Sitting vigil with my first feverish child since Rob died, and I’m reminded of how much reassurance and peace he used to bring me when one of the kids was sick. There are so many ways you lose a person when he dies.
We always had a system. I’d manage the sick one, and he’d care for the other three. And, inevitably, when nightfall came and the fever rose and my tiredness set in, he’d tuck the others into bed and come sit vigil with me. We’d marvel together at how our hearts had been utterly undone with loving these four, and he’d tell me that everything would be alright.
Once, after a few nights of family illness, I opened his phone to find that he’d Googled WebMD to check symptoms and read up on what to do. He never seemed to worry about those sorts of things like I did. He had never mentioned doing it, and I hadn’t asked him to. Their wellbeing weighed on him, and he figured research would offer him some reassurance. All I saw was that his steadiness melted away my worry.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the reality that Rob’s death has left me to care for these four children on my own. Parenting alone is such a daunting task. I care for them, but who will care for me? Who will settle my worried heart and steady me on nights like tonight and all the other nights and days ahead?
In these moments, I understand Peter’s fear as he stepped out onto the water to meet Jesus. Jesus is calling me to step out and meet Him in a new way, and it is so scary for me. I look down, and the uncertainty and challenge of my new role feel like dark water rising around my ankles. Tonight, as I sit vigil for the first time alone, I am remembering that, like Peter, I only need raise my eyes to see the One who cares for me, for all of us. To find the peace I crave in deep waters and always. Jesus is with me. Jesus will take care of me.