Oh, parenthood! What an interesting and perplexing teacher you are!
The things you learn during your time as a parent vary, and you pick up skills you thought you'd never need or want. For example, my booger bulbing skills are pretty intense.
But, besides the random and funnier skills you learn a long the way I believe if you try, that you really catch a glimpse of the eternities.
I say that because I believe that God is our literal Father. I believe that He loves us, just as any parent loves their child, but with infinite and PERFECT love. I know as I want the best for my child, so He does for me.
Why I'm having these thoughts is that Carter has to start at a new early intervention program since we moved. He had to undergo all of the testing again this morning to see how delayed he still is. I was so proud of him! Watching him pull himself to standing, crawling and the other feats he's learned really made me beam with pride. Bearing weight, crawling, getting out of sitting, all of these did not come easy to him. He didn't pick them up naturally, and had to struggle with physical therapy to get these basic skills down. What a trooper. He's come so far.
I started thinking back to when he was more helpless, and when we had to do "tummy time". For those not familiar, "tummy time" is when you place infants on their tummy. It's uncomfortable and they have to work their back and neck muscles a LOT. This is how they learn to hold up their head, and strengthen their shoulders, arms, and other very important muscles.
Carter didn't like it. Most babies don't. It's uncomfortable face planting into the carpet and straining to lift your large head with your feeble muscles.
But, I knew it had to be done. If I didn't force him to do this exercise he would never build up the muscle strength to continue with his mobility. He wouldn't learn to hold himself up, crawl...etc.
I remember him pitifully looking at me one day. His eyes seemed puzzled and it was as if his strained face was asking me, "Why?". He didn't seem to grasp why someone who is loving most of the time, would allow him to sit and wrestle with this difficult task. He would whine up at me and you could tell he was imploring for me to pick him up. He knew I could make the painful task end. And, he seemed upset that I would not. I so wished I could explain to his little mind that I was doing it for a purpose. I wanted him to know that I didn't enjoy seeing him squirm, but in order for him to continue to progress he needed to strengthen these muscles, and that once he mastered these skills they would serve him the rest of his life.
Lately, I feel I've been switching places with Carter.
I've been looking up at my Heavenly Father asking "Why?". Why are we still in school? Why are we poor? Why are we still in a little apartment after five years of marriage? Why is Carter having these health issues?
And, I'm trying to remind myself that just as I felt with Carter that God feels that way with me. He can see ahead where I cannot. And, I am going to try to trust him that these trials are exercises that will strengthen me.
Right now, we are facing some scary things with Carter's health. I will probably share them another time. But for right now, I'm trying really hard to have faith in my Heavenly Father.
I am grateful for the learning opportunities parenthood gives me, and hope that it will continue to help me understand or at least grasp a little bit better the great characteristics of the one perfect parent, my father, God.