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Our True Comforter

By: Sara Lynn Wells

Lightning flashed as I jolted awake to an all too familiar scene of my little boy standing by the bed in
tears. We are at that age of monsters and fear of the dark. I walked him back to his room and
snuggled in his bed with him. We lay there while the wind blew and he fell asleep in my arms. At one
point the wind picked up again. His eyelids flew open, but once he saw me there he snuggled closer
and was quickly back to sleep.


As I watched him, I thought back to my childhood and my long list of fears. I was a very anxious child
and often ran to my mother for comfort. To me, she seemed to be the bravest person I had ever met.
I never recall her seeming scared or anxious. Even as I became an adult, I could count on her for
encouraging words and comfort.


I feel so underprepared to fill that role for my son. I have come a long way in my journey with
depression and anxiety, but some days I still feel like that little kid looking for comfort. My monsters
do not look the same as they once did. They are more complex and scarier. Now they look like fears
about our world or personal fears about how I’m doing as a mother. There are monsters of
depression and lies from the enemy. They look like natural disasters, hate, violence, and a worldwide
pandemic. Some days I just want someone to hold me and tell me I’m doing an okay job, or that it
will all be okay.


I’m sure all parents have a moment when they realize they are now the adult and the ones providing
the comfort. But, it hits me even harder because I am now a motherless daughter. Just months after
my first baby was born, my mom died unexpectedly. My biggest source of peace and comfort,
especially when it came to motherhood, disappeared right before my eyes. One day she was there
and we were talking and texting, then without warning, those calls ended. I would never again hear
her voice which could soothe even my darkest fears. No longer would I have her texts of
encouragement with scripture or telling me I was doing a great job. Never again would I feel her hug
or see her snuggle my baby.


As I lay there holding my son, I was fighting back bitter tears as I no longer had that sense of
security and safety in my motherhood journey or my life in general. I would like to say that at that
moment, I had an epiphany or some grand resolution. But, that would be untrue. After much thought
and reflection, though, something came to my mind. It was the lyrics of an old hymn I had grown up
singing. As I thought about it, I could hear my mom’s low alto voice harmonizing along as she played
the piano.
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee.”


I thought about those words I had often sung without really thinking about or truly comprehending
them. There’s some disagreement as to how the song came about. But, there is a legend that
Augustus M. Toplady, the man who penned the lyrics, wrote this while seeking shelter in the gap of a
gorge (shown in the image) during a terrible storm.


Just like he found shelter and safety in that rock, we can find shelter and safety in the arms of Jesus.
My mother was wonderful and provided me with a great sense of comfort. But, at the end of the day,
she was only human and her comfort and time with me were limited.


I have a heavenly Father, though, whose love, comfort, and time with me are eternal and limitless.
He knows my deepest fears and holds not only me but my sons in His hands. Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)
says, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” What a
beautiful image of a God who loves His people and has personal and permanent care for them; He
will never forget us.

As much as I want my sons to have pain-free, happy lives, I know the storms will
continue to roll in. But, the best thing I can do for them, and me, is to remind us of the everlasting
peace we can know with Jesus, our ultimate and true comforter

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