My children each reveal a unique characteristic of my Father. My 10 year old daughter reminds me of His faithfulness. My 7 year old daughter reminds me of His wild and free spirit. My 3 year old son reminds me of His love and joy.
This past month, I have been struggling with an upcoming surgery. Fear and sadness have at times overtaken me. Fear to endure a sixth knee surgery. Sadness that my mom is not here to comfort me and help me. As these emotions have swirled around inside me, I have felt like a drowning swimmer out in the middle of the ocean. My arms waving, screaming for someone to hear me, to see me, to save me. My rescue arrives through my sweet boy, riding on the shoulders of my Father, pulling the life raft of love and joy.
Starting my parenting journey with two girls, I had no idea what to expect with a boy. I can honestly say, I’ve never said the word penis more times in my life than when I began the fabulous task of potty training. I can also say, I never expected to hear this sentence announced throughout my house, ‘Mommy! Come look! My poop looks like a banana!’ Oh how I wish I could look at my ‘dump’ and be amazed by it . . . but I’m not talking about my poop. I’m talking about what I see in my eyes is my internal mess. So often I’ve poured my heart out to my Father and sat with this feeling of shame as though I had just taken a ‘dump’ all over Him. But with the sweet gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit, I’m reminded that my Father wants to hear my passionate prayer. He wants to hear my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions. The good, the bad and the ugly. While it’s hard to imagine and even harder to feel, our Father can look at our “dump” and see the beauty, not the mess. While it may not be a banana, or as my son most recently announced, ‘It looks like chicken nuggets!’, He sees anything but a mess.
Standing in front of the bathroom mirror one more morning, I turn around to see my son come around the corner. With sleep in his eyes, wearing his cowboy shirt and proudly riding his stick horse. I smiled, bent down, and asked, ‘Are you a cowboy?’ He smiled back and said enthusiastically, ‘Yes!’ Oh to be able to walk in such confidence! I confess this is an almost daily struggle for me. As the date of my surgery draws near, the reality that I will need to release all of my kingdom is hard. It’s scary. It gives me the feeling that everything is being taken from me. It invites in the lies that say, I’m not good enough. I have nothing to offer. I’m not made to be amazing like other women. As I place my gaze back into the eyes of my son, I see my Father’s light. It is a reminder that when I am unable to see myself as my Father sees me, I can invite His light in to reveal the way to the truth. While outwardly we may feel anything but amazing, it is our heart where our Father speaks the truth.
When I walked into my first physical therapy appointment, I sat up on the table and my son sat in the chair in the corner. With his big blue eyes and with the most sincere voice, he said, ‘Mommy, you’re going to be ok.’ My breath was caught. In that moment I was reminded, while the feeling of loneliness feels so real, I am not alone. My Father is close by my side. Throughout that appointment and each appointment since, and through every exercise at home, my son is right by my side. He’s holding my hand, laying next to me and stroking my arm. When we release our grip on control, our hands are free and open, allowing us to feel the presence of our Father.
As I take a deep breath in and exhale out all that swirls through my head . . . 3 kids, a husband, 8-10 weeks on crutches . . . I am reminded Who hears me, Who sees me and Who has me. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Father. Thank You, Holy Spirit.
Psalm 18:35-26 The Passion Translation
You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness you strengthened me and made me great! You’ve set me free from captivity and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more!