T Talks // Tummy Time: Strength Through the Struggle

Tummy timeSource

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post for quite some time….simply because, as much as I love to share the lessons I’ve learned and my testimonies with others, it often leads to unnecessary judgement and harsh criticism from those on the outside looking in.  But certain incidents and discussions as of late have made me realize that I need to share this.  Plus I’m a blogger, and I guess that’s the risk I took when I signed up for this, huh?  Besides, there’s no way I am going to let the murmurings of a few, limit the potential of possibly encouraging even one person.  So here we go….

I’ve mentioned in a previous post how much I enjoy object lessons and yesterday I had one occur in my very own life.   While working with one of my attending physicians and discussing rehabilitation needs for pediatric patients, we got into a discussion about the muscle weakness that some infants and children develop.  She then mentioned that sometimes the cause can be due to either something being organically wrong versus the child never having been given the opportunity to strengthen those muscles.

Oftentimes parents want to do so much to make their infant or child happy or to prevent distress that they eliminate necessary struggle that can strengthen them.  Here are some examples:  Stopping potty training because the patient yells and screams too much when presented with the option.  Giving up on self-feeding exercises because the child temporarily refuses to eat.  Eliminating tummy time, which helps strengthen muscles of the upper extremities, head, and neck, because the patient simply doesn’t like it or struggles too much in this position.  And as a result of this presumed “kindness” by some parents, these children end up with a lack of the needed resilience and skills needed to thrive in day-to-day life.

Well here’s my question:  Why do we shy away from the struggles that have the potential to strengthen and equip us for the journey ahead?  Too many times we are just like these infants.  We don’t understand the purpose of God giving us “tummy time” when we’re more than content with being on our backs because that means it’s time to sleep and relax.  Tummy time means we have to work to stabilize ourselves.   Why do that when we can do what babies are supposed to do:  eat, sleep, and poop?

But like the parents of these infants, God sees the importance of “tummy time” to successful development now and in the future.  It is only during this time that we can learn how to cope.  Learn how to stretch and use muscles that wouldn’t be mobilized otherwise.  Learn how to hold our heads high and stabilize our shoulders.  Learn how to stretch our arms.  It’s during this time that we are given the opportunity to become stronger.

Are you going through some kind of “tummy time” struggle right now?  Spiritually, professionally, academically, financially, personally, or even within a relationship? TRUST me when I say I FEEEEL YOU!  Not even a few months ago I was going through my own tummy time with AWL of the above and I was the whiniest baby you ever did see.  Mercy!  I complained and questioned God as to the purpose of  these trials.  Was it REALLY necessary for me to go through heartache, doubt, and pain all during the already most dreadful time of the year (winter) while being away from my family and loved ones?  I didn’t understand it.  But God said to me, “T, you need to find the strength through your struggle.”  It was only after stopping and listening to that message that I ended the pity party and allowed myself to be fortified by the process.  Now I can truly say that I have learned and am even more equipped to handle even tougher challenges that life may have waiting for me in the future.

I trust my Father’s process.

I now understand the value of my tummy time.  Let the struggle of your tummy time strengthen you.

Love and God Bless,

– T

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