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By Angie Faulstich
There is a danger in becoming a parent. After I bundled up my newborn and took him into my home, that wee little one took over my entire world. It took all of my effort and more strength than I thought I had to keep my little guy alive.
From midnight feedings to mid-afternoon snacks, my mission was to keep my little one fed, dry, warm, and safe. But, as time has passed, Aidan is becoming more and more independent, and he needs me a little less with each passing day.
After an extended break from school over the Christmas holidays, Aidan went back to school, and a large chunk of my heart left with him. The loss feels like- well, to be honest, it feels like you may just as well have carved out a piece of my heart with a spoon.
That’s how it felt in the beginning as well. His first semester of kindergarten did not go well for me. I felt alone and lost, without a purpose. I grew tired of spending my days alone at home. And while still not sleeping well most of the time, I just felt tired. So as the days of Christmas break came to a close and there were no more snow days or 2 hour delays in sight, I began to fear that the emptiness would return.
It was an emptiness that could not be filled by anything of this world. Not hobbies that I enjoy. Not my favorite foods. Not entertaining movies- even the good clean ones. Not even the thought of taking on a job outside of the home could fill the empty hole in my heart.
My life lay before me as a beautiful tapestry cut into a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle was finished save one last piece that should have filled a hole near the center of the picture. And as hard as I searched, high and low, around the puzzle, on the floor, inside the box, in the cabinet from which the puzzle came, I could not find the missing piece. It was lost. And I could not fill the empty hole in my heart that I knew had been stolen from me when my son went away to school, and I was no longer needed.
I sunk into bed after their first day back to school, and I cried, “Lord, I cannot live alone anymore. I feel like I’ve been left behind. There is emptiness in my soul that I cannot fill, and I do not want to be alone anymore.”
And then startling words flooded into the cavern of my soul. From somewhere deep within, I heard the words: “You don’t have to be alone.”
Instantly, I knew He was right. The Savior of my soul was the missing piece of the puzzle. And it suddenly dawned on me. No matter what stage of life I find myself in. No matter whether my children are home or away at school. No matter where in the world I find myself, as I often dream of traveling and going on great adventures. No man, child, friend, food, or entertainment can ever become the missing piece in my puzzle. For if they do, I have left myself in grave danger and in desperate need of the only One who can ever fill the missing piece of my heart- and that is Jesus.
He has now promised to walk with me through these days of uncertainty. And I will each and every morning invite Him to lead me through them. And somehow now I feel hope. Hope that one day I will feel whole again. Peace that He will mend my broken heart. That He is and always will the missing piece to my puzzle. If I make Him that piece, I will be whole.
I just have to keep inviting Him in, and I can’t let anything else take His place.
Is there an emptiness in your life that needs to be filled? Is God the piece that is missing?
My incredible guest writer today is Angie Faulstich. Angie is a child of God, a mother of two bright and wonderful sons, and a wife to an amazing husband. She is the author of a weekly newspaper column entitled “Finding Peace” that encourages readers to turn to God for all of their needs so that they, too, may experience everlasting peace.
© 2014 Connie Davis Johnson
One night during family prayer, our 3 year old daughter, Calan, asked God to give her a brother named George. Kneeling nearby with our 13 month old daughter, Cauriana, I stole a glance at my husband, Craig. He was looking at me with wide eyes and we both chuckled.
When Cauriana was born, she came into the world demanding a manicure and a massage. High maintenance was her calling card. She would only take twenty minute naps and scream during the rest of our waking hours. If I wasn’t holding her, I was feeding her. And if I wasn’t feeding her, I was changing her diaper. And if I wasn’t changing her diaper, I was trying to figure out what was causing her ear splitting screams.
While I tended to Cauriana, I also tried to give proper attention to Calan by reading to and playing with her. I was exhausted! All the time!
So when Calan prayed for a brother, I decided to help God out. After all, this prayer would not be answered in the way she hoped so I was a bit concerned that it would crush her childlike-size-of-Texas faith.
I gently explained although God is in control of all things, He does let us have a bit of control over some things. And her dad and I definitely had some control over whether or not she would have a little brother and it wasn’t going to happen, nope, no way, no how, nada, not happening! Okay, maybe it wasn’t so gentle. But I was panic-stricken.
Calan didn’t seem to notice or care so I felt we dodged a bullet.
The next day, I began to feel strange. In the early afternoon, I stopped in my tracks as I realized the only times I had felt this way was when I was pregnant. I immediately looked up toward the sky and said/yelled, “NO WAY!!”
I sped to the store and bought a home pregnancy test. By this time, you’ve already finished this story in your head. And you would be right. The stick turned pink. I was pregnant.
I was shocked. Craig was shocked. Calan was not. Calan said, “Of course you have a baby in your tummy. It’s a boy named George.”
During the entire pregnancy, she never deterred from, “It’s a boy named George.” Even when we tried to reason with her saying it could be a girl, she would respond, “Nope! It’s a boy named George.”
When delivery day came, lo and behold, we had a boy. I was shocked. Craig was shocked. Calan was not.
We called Craig’s parents house where the girls were staying to give them the good news. I said to Calan, “You were right! We had a boy! But honey, his name isn’t George. It’s Colby.” She said, “No it’s not! It’s George!”
She had been right about everything else so I was ready to rip the birth certificate from the nurse’s hand to ensure I had named our little boy Colby and not George.
Calan insisted on calling Colby, “George,” for the first week of his life. She finally conceded after that and began calling him, “Colby George.”
Today is Colby’s 12th birthday. And we are extremely blessed God answered Calan’s prayer. At least the “brother” part. And Calan has finally dropped the “George” from his name.
Calan’s special prayer taught me I never need to try to “explain” God. And I definitely don’t take credit for having control of things I do not.
So now when the kids pray for outrageous things that scare us, we let them.
Then Craig and I pray against them. It’s the “battle of the prayers” at the Johnson household.
Yep, praying kids are scary! But it just adds to this adventure we call life.
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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson