Mariah LOVES her dog; his name is Buddy. He's half chihuahua and half terrier. They call his mix a chiuahuat. Mariah has trained Buddy since he was a puppy to know that she is in charge. She pulls him around with pride and kisses him on the lips (yuck).
Mariah loves ALL dogs. Even when she was only 3 years old, she would sob in front of the TV as she watched the movie Benji. We own several of the sequels to Benji, and she still cries every time the dog is taken away. Now... her own dog was possibly being sent away.
We knelt down for family nighttime prayer. We tried to calm her down, but she just wailed with pain. Her body was slumped over and her head tilted back while she cried in agony over her dog. We knew she was truly devastated at the thought of losing Buddy. We hugged her and said our family prayer. We told her we weren't sure yet what we were going to do, but she needed to calm down and go to sleep because we would talk about it more in the morning.
She was quiet for a moment and started to walk to bed. Then she stopped, turned around, and burst into tears again exclaiming, "I don't know how to calm myself down!!"
My heart broke for her. I took her in my arms, held her tight, and whispered a very, very slow and calm prayer into her ear. I said only one sentence at a time and paused for a little while between each sentence. I could feel her trembling, anxious body relax in my tight hold as I continued to ask God to help calm her down. It was a precious moment to hold her tiny body as the Lord's peace literally melted her anxiety away. I felt the peace! It was like a wave moving from her head down. I could feel God's power working in her soul.
The prayer wasn't very long, but it was slow, thoughtful, and patient. By the end of the prayer, Mariah had stopped crying. Her face no longer showed anxiety, and she peacefully walked to her bed.
I believe that our Heavenly Father would like to calm our worries and assure us that everything is ok; but sometimes in our anxiety over the stressful situation, we don't allow the peace to enter our soul. Sometimes we pray with deep intensity but don't take a moment between our pleadings to allow the wave of peace to even begin. It takes work on our part to block the stress so we can allow the peace that is trying to squeeze and permeate through those thick and heavy emotions.
When we lost a baby through a failed adoption last year. I didn't want to feel peace. I wanted to feel pain because feeling the pain validated my anger. A dear friend came to my house during my suffering. She suggested that I lay my head on her lap... I felt very silly. I didn't want to lay my head on her lap- that was for children. I didn't want to even talk to anyone because I liked feeling angry in a weird way. I finally humbled myself and crumbled in her arms. I laid my head on her lap and sobbed. She didn't say a word. I just cried.... and as I cried, the wave of peace entered my body, and I fell asleep.
As children we trust God very willingly. As adults we've experienced years of pain... we feel silly trusting like a child... and many times we don't trust the process anymore, so we push that instinct away. Last night as Abe and I read our scriptures together, this is the message he felt inspired to share:
Matthew 18: 1-4 "(1)At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (2) And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, (3) And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (4) Whosever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
The wave of peace comes as a miracle from God as we allow ourselves to become as a little child and trust.