The panic was real. I furiously typed on the computer, frantically searching for what seemed like the Holy Grail of toddlerhood. Why was it that eBay didn’t recognize the name of my child’s missing “blue softie?” What were they called in the marketplace these days? “Lovies?” “Blankies?” “Things that got lost at Detroit Metro Airport and hadn’t been turned into the lost and found and was now ruining the life of my two-year-old?” What in the world were we going to do without this security blanket that provided so much comfort to my little guy?
I groaned outwardly as I finally located a replica of my son’s blue softie . . . who knew that these security blankets were rotated out every season and a new model took its place? And kudos (I guess) to the enterprising person who bought them up and sold them at a premium to panicking moms who just. needed. to. get. their. kid. to. bed. Thankfully I came to my senses and logged off. I put down my credit card and figured out some solutions to reestablish security in my little guy’s world. We had a few other items that acted as “softies on deck” and the universe was once again at peace.
But I was amazed at the relationship we had with this random collection of soft, fuzzy atoms. We’d been through a lot with his security blanket—it had gotten us through multiple flights, doctor’s visits, and separation from mommy at childcare. I’d also rescued that softie from behind couches, under cars, behind public toilets (gag), submerged in bathtubs, and down aisles at Target. That softie worked hard for us and I worked hard for it in return.
Not surprisingly, my second son developed his own intense relationship with a “night night” (yes, let’s call them different things because why not?!)—although one of the smartest things I’ve ever done was encouraging/insisting he become attached to plain, white burp cloths as his security blanket. Pro tip: they are soft and easy to clean, they come in packs of 12 and are 100% replaceable! We had them strategically placed throughout the house—and bonus: my husband’s t-shirts, dust rags, and kitchen towels were often used in a pinch.
We All Have our Own Security Blankets
Regardless of their appearance, security is security and everyone seems to have theirs in hand when times are tough and the tears are flowing. And that includes me. Part of the reason I fought so hard for the security blankets in our house is that I grew up with one of my own. I found it several years ago in a box in the basement labeled something like “Easter Decorations/Extension cords.” The once-thick and quilted blanket embroidered with the Lord’s Prayer had turned into a sheet barely held together by a few remaining molecules. This precious blanket once held the position of chief comforter in my life and I loved it as if it were a living, breathing thing. I guess it’s a good thing it is now relegated to a dusty box deep in the metaphoric basement of my life because as I mature, I’m searching for security in things that don’t fade.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Grasping Onto Comfort
I’ve gone through periods where I’ve put my trust in God and have rested confidently in His security. This manifests as me feeling tranquil and calm, experiencing the peace that surpasses all understanding. And then there are all the other times. It’s almost as if I instinctively wrap my tight fists around worldly things, insisting on searching for peace where I know logically it can’t be found.
One of my kids has battled ongoing illness since birth. And I found that during the healthy times I would feel such peace and well-being. But as soon as something went wrong—a cough here, an uncommon cry there—I’d worry. And not the normal kind of worry that everyone experiences from time to time. But the worry that found me obsessively googling in the middle of the night or fearing worst case scenarios as if it were my JOB. My security was not resting in the One who could truly provide it. It was tightly clasped onto circumstances that changed as quickly as the wind.
Security Despite the Roller Coaster
My son’s medical issues, along with the typical mom emotional roller coaster in any given 24-hour period, are daily reminders of my dependence on God as my real source of comfort. And I work with Him regularly on trusting Him with my everyday moments.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6 (The Message)
Sometimes I wonder if my lack of trust frustrates God. But then I think about my own kids, when they are longing for their physical security blanket. I realize it is due to an underlying feeling of fear, sadness, hurt, or the basic human need for comfort. As they mature and ease off their dependence on these small pieces of fabric, I’ll try to teach them to reach for comfort from the real thing. I kind of think God is doing the same thing with me.