Recently I had the joy of spending time with my two youngest grandchildren, ages 5 and 3. If you ever want to reminded of what really matters most in life (and in you) listen to the words of a child – really listen. There is a reason God admonished us to become as little children if we want to enter into His kingdom. And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 11:3) Childlike faith. We truly need to BE like them in all of their wonder and faith and joy and unwavering love.
My granddaughter who is 5 going on 12, had some wise insights for me about my own self. I just had to really HEAR what she was saying. First, she got real close to my face and said, “Nani, you have some white hair there!” I said, “Thanks, I know that! I gotta color it!” She replied, “Why? I like it that way. Don’t change the color.” I just laughed. Then the next day I explained a toe surgery I am about to have to fix my feet. She said, “Why? I like your feet this way. Don’t change your toes.” I REALLY laughed that time! Without any further description, I’ll just say that one of my sons had named my dislocated toes “alien feet”. That should tell you enough information to understand why I laughed that she would be okay with them.
Listen To The Love
THEN I listened between the lines; I listened to love. She doesn’t care if I am getting older – she says we will always be best friends. My hair color, my age, my alien feet – none of it matters to her – it all adds up to just parts of the sum total of who she knows and sees me be. She does not want me to change a thing about myself! That girl sees me in a way I do NOT see myself but I realized, I want to! She doesn’t see my flaws! I want to remember WHO I was before the world told me otherwise and tried to shut me down!
Each of my grandchildren became the lifeline of my life after I lost my husband. In them, I could once again see the future. I could see him in them; I could see US in them. Year after year I pour into them and they pour back into me.
I have questioned so many parts of myself because of my healing journey from a past before my husband became my refuge. And I had held back my own healing because of being and feeling so safe under his covering. I have come to learn that was a good thing. But I thought maybe it was not – I thought maybe my ability to adjust my sail against any wind that blew was possibly just from me living in my lie. I thought I lived in LaLa land and that I ruined all God’s plans.
You can’t ruin God’s plans. He IS God.
He Knows You
On my best and worst days of living out MY life, He knew exactly and precisely WHO I was. HE KNEW THEN AND HE KNOWS NOW WHO I AM. And He has loved me all along! “The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.’” (Jeremiah 31:3)
He knew me when I was covered and when I was uncovered, broken – shamed – confused – lost and struggling just to ‘become’. We are each much like a caterpillar inside of a cocoon, who MUST struggle against its own self, to survive and become. Please get that visual in your head. The fight is with yourself. It is YOUR struggle. It must happen. So I guess we should learn not to despise the fight so much. Struggling does NOT make you a failure. That tiny caterpillar is my hero of the insect world! He never gave up. After the fight, then the grand finale…a Butterfly!!!
Childlike Faith: Final Words
All I hope for, for myself is that when all is said and done and I have closed the book on my life story, that the last words will say, “She never gave up.” My granddaughter, with her childlike faith, reminded me of how great God made ME! She reminded me that LOVE is the greatest gift I get to give and receive as I live it out. You are not defined by one or two (or more) chapters of your life that you keep re-reading with shame and regret. You are not defined by your shame and your guilt. When you can rest in His love for you, like a child who rests in her father’s arms, it will revolutionize your life. You will be able to really and truly LIVE.