A Week of Separation Anxiety

This has been a long week. I’m not complaining, it’s just the way it has gone has made it feel like time has dragged on. Caleb has been waking up in the middle of the night screaming inconsolably. For the first couple nights we rushed in and held him and tried to figure out what was wrong. That made it worse. He just screamed louder and harder.

I’m going to be honest, it was terrifying. He rarely cries. The panic in his cry gave us chills. My husband and I would stand there helplessly wondering what on earth was wrong. We prayed protection over him, our home, his crib…anything! Eventually he’d settle down and the moment I would lay him in his crib he’d start screaming. Or if he calmed down in his crib, he’d start screaming the moment I left his room.

I felt like it was never-ending cycle. It started transferring to naps and bedtime too, not just the middle of the night.

I was trying to figure out why Caleb was screaming and I read that between eight and twelve months is when separation anxiety hits its peak. I started reading more and more about his emotions, the changes going on in his heart, mind and body and began to understand where this panic was coming from.

As Andrew and I talked about it we were heartbroken that Caleb can feel such loneliness, isolation and fear in his tiny person. If you believed someone closed the door and walked away to never come back, you would be screaming too!

Through doing a little research I’ve found a tactic that seems to be working well for us, but it requires a lot of patience on my part. If you are interested in what’s working for us, you can email me at monica@myredandpurplelife.com. I’m not going to spend time going into detail on it during this post.

Sitting in the rocking chair in Caleb’s room while he screamed, reassuring him from a distance until he calmed himself to sleep, I was wrestling with myself to maintain the patience to wait this out with him. Once again, the Lord said to me that if I’d stick with this he would show me things about himself that I would never have known otherwise.

It is such a relief when a frustrating situation becomes one of great purpose.

So here are the three things the Lord has shown me during my late night calming sessions with my baby.

  1. We all have anxiety about being alone. This fear often can surface as fear of being single, or an unhealthy dependency on other people. Truthfully, it just comes down to a separation from God. People all around us are screaming out in panic. They are going through their own separation anxiety. Can we lead them to the one who will never leave or forsake them?

    Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

  2. Those of us who know the Lord are bearers of peace. In a world where nothing is certain, and inconsistency is every where, we need to be that consistent strong voice leading people to truth, which is Jesus Christ.

    I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

  3. Don’t give up on people. Often when a person is at their worst and seems perhaps beyond hope, breakthrough is just around the corner. The first night, I was just about to give up on my new tactic with Caleb, and it was two minutes after I decided to stay that he fell asleep. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

    So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9)

This experience has given me yet another glimpse in to the heart of God. The sorrow I felt in trying to make Caleb know we were right there, that he wasn’t alone hardly even compares to the grief the Lord feels when people are pushing away from him. He is standing there not just saying that he’s in the next room, like I was saying, but he’s shouting “I’m right here! Turn to me and I will heal your heart and make you new.”

I’m happy to say that things with Caleb have improved greatly throughout the week. Last night I was only up with him for about ten minutes. He’s becoming his joyful self again!

If you don’t know the love and grace of Jesus Christ, I hope you will talk to someone you trust who does know Him, or contact me. You don’t have to live in anxiety that comes from separation. If you do know the Lord, but you haven’t been as committed or faithful to him as you want to be, take this opportunity and recommit. His heart is breaking that you won’t let him come in and be your Father.

May eternal life, love and joy be yours today!


2 thoughts on “A Week of Separation Anxiety

  1. What a beautiful little guy. I don’t need to tell you he is so worth it 🙂 Our eldest went through this stage but since then, due to house size, we have had to have our kids sharing rooms so the littler one always seems to find a lot of comfort from having an older one near by. It sure teaches the older one how to be sympathetic too. I was brought right back to the awful feeling of hearing my girl scream in the middle of the night as I read this. You have a blessed way of reflecting on life, beyond the physical experience you are knee deep in. Take care!

  2. Pingback: Little Moments «

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