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Topic: Rest (06/14/04)
By Amber Forbis
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“Okay sweetie, give me a minute and we will go take a nap together.”
Diana finished putting the groceries away then scooped her six-year-old daughter up and cradled her in her arms. She playfully kissed Jessica all over her face as she walked down the hall to her princess bedroom.
“Would you like me to read you a book first?”
“No, thank you, I just want to lay down mommy.”
Concern flickered across Diana’s face; she laid her daughter gently down on the bed and searched her little face.
“Honey, are you feeling all right?”
Jessica reached a chubby little hand up and touched her mom’s cheek.
“I’m just sleepy mommy.”
“All right, you just rest then.”
Diana lay down next to her daughter and watched as her little eyelids closed. A prayer started rising up within the mother’s heart. As she thought back on the past few weeks she realized that her daughter had been taking more naps than normal. Jessica had never been a rowdy child, and she had always liked her naps, but there was something different about these past few weeks. Diana quietly rolled off the bed and went back to the kitchen, and decided to make something special for Jessica.
When her husband Mark came home from work an hour later Diana’s greeting lasted a little longer than usual.
“Is there something wrong honey?” He asked.
“I am worried about Jessica. She is taking a nap again and the more I think back the more I realize she has been doing that a lot lately. She just doesn’t act like herself and I am worried that something is wrong.”
“I’m sure it is probably nothing, she might be going through a growth spurt or something.”
The words didn’t change the concern in Diana’s eyes.
“Look honey, if it’s bothering you that much take her to the Doctor. Only don’t worry yourself about it, I am sure it’s nothing.”
NINE MONTHS LATER
Diana stood in a long black dress staring into her daughter’s room. How had this happened? How could God have LET this happen? Less than a year ago her daughter had been a happy, healthy child and now, today they were going to bury her.
Diana walked in, curled up on her daughter‘s bed and hugged a stuffed bunny to her chest. She felt like she had done nothing else but cry since that day nine months ago when the doctor had told her Jessica had an inoperable brain tumor. Tears had been shed the day that Jessica went into the hospital to start chemo, when she had wasted away to almost nothing, and when she could no longer walk but had to be carried. But now when tears were most expected of her she had none to give.
Diana had started off praying for a miracle for her daughter, but somewhere along the way she had stopped believing it would happen, so she had stopped praying. She had been mad at God, the how’s and why’s haunted her day and night.
She caressed the pink comforter, this had been Jessica’s haven, every time she needed rest, she had come here. Jessica had been so strong and brave, even when her body wasn’t, and even at that young age she had trusted Jesus. Memories of goodnight prayers washed over Diana and for the first time in a long time she prayed. First she thanked God, even though He hadn’t saved Jessica; He had given her peace and strength. Somewhere along the way she started praying for herself, that she would feel that peace and strength too, that she might learn from her daughter.
Later that afternoon, after the Pastor had said the final prayer by the graveside, Diana and Mark walked up to the small casket.
“Rest well sweetie,” Diana whispered as she leaned down and placed a last kiss on the casket.
“Hold my daughter in Your arms Jesus,” she looked to heaven and prayed. “She always liked when I would nap with her, I leave that up to You now Lord, and I know that with You her sleep will be even sweeter. Help me God, not to be restless, but to trust You for the perfect timing when I will one day hold Jessica in my arms again, and we can rest together.”