Two days ago Karly lost her pacifier.
This may not be a big deal for some kids, but Karly would rather have her paci than anything else in the world including cookies and ice cream. As a newborn, we brought her home from the hospital with her paci in her mouth, and during her first two years, she liked having three or four pacifiers at night. She would suck on one, hook the rest over her fingers, and gaze up at them, obsessed with her rings. As we slowly weaned her off the multiple pacifier addiction, paci became reserved for sleep time though she still tried to sneak it to the breakfast table where she’d stare at it while she ate.
Her paci is almost the only thing that has remained consistent as we’ve moved between Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Germany, and California, but after three years, Jon and I knew it was finally time to put it to rest.
Then Karly a few days ago lost her last paci. We searched everywhere for it—under the bed, on the counters, in the toilet—but it refused to be found. Her paci was missing, and she didn’t get to say goodbye.
Karly was up most of the night—crying and kicking like she was in withdrawal. It was exhausting, but somewhere in the midst of the shrieking and flailing, Jon had some great insight.
Like Karly, we crave our own pacifiers because they make us feel secure. Our home. Jobs. Friends. Special stuff. Two years ago, Jon and I lost our pacifiers in a violent jolt. We sold our house and our things and said goodbye to our wonderful friends as we prepared to move to New Zealand for what seemed like an amazing job. But days before we got on the plane, the job fell through.
It was a terrifying year, but we clung to God’s goodness in the midst of the shock. We learned that we could make it without the material things we’d thought were critical. With God as our only security, He provided for us and calmed our fears and then opened a whole new world for us when Jon took the job in Berlin.
As we settle into California life, I’ve built up my pacis again. Our cozy apartment. Internet access. Hot showers. The afternoon cup of tea. A soft bed. And a good book to read at night. If all my comforts vanished tomorrow, it would rock my world too.
Fortunately for Karly, her world wasn’t rocking for long. She slept through the second night sans paci—this time without all the wailing and kicking. And when she woke up the next morning, she was so proud when she exclaimed, “I slept without my paci all night!” She has a brand new confidence that she can make it without her pacifier and we know, through the security found in Christ, we can make it without ours too.