I carried you back to your bed again last night. As I carefully lifted you up, I noted how heavy you have become. Still, your sweet little face still looked the same as it always has there in my arms. In exactly one week, you will be four years old, no longer a toddler, but a little boy. You are gaining independence every day, yet you still long for hugs and snuggles.
You wandered over to our room in the wee hours, as you often do. You spoke just one soft word, “Mommy,” and raised your arms for me to lift you into bed. I pulled the covers over us, and we drifted back to sleep.
A little while later, I awoke and you were fast asleep. Scooping up your now long body, I carried you back to your room. Your big brother was there, sleeping peacefully in his bed. I looked over at him and remembered when he went through this same routine.
I laid you down carefully in your bed and you rolled over onto your stomach. I pulled your fluffy “Paw Patrol” comforter up to your shoulders and arranged your favorite stuffed animals next to you. Lastly, I leaned over and gently kissed your cheek, and then did the same for your brother.
I looked at both of you, my little boys, one more time. The soft rhythm of your breathing filled my ears. I thanked God for the gift that each of you are to me. As I walked quietly back to my room, thoughts filled my head about what a joy and a privilege it is to get to carry you these years while you are little. I reflected on what a comfort it is to know that there is a who God can carry you with an even greater love and protection than I ever could.
Motherhood can feel like a bittersweet struggle, a tug of war, between holding on and letting go. We cradle our babies close and nurse them, until one day we don’t. We rock them to sleep and place them gently in cribs, until one day they sleep in a toddler bed, and then a regular sized bed. We go from holding their hands every step, to gradually less and less. And then one day, they don’t need us to hold them at all. But thankfully, God will never stop holding His children.
“Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”
There are many verses in the Bible about how God tenderly holds those who are His own, not just for a little while, but for life, and for eternity. Last night, when I carried you, my littlest boy, back to bed, it reminded me again of these words I have read many times. It brought to mind promises hidden in my heart from God’s Word about how He carries us through life.
“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
“For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. “He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings,”
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”
As a mother, I especially love this verse from Isaiah 40:11. It reminds me that He is our good shepherd. He gently leads me as I try to be the best mom I can to you each day. And He holds you, my little lambs, close to His heart. We belong to Him.
My little boys, I have carried you since you were born, even before that. One day you will be too big and too heavy for me to carry in my arms. So, I will savor these moments every time I can. I’ll cherish every snuggle with you, my precious sons.
To my youngest, I know that one night soon you won’t come to my room anymore. You won’t whisper “mommy” and lift your arms for me to reach out and scoop you up. But for tonight, I held you safely in my arms, and then I carried you back to your bed.
My children, you will never be too heavy or too old for God to carry you. So trust Him; cling to Him all of your days of your life, and rest in the care of His loving arms. Let His Word live in your heart. Be reminded of His promises and let them carry you through life.
I’m so thankful for every time I get to hold you and carry you, my children. I am so grateful that every day I am a mom, God teaches me a little bit more through you, about His goodness and His great love that carries us forever.