I’m familiar with waking up in the dark and walking through it. The concept illustrates my life both metaphorically and literally. The other morning, I arose in the dim light of 5 a.m. before the rest of my family. As I scurried to the coffee pot for medicine to aid in sleep deprivation, I heard Asha cry out. She is nearing 15 months old and still has not slept through the night. The major culprits are Chris and me, for we just moved her out of our bed into her own.
With eyes heavy, I made my way back up our creaky stairs to Asha’s room and found her standing up in the crib with arms reached out for me. I could not fully see her. Instead, I relied on touch and sound to safely scoop her up and slide in the glider. In the dark, I held her close, nursing her back to sleep with the hope that I’d have a few hours to myself.
As I sat, my eyes slowly adjusted, and I began to see the layout of the room: her crib, the doorway, the dresser, and the rug leading into the hallway. Dark became less shadowy the longer I stayed and gazed forward. I began to see the darkness was not quite as thick as I once imagined. It’s interesting how perspective changes the atmosphere.
I have faith that one day my precious daughter will sleep through the night, but for now, I’m acquainted with midnight snuggles and wee morning hours. As I fumble through the dark, I relish in offering of comfort and peace to my toddler. The paradox of the moment is I’d rather be sleeping, but these tranquil moments with her are fleeting.
I find the complicated concept of faith parallels with this season of parenting. Faith is both beholding and becoming.
Faith is the belief that one day the promise will come to pass, yet there remain moments of waiting and hoping.
I used to think the length of expecting placed merit on our supply of faith, and if that was true, mine was relatively weak. If faith was as simple as trusting that the sun will indeed rise, then maybe we’d all believe. However, faith, trust, and belief are beyond human reason. We often have every claim to believe while also having every right not to.
In the dim light of morning, I sat with Asha as my eyes adapted to the unilluminated room. I felt the Spirit say to me, “This is faith.” Abiding in the daily mundane, resting in my reality, and letting my eyes adjust to witness the glory of sight. It’s holding on both now and in the moments ahead. Faith does not rush the promise nor the process; instead, it’s a steady till of the heart that expands us. Faith holds onto each gift, every hope, and each and every promise. It’s the glowing light that eventually illuminates the dark, letting us see the vision come to pass.
As I awake with Asha, I’m starting to see the middle of the night as an opportunity, not an obligation. All too soon, vision will come, and midnight will be lost to the promise of sleep. For now, I am agreeing to let faith linger in the company of many cups of coffee and nighttime snuggles with my sweet girl.
Anna Smith is Co-Founder of Restore One and serves as an advisory board member. Restore One has opened The Anchor House, the first shelter in the nation designed to meet the needs of sex trafficked and sexually exploited American boys. Anna has a resilient passion to see sex trafficking victims experience true healing and restoration. In her spare time, Anna enjoys biking with her husband Chris, reading, cooking, throwing pottery, running and yoga. Learn more about Restore One here.