Kids & Parenting
The Power of a Sleepless Night
by Janet Morris Grimes
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Mom-ness. It’s difficult to explain.
I would describe it as bringing you as close to God as possible, without actually getting to meet him face to face. When having a baby, it’s as if he is on one side of a curtain and you are on the other, as he hands this miracle to you and says, “Here, there is something I need you to do for me.”
From that point on, we have no place to go but to our knees to seek guidance minute by minute. Through my own journey, I have found myself there many times.
But sometimes, the urging is stronger, when I feel as if my kids are in danger and know they need the power of a mother’s prayer. Many times, I have been awakened with the thought of one of my kids weighing heavy on my heart, so I would spend the rest of that night alone with God, asking for his protection in their lives. Sometimes I would go into their room and pray over them while they slept, while other times, I may hold a picture in my hand and literally lift them up.
I started doing this when my son, Andrew, was a baby. He suffered from frequent bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia due to severe allergies. He struggled to even breathe at times, so I would take him with me to sleep in a more upright position on the couch, praying over him all night long.
It was as if he needed my help to breathe - like he wouldn’t make it through the night if it weren’t for the extra prayers.
I decided then that God appreciated our alone time as much as I did, and I knew enough to pay attention to that feeling when it hit me.
When my oldest daughter, Crystal, was in college, it happened. I awoke knowing that she needed me, and more importantly, that she could use some extra protection that only God could offer. After spending the night praying over her, she called the next day to say she had fever of 104. She was as sick as she had ever been, and was later diagnosed with mononeucleosis.
On another occasion, Tommy and I were taking turns driving back from a summer vacation to Orlando in the summer of 2006, and I was driving on the night shift. Andrew was working in another state that summer, and had not gone on the trip with us, so I was thinking about him as I drove. I quietly sang ”Surround Us, O Lord” for hours, but sang it about him and inserted his name into the song.
He called later that day, (June 10, 2006 to be exact – Moms don’t forget these things), to say he had been in a wreck and had flipped the car, and was on his way to the hospital. Thankfully, he was all right. But, I couldn’t help but wonder if the outcome would have been different if I hadn’t been asking God to surround him the night before.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t for a minute think that I have any power, and don’t think God needs my help to accomplish anything. But by recognizing the call to prayer, admitting my own helplessness and kneeling in awe of his power, I fully believe he listens. And more importantly, intercedes on our behalf.
I may not be able to control the future, or the choices my kids make, or really anything else for that matter.
But I can plead with the Creator of the Universe to protect them, guard them from the ways the world tries to harm them, and to lift them up where they belong.
And I can rest in that. After all, does a Mom really need sleep?
So, for tonight, it’s my oldest daughter, Crystal. She is 750 miles from home, and has had a rough few weeks. She feels isolated and wounded.
My God and I have an appointment to discuss this in the moonlight.
And then there is my youngest daughter, Malloree. Soon, she will be starting high school in a new state where she doesn’t know anyone. Her first question was, “what if they beat me up on the first day of school?” Think she is worried?
It is as if she needs my help to breathe - like she won’t make it through this if not for the extra prayers.
So, like a mother bear protecting her cubs, I will be there.
Less vicious, but so much more powerful.
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