It Hurts Because I Love You


I dreaded this appointment for weeks. On the surface it was a routine wellness visit—height, weight, heartbeat, pick a sticker from the bucket. My kids have been through the doctor drill before. But this was a special rite of passage—the five-year checkup.

Which meant kindergarten immunizations.

Heaven help me.

Shots are never fun. It’s hard enough to spring them on my babes when they’re tiny and oblivious, but dragging a 5-year-old to the doctor’s office for pre-K vaccines felt like walking the plank. She knew what was coming. And I was a conspirator in her misery.

Whether you’re an advocate for shots or not, any mom can relate. There are all sorts of necessary pains we must inflict on our children for the sake of their health—stitches, blood draws, throat cultures, rectal thermometers—ewww, I’m squeamish just thinking about it—yet it’s difficult to explain to young senses that this is for your own good.

The discomfort will help you, protect you, and equip you.

It hurts now so you can be spared more hurt later.

All they can feel is the ouch.

Aren’t we just like our children? We kick and scream when life stings. We don’t understand. We try to wriggle free. We see God not as our Healer, but as the guy jabbing the needle.

What if, instead, we ascribed to him a different role? The role of the parent.

The One who holds our hands steady through the prick. The One who sings softly in our ear when we whimper. The One who promises a Happy Meal when the trial is over.

The One who feels our pain, cries our tears, and loves us enough to let us hurt.

My daughter was a trooper. She lay still, clutched my fingers, and took the hit like a big girl. Of course afterward she milked those shots for all they were worth.

“Mommy, can I have a Tootsie Roll because I was so good at the doctor?”

I cupped her sweet chin in my hand. “Sweetie, you can have two. You were brave today.”

How about you, fellow Mom? Will you be brave, too? There is no safer place than in the loving arms of our Maker—even when it hurts.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7) NIV.

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Becky Kopitzke
Becky Kopitzke is the author of The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press). On her devotional blog,, she offers weekly encouragement