We have to go through difficulties to grow and mature. Parenting older children is all about letting them experience the stuff of life with a parental safety net still in place. This is just as true of our faith. Our faith grows and matures through tough stuff that teaches us that we need God and He can be trusted. If those faith muscles are never exercised, we don’t know how they will stand up to the storms of life in a fallen world.
I saw this concept at work in my oldest daughter in middle school. She had hidden a particular deception for a while and it ate at her. God used St. Augustine’s Confessions to bring her to repentance, and the whole episode to make her aware of her need for Him. Without this issue, her faith would not be where it is now.
A few months ago my baby experienced a rectal prolapse. Seeing what looked like a big blueberry hanging out of her bottom made me weak with fear. I probably would have passed out except that I had some idea of what it might be, from reading Happy Home Fairy’s similar experience.
As the pediatrician said it was not serious as long it sucked itself back in (which it did about a half hour later), we gave her Epsom salt baths, increased her veggies by pureeing everything with applesauce to sweeten it, and chopped prunes into her oatmeal. She was a good eater with a good diet. Baby doesn’t love veggies, but she will eat them. She was never constipated, by the way. And she never appeared to be straining, so the prolapse was a bit of a mystery to us. Then it happened again. And again. It started happening on an almost daily basis.
I began to pray out loud for Jesus to heal the “blueberry bottom” as my older girls termed it. My little one scrunched up her little face, folded her tiny hands and repeated my entreaties to our Loving Heavenly Father each time.
Next diaper change we rejoiced to see it gone and thanked God in prayer. This became our regular habit. Then one day the little bottom was bleeding. Rainbow Baby must have seen the panic on my face because she immediately folded her hands and in her not quite two years old baby talk told me, “Jesus make blueberry better!” And she proceeded to pray.
I should not have been shocked at the faith of a child, but it was a precious surprise. However, praying over this had happened often enough that I figured it could be a matter of training.
A fews weeks ago my oldest was having a back spasm. She was in a lot of pain. It lasted several days and Rainbow Baby noticed her distress. Big sister told her that her back hurt and jokingly asked baby to rub it for her. Her back was turned and she heard that little voice behind her saying, “Jesus,” she turned to see the little head bowed and hands folded. “Make back better! Amen!”
That little heart had turned immediately to the One who could heal. I hate the prolapse, but I rejoice at what God has done with it. My oldest was inspired to a more faithful prayer life by her toddler sister. I am inspired to live out faith and trust in God in front of my kids.
Two weeks and no prolapse issues, by the way. I am hoping and praying she has outgrown the problem. But I am praying that she never outgrows the faith that the problem birthed in her precious heart.
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