Under Pressure

Dear Lewis,

Today you started tummy time. Because your neck muscles aren’t very strong you mostly lay on your back, swiveling your head from one side to the other. Since you can’t hold your head up on your own it’s very important that we support your neck when we hold you. Tummy time is supposed to change that.

Three times a day we’re supposed to lay you on your tummy, arms near your head, and let you push yourself up off the play mat. By doing this you’ll strengthen your neck muscles and soon be able to hold your head up on your own. We were also told to push down gently on your butt so you’d be forced to use your neck and shoulder muscles to lift your head.

You’re supposed to do this for twenty minutes, three times a day. But you start to cry after thirty seconds. Your mom and I watch, hearts breaking with every throaty scream, counting the minutes until we’re able to flip you on your back and give you – and us – relief.

During this afternoon’s session we gave you a break part way through. Your mom picked you up and cradled you. As you cried she told you how proud we were of you; how strong you are; how you fought to keep your head up; how these exercises that seem tough – and make mommy and daddy seem mean – are what will enable you to sit up all by yourself and look at us, eat like us and play with us. You calmed down and wriggled into an upright, seated position like a big boy – with mom’s help – and smiled.

Lewis, you’re going to learn that God sometimes does the same thing. Just like we let you struggle through tummy time, God will allow you to go through difficult situations for the purpose of strengthening your character and your faith. There will be times – and this is hard to swallow – when it will be God’s hand pushing down on you, seemingly crushing you. Lewis, I promise you He’ll only ever do it in order to make you stronger, to enable you to hold your head up through even more difficult times.

So whatever you go through, whatever God puts you through, hold your head up.

I love you, Lewis. God loves you far more.

– Dad

What situation has God allowed you to endure in order to make you and your faith stronger?

Share your story and encourage others who might be struggling to keep their head up by leaving a comment below, or by joining the conversation on Facebook.

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