles that brings as we go from two incomes to one? Does she know how hard it was to be pregnant and labor to bring her into this world?
So often this parenting gig takes me by surprise and I find myself relating to God the Father in an entirely new and humbling way.
“Child, do you know what I have given up for you? Do you appreciate it? Do you care? See, I gave you My Son. My only Son. I watched Him suffer and die for you. Do you appreciate it? Do you care?”
My husband and I talk regularly about what life was like before we became parents. He got to play more video games. We watched more TV. We could go out on dates, stay up late and sleep in late, etc. There were luxuries to be sure, but there was also a lot less sacrifice being asked of us. I say asked of us because the choice is still there. We could let our child scream in her crib because we chose to stay up after her bedtime and we’d like some extra sleep (who can sleep soundly with a screaming child anyway?).
Our reality of being parents means that we are called to sacrifice more. It is tough – sacrifice is never easy. But when it comes to those moments of frustration when I am over the whining and the crying, I wonder if she’ll appreciate the sacrifice. Does she see it? Does she care? And why, for the love of all things good and holy, won’t she just rest and take a nap? I know she needs it. It is in these moments that the Lord speaks to me,
“Do you see My sacrifice? Do you care? I see yours and I appreciate it, though it is a drop in the bucket of what I’ve given for you. Come, rest in Me. I know you need it. I know you need me. Stop with your fussing and your crying and just rest in Me.”