I have a confession to make. I am a 42-year-old woman who sleeps with a stuffed animal. I sleep with it primarily so that: a) I do not completely curl my chest forward and it helps my back, and b) I feel comforted while I am sleeping. Especially while sleeping alone.
I have had this particular stuffed animal for at least 10 years. I have had others over the years but my last dog used to think they were hers and chewed them to bits. Then I would have to search for a new one. My daughter used to make fun of me because of the process I would follow while on the hunt. Many of them were too tall or too short, too fat or too skinny. Most importantly, whatever one I chose had to have the right level of squishy-ness. Imagine a grown woman in the store hugging and squeezing stuffed animals. This was before Build-a-Bear was popular but in my opinion they are all too small for my needs.
As I said, I have had this guy for a long time. His name is Mr. Bunny (very original, I know). I sleep with him almost every night. Occasionally, I have taken him on road trips or to retreats, but not always. My husband is not a fan of him. He will throw Mr. Bunny onto the floor when he goes to bed. Currently my husband works nights so we only sleep together one or two nights a week. So when I am sleeping by myself, Mr. Bunny is of great comfort to me.
When we are children, we have things in our lives that bring us comfort. It could be a stuffed animal, a security blanket or a special toy. As we get older, we are told we don’t need them anymore. We are too big for things like that. Unfortunately, we are not really told what to do to comfort ourselves without our blankets or favourite stuffy. We have to figure it our on our own. We are just told to grow up.
As we get older, we try to find comfort in other things that may not be appropriate. We may depend on others to give us comfort, one way or another. We may turn to food or other drugs to give us comfort. Others may find comfort in constructive activities, like being creative or doing other hobbies, sports, etc. Unfortunately, any one of these ‘comforts’ may become unhealthy if we do not control it.
Comfort is defined as a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint; things that contribute to physical ease and well-being; the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress; a person or thing that helps to alleviate a difficult situation; improve the mood of or restore a sense of well-being.
Comfort is basically a form of love. We want to feel loved when we are distressed. We may not get it from those we think should provide it (i.e. parents, spouses, friends) so we get it from somewhere else, wherever we know we can find it, even just temporarily. And usually, these are the unhealthy sources of love and comfort.
Ultimately, there is only one true source for comfort. It is guaranteed if we want it and it is permanent. And it is there whenever and wherever we want or need it. Our true comforter is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
When we need comfort, we can pray to our God and He is there. When we know and fully believe that God has a plan for us, we can find comfort in that, no matter our circumstances.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
We can find comfort in knowing that God will take care of us. We know bad things will happen. There will be times in our life that we are afraid, hurt, betrayed, sad and upset. We may not know why any of these things are happening to us, or those we love, or in the world around us. We must trust that God will use whatever pain we experience for the good of His Kingdom.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Where do you find comfort in your brokenness? Do you turn to God for your comfort? What was your choice of comfort as a child? Share with me in the comments below.
I want to share a little story of what God has done for me with this blog. The other night I was having a hard time sleeping. I had to get up very early in the morning but I cold not get my mind to stop turning. The little hamster would not get off his wheel. I got the idea to write a blog on comfort, as I was snuggling with Mr. Bunny. I got up, wrote it out like I usually do then I was able to get to sleep. Four hours later, I was up and getting ready for work. Then my day went completely downhill.
As I was about to walk out the door for work, I slipped (not stepped) in dog poop. Poor Abby had a gastrointestinal issue. So I had to change my pants and clean the floor. A couple hours later, I get a call from my dad that my mom had a heart attack and is in the hospital. At work, I was in the process of presenting layoff papers to almost 40 people because our workplace is closing next year. When my husband got up for work, it seems Abby’s stomach issues were worse and there were 5 more piles of dog poop in the house during the 8 hours that he was sleeping. Off to the vet she went.
To say the least, I had a very stressful day. God used my writing of the blog the night before to remind me to turn to Him. His will is not our will and His way is not our way. We just have to trust that He has a plan, even when we can’t see it.