Do you have a running list in your head of things you will never allow to happen on your watch now that you are a mommy? Things that secretly you have judged others for, wondering how on EARTH would any good mommy in her right mind allow such a thing to happen? I have a list a mile long. Well today I am eating CROW, feathers and all...
Here is the sweet face of my Sarah Beth, an almost 8-year-old bunch of fun. My mini-me. She is actually 30, just shoved into this tiny body, which is what my mother used to say about her. Here she is serving popcorn at a block party in Laredo. And on our way back from a mission trip yesterday from Laredo TX, in the midst of chaotic car loading between 2 vehicles, i left my sweet Bethy in a Waco gas station stranded on the candy aisle...
For exactly 5 minutes she was left alone as we got to the next exit on I-35 and turned around to get her. She would have been sitting right behind me, but I thought she was reading a book. I never turned around. I assumed she was there. What a foolish assumption I had made. Her oldest sister and a friend let me know she wasn't there. "Stop joking girls," was my first response, as I leaned over to see that it was NO joke. Our friends drove quickly to get off and turn around to get her. In those 5 minutes I prayed against all the fear circulating "what if's" in my imagination.
As I ran into the gas station and called her name, she leapt into my arms and sobbed, "I'm so sorry mommy. I didn't mean to hide by the candy. I was just looking." The guilt! Poor sweet child must have heard me say I am sorry about 100 times in less than a minute.
She had been protected by the sweet ladies working at the gas station, had given them my cell phone number and they were just about to call. I thanked them over and over, climbed into the car, and double-buckled with my sweet Bethy the entire rest of the way home. She never cried. Only her little heart raced. I could feel it as we sat so close. I said,
"How did you feel when you were in the store?" Her response? "I was kind of scared but I knew you'd come back. You wouldn't leave me. And besides, God sent the nice lady with the pretty blue fingernails to protect me." Apparently this was a feature I had overlooked on one of her protective angels:) Humbled by the trust she has placed in me, not knowing of all that could have gone wrong. Not failing to trust in a God who is all-powerful to protect and restore. I am humbled. This defines child-like faith. Oh how her heart must please Him with such a sweet trust.
I didn't cry where she could see me. I didn't cry when she prayed for the lady with the blue fingernails. I cried like a failure when she couldn't see. Moments like these make me understand why people look at me like I have too many kids to keep up with. Moments like these remind me that I am a fool to pretend to have it all together. Moments like these give way to the enemy, who drives me to believe I am a complete mommy loser.
Praise be to God who gives children the grace to forgive, even when we do not mean to fail them. Praise be to a God who can remind me that I AM the best mommy I can be to this crew--this science experiment of life--where I as an only child, am now raising 4. Unchartered waters, which sometimes cause me to think I am drowning. But he is faithful to restore me, through confidence in Him.
I am patching myself up today through the power of His Word, fighting back Satan's "Mother of the Year" speech that he continues to replay.
Ps 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults. And with my song I shall thank Him."