I admit it, I’m a needy Christian. I crave need and crave constant attention from my heavenly Father, especially when He’s nudging me into a new area. I want to be reminded of things He’s told me a thousand times, and more than anything, I need to know He’s always there, to feel His presence walking beside me.
Yes, I’m a needy child, but I don’t think God minds. Today my guest Teresa Tysinger, shares what she recently learned through her daughter about fear, insecurity, and divine reassurance. Read on and be encouraged.
What My Daughter Taught Me about Being a Child of God
by Teresa Tysinger
Labor with my daughter, Emma, took over thirty-two hours. She began walking at only nine months old, learned to cook herself scrambled eggs at four years, and was only five when she took the dog out for her morning walk down the street while my husband and I were still sleeping. Now half way to eight years old, she reminds us that soon she’ll be driving. She’s independent, determined, helpful, and maybe a just tad stubborn. It’s easy to forget she’s still a young child.
We recently moved into a new home. As night descended for our first night sleeping in the new place, Emma whined about bedtime as I tucked her in. The following conversation tugged at my heart in unexpected ways.
“Mama, can I sleep with you and daddy, just for tonight?” Her big brown eyes pleaded with me.
“Aren’t you excited about sleeping in your new room?”
“No. What if I wake up in the middle of the night and forget where you are?” Her little hand reached out and held mine tightly, as if afraid I’d be lost if she let go.
“We’ll leave a light on so you can find your way to our room if you wake up, okay?”
“But…Mama…” she whined.
“Emma…” Prickles of frustration marched up my arm. Boxes waited to be unpacked. Laundry needed to put away. So much to do. It would be a big help if this bedtime process sped up.
“Will you at least sing me a lullaby so I can hear your voice in my head while I sleep? That’ll remind me where I am.”
Her eyes closed, waiting for me to sing. I swallowed past the lump formed in my throat and crooned out You Are My Sunshine. As the last word hung in the air, her breathing was calm and rhythmic, face relaxed. Bless her.
When I made my way back to the living room full of boxes and bubble wrap, it dawned on me how similar we must seem to God as his weary children. We need constant reassurance that he’s there. We need to be reminded of his promises. And we need just to go to his Word to let his promises ring true in our hearts so we remember where (and whose) we are.
“And behold, I am with you always,
until the end of the age.” – Matthew 28.20
Parenting is so hard. The demands are constant, challenges plenty, and rewards sometimes seem too subtle to recognize. I struggle with patience and selflessness. While Emma needed a simple reminder of her security in our new home—a reminder of her parents’ presence—she taught me about being a child of God through her ability and gumption to ask for what she needed.
Don’t miss these lessons parenting provides. I’m so thankful for my fiercely independent, yet still young and vulnerable, seven year old.
Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances, inspired by grace. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.
Let’s talk about it: Emma asked Teresa to sing her a lullaby so she’ll hear her mama’s voice while she’s sleeping and remember where she is. Have you ever experienced that deep need, whether with another person or with the Lord? How did you fill that need? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below or over on Living by Grace.
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