I’m awakened by sobs on the baby monitor, pitiful coughing cries mixed with long, wheezing breaths.
Sighing, I glance over at the clock.
The baby is sick, and this is the third time tonight that she’s woken up. I stumble, zombie-like, to her bedroom.
And as I sit in the chair, rocking and nursing, I pull out my phone.
I have obsessive-compulsive Google tendencies: when I’m trying to prove a point to my husband (“is honey as effective as cough syrup?”), find a recipe (“pumpkin spice latte”), or clean up the messes in my life (“child urinated in vent” – yes, that actually happened).
Google is my constant companion, and in the dark of the night, it’s the only friend I can consult without waking anyone up.
I’ve been worried all night about the baby. She’s so small and dear, and my heart grips painfully at the thought of her being sick and in pain. I’m worried I won’t hear her crying; I’m worried she’ll need me and I won’t answer quickly enough. As a mom, it’s not long before my worries move on to all the “maybes.” Maybe it’s croup. Maybe I should sit in a steamy room with her, or bundle her up and take her outside. Maybe I should put more essential oils on her. Maybe I need to suction out her nose. Maybe it’s her teeth again. Is she warm enough? Cool enough? How many layers does she have on?
Hmm, she feels a little warm, so I start with something basic.
Google: Fever with teething
It’s inconclusive, so I persist.
Google: Fever in infants
Ok, so her warmth isn’t as big of a concern, but that cough is freaking me out. Maybe it’s…
Google: Whooping cough symptoms
Hmm, you can never be too sure, so…
Google: What does whooping cough sound like?
I’m led to a YouTube video of a little boy taking in great big whoops of air. Whew, not my child. Ok, just in case she gets worse, what are my options?
Google: Monticello walk-in clinic
By now, my child has a full belly and is nodding on my shoulder. I lay her down again and head back to bed.
Worry, worry, worry. It’s endless, and it’s the reason I rely on Google.
But as I climb into bed, I wonder – what if I relied less on Google and more on God? What if I spent less time researching worst-case scenarios and spent more time praying?
I stop and take a deep breath. It’s not that I hadn’t been praying, but it can be easy to try to do things on my own. My first impulse shouldn’t be a power-fueled electronic device, it should be the power of a holy God.
Before I drift back to sleep, I pray, “Lord, if she truly needs me, please let me hear her and wake up.” In the cycle of worry, I’m back at the beginning. But at least I’m now turning to the true source of comfort.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7