Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Once again God has blown through our house and left an almost tangible sweet aroma of His presence.

It happens like it most often does -- the glorious embedded in the mundane.

It was just another night. The day was long and this mom of four was dragging -- despite the forty-five minute cat nap my husband had gifted to me while he made dinner. Sure...the morning spent at Bible Study was permeated with God's presence and a fresh revelation of His love for us. It was a bittersweet time of repenting for behavior and attitudes that are not Godly, but also experiencing the overwhelming and surpassing Love only a heavenly Father could lavish upon his humanity-scarred daughter.

But the aftermath was spent with quotidian activities: a grocery run, van refueling, playground escapade, bickering siblings and struggle during a pushed back home school session left me feeling like I lost the battle today.

And even though I am valiantly attempting not to give into to fear and worry over a daughter who has been bruised by bullying, I often find myself looking at her and wishing I could fix the ache in her heart.

We have been doing our best to get her on the road to healing -- including taking her to a counselor weekly to talk about the trauma; inviting family members to participate in rebuilding her crumpled self-esteem; praying, praying and more praying; writing out a scripture for her to think on (something that my own mother did for me in a time of crisis -- however, this time around it was not received with much enthusiasm unfortunately) and assuring her of our love and the value she has in our family and in God's eyes.

We're doing our best...

We're doing....

But, it's not enough.

Yes, we are seeing some progress -- little glimpses of the old more carefree child from a few years ago. There are hints that some of that hurt is being broken down.


And I've been thinking all day today of something a friend said around the table at this morning's Bible Study concerning a God-ordained incident that happened this past Mother's Day. Her husband was moved to bestow forgiveness upon a mother who most would agree would never hope to earn it. God showed up and brought reconciliation and a path towards restoration.

Only God.

But it was something she said after that...she said, "This entire situation has shown me how much God doesn't even need us to accomplish His plan."

I nodded knowingly with the other ladies at the table. I knew what she meant, but in my heart I was questioning. What? God doesn't need us to accomplish His plan? Well, I know he doesn't necessarily need me, but doesn't He want my participation? My help? Aren't I important in this equation of life? Doesn't he want me to be a part of my daughter's soul healing?

Me. Me. Me.

And so there I was not so long ago....mascara smudged eyes from my brief nap, hair all askew, doing the "mom thing" and making my beautiful babies cookies for National Chocolate Chip Day.

It was about as everyday and mundane as it could get.

But then God showed up.

I had noticed that my daughter had selected a Veggie Tales disc to watch before bed...and I vaguely registered that it was "A Snoodles Tale," one of my husband's favorites -- one that he loves to show his high school students every year about how "The Great Artist" made us just the way we are and how He delights in His creation.

But I didn't expect what came next.

As I blended flour into creamed sugar and butter, she bounded into the kitchen and promptly started scribbling something on paper. This is a fairly normal occurrence for her, since she loves to draw and write poetry.

However, this time was different. As she proudly bustled over to show me what she had penned, I saw that it wasn't a poem or drawing.

It was scripture.

And here is what she wrote down,

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
                                                          --Psalms 139:14"

And I got it...

God doesn't need me.

He can use a children's animated program to show my daughter how precious and dear she is to Him. How she is not an accident. How he created all the things she despises about herself to be just that way. He loves her -- just the way she is.

She got it.

And I know that I know that God's message is infinitely more powerful than anything her earthly mother could share with her. She was listening to the voice of her heavenly Father -- the one who breathed life into her little body and knit her together inside me.

I learned another BIG lesson on trust tonight. Although I thought I was trusting in God to provide healing for my precious baby girl, I assumed that He would use me to bring it about.

And I know that my sweet girl was probably able to hear and receive God's message tonight due to all the tears, prayers, and time sown into her heart over the last few weeks and months.

But when the moment of revelation came, it was all Him.

Just as it should be.

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