It was Wednesday night and Josh wasn’t home. I was putting the kids to bed myself. They’d been bathed, brushed, dressed, read to, sang to, prayed to, devotionized, the whole bit. It was past bedtime.
The girls had been swimming that day and both needed drops in their ears. I did Edy’s first. Easy peasy.
Then there was Hattie.
She’s had her fair share of ear troubles.
So the moment my sweet girl saw those completely painless drops in my hand and coming her way, she reacted like any three-year-old would. Fangs grew. Horns sprouted. Fire was breathed.
I turned to Edy for a little help. Perhaps she could speak some peace into her panicking sister’s little heart.
“Edy, please tell Hattie. Did those drops hurt your ears?”
Edy’s answer was quiet, but certain. “Yes.”
(And that’s when my horns sprouted.)
With very non-maternal thoughts rushing through my head, I mustered every ounce of self-control I could and sent that poison-tongued little blonde to her room to be dealt with later.
Righteous anger would commence, but Hattie came first.
“Hattie. Hattie. Hattie…” I got down on the floor, eye to her blue little eyes, speaking as softly as I could, trying to break her out of this cycle of fear.
“Hattie, listen to Mommy. Listen.” I took her face in my hands, whispering in my fervency.
“Has mommy ever lied to you, sweet girl?” She shook her head ‘no.’
“Would mommy ever not tell you the truth?” No. She was beginning to calm.
I wiped the tears from her cheeks.
“And I’m not lying to you now. These drops won’t hurt. I promise. You can trust me.”
She seemed to be coming around. All she needed was a reassurance of who I was and what I stood for. Mommy was safety. Mommy was love. Mommy could be trusted.
But then she remembered the eardrops.
I did not know such a tiny human could thrash so hard.
I had my own moment this weekend.
I was filled with fear, and I cried out to God to take it from me. I can’t handle this, God, I said.
His response was quiet, but certain. “But I can.”
That should’ve carried me through. I wish I could say that it had. This circumstance was one not so unlike another I had been through recently, and God had proved himself faithful. I should have remembered that.
Instead, I told God he was cruel. I asked him how he could do this to me. I forgot who he was. I forgot that he is fully trustworthy. For a fearful moment (or two), I believed the lies I had been told about him, and, boy, did I thrash.
God is who he says he is.
(Teasing! But it could be the end ‘cause that’s really the best part of all this.)
There are plenty of lies out there about him, and most of them start with the idea that you can’t really know if what the Bible says is true and therefore if what God says about himself is true.
And I can’t prove it either. I’m not scholarly. (I dropped out of seminary quite quickly and largely because one of my first textbooks used big ugly words like “interplay of historical reportage” and “oracular commitment” and I had a baby for heaven’s sake and could therefore barely remember to brush my own hair. )
I’m not smart, but God and I have some history by now. He knows my weaknesses, and I know that he has none.
He knows my fears, and I know that he holds me close no matter where I am.
He knows that I fail. I know that he doesn’t.
He is trustworthy.
He is who he says he is.
We sent Edy off to kindergarten today with much weeping and gnashing of teeth (on my end.) Hattie has an ear infection after all that, and Christian stops moving only to sleep. It’s just a matter of time until a bone is broken.
I am realizing now more than ever how not in control I am, and that if believe what God says about himself, it’s absolutely better that way.
‘Cause God? He’s got this.
He’s got my kids (and yours.) He’s got my plans (and yours.) He’s got my future (and yours.)
So we can all relax, and stop all that silly thrashing.
What about you? Any other I-want-to-be-in-controllers out there? Where do you struggle to trust God?