We just got back from the doctor and Matilda had her 4 month check-up which included another round of shots. She had three shots, 2 in one thigh, 1 in the other. OUCH! The only question is - who did it hurt more - her or me?
This isn't the first time she had a shot, she had to get the first round at 2 months and Josh was unable to make that appointment due to work. This time, I was sure to nail down his schedule in advance and make sure he could accompany us. Going to the doctor in general - not fun. It is a whole morning filled with waiting, waiting, and more waiting, topped off by an ending filled with screaming terror and confusion.
There is nothing in this world like seeing your own child in pain. How terrible. Because the shots were given in her legs, I held her hands and got close to her face, both Josh and I trying to distract her with comforting sounds of "Ok, hold still, it's okay, you're alright" all the while I'm thinking in my head "We can send a man to the moon but we can't make a stupid vaccine into a yummy juice form for my baby???"
The doctor counted down from three...and in that instant, her sweet little face turned from ignorant bliss to utter shock, fear, and pain. As she went into the "ugly cry" I had to take a deep breath and softly say to her "this will make you healthy and strong, hang in there, almost done".
There was never a more direct correlation in my heart at that moment to knowing how God must look at me sometimes. There are many analogies I'm learning as a parent that directly relate to how our Heavenly Father must view us as His children...and today's example is one of the most powerful lessons in my life.
God loves us so much that He's willing to let us hurt.
When we can't see the big picture - when we don't know why things are happening and it all just seems unjustified and wrong - when we look up at God and say "How could you let this happen?" it's not because God has forgotten us. It's not because He's distracted by something more important or that He just doesn't care. In fact, I think it pains God deeply to see us suffer through it...but He knows better. No, He knows BEST. And He wants the best for me!
Sometimes God has to vaccinate me from myself, from temptations, from bad decisions that I don't yet know the consequences of in order to help me grow stronger, and allowing life's lessons to mold me into the person that can best serve Him.
And, just like a vaccine is often a strain of a greater illness that prevents us from getting the full blown disease, God often lets us learn small lessons, even get hurt and suffer through them, so that we don't have to endure some kind of greater pain had we not had the chance to learn the lesson.
It certainly pained me to watch Matilda get her shots today, but knowing the big picture and being there to comfort her allowed me to focus on the greater good instead of the temporary bad. I'm so thankful we have a loving God...
I'm also thankful for baby Tylenol.