“I really hope this isn’t going to be one of those life lesson moments!” Those were the words that came out of my mouth as my 12-year-old daughter nervously marched onto the soccer field with four of her teammates, preparing for game-deciding penalty kicks. This was the first game of the end-of-season tournament and the score was 0-0, with many attempts to score made by each team. Evie, my daughter, had already played the entire game plus two overtimes. I knew she was exhausted and this was her first time to be faced with trying to make a “PK.”
The sun was going down quickly and it was time. Evie had practiced so many times recently with her dad so that she could be ready for a moment like this.
She walked forward for her turn, took the shot, and the goalkeeper caught it. Evie’s shoulders slumped, and she trotted back to the other girls who immediately consoled her. A tough moment for a sixth grader, and definitely one of those “life lessons.”
When we got back to the car she told me she felt like she let her team down. I reminded her that we still won the game and she had played hard the entire time. She wasn’t convinced. But a little time with friends and some Mexican food afterwards can do a lot for a girl’s spirit!
And now I’ll back track just a little. Upon arriving to the game we, the parents, were given individual pictures of our daughters that we could wear and proudly display. A chance to show off that precious braces-filled 12-year-old smile? The kid with the thick braid and number 10 on her jersey? Sign me up. She’s mine!
I pulled the magnets on the picture tag apart so that I could secure it near my left shoulder. Only problem was that the magnet issued a timely warning that it should be used with caution because of its magnetic force. Glad the warning was there because I almost foolishly placed it over my new pacemaker—not a good idea at all. I considered moving it to the other shoulder but my sweetly protective husband felt that was still too close so I resigned to place it at the bottom of my shirt on the opposite side. Glad to still wear it but a little bummed by the reminder of my condition and it keeping me from placing Evie’s pic up high where I wanted it.
Time to fast forward again. (Keeping you on your toes here!) A couple of days later it was time for the next tournament game. Evie was a little hesitant and nervous that she’d be faced with a similar situation from earlier in the week. She rode on ahead to the game with a friend and I headed that way separately.
Driving along I saw the picture again on the console. I wanted to proudly display that girl and show both her and the world that I love her and that making a blunder in a game isn’t going to change how I feel about her. I clipped it to the bottom of my shirt while sitting at a stop light. My seatbelt was in the way though and I kind of disgustingly took it off, reminded of the reason why I couldn’t wear it by my shoulder.
Then a light bulb went off. I’ll just tear off that magnet and get a safety pin so that I can wear it up high! Simple solution and no need to continue pouting. But I did pout a little more as I struggled to rip off the magnet—sticky little sucker! I was determined that nothing was going to stop me from wearing it! I set it down to continue driving, battling feelings of my desire to show my love for her and hurting about the reason I couldn’t put a dumb magnet where I wanted to.
And then I felt the soft but sure pressing of the Lord in my spirit say “just like I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.”
He was telling me that stronger than my desire to “display” my child (with the main intent of her knowing and seeing my pride in her), was His gesture of permanently calling me His own child.
Tears stung my eyes as the warmth of His reassurance washed over me. He was using Evie’s missed shot, the picture, and my pacemaker to get my attention. And it wasn’t just for me. I knew instantly it was for you too. Even though I stumble and have to ask forgiveness more than daily, He has not tossed me aside. Even though I have a specific medical need, it doesn’t mean that He has forgotten and left me alone in it. And as much as I wanted to show that my daughter belonged to me, He was reminding me that He cares even more about his own children. So that’s why I’m sharing all this today. Because sometimes we all need to be reminded that in spite of our shortcomings, mistakes, and imperfections, His children are inscribed on His hands.
I didn’t stop loving Evie because of a missed goal (how silly), and our Father hasn’t stopped loving you if you have slipped. If you have chosen His free gift and are covered by the blood of His Son, Jesus, you have no fear of being separated from Him. Mistakes? Yes, we all make them. But confess them to Him and be restored. Run to His loving arms. They are open and ready to embrace you.
I think we moms need that reminder every day. We can feel like we’ve blown it at this “mom thing.” Why would the Lord want to use me if I can’t even keep my patience with my kids? Why would He want to call me His own? Doesn’t He see the mess that I am?
We can also easily feel overlooked and unappreciated in the unglamorous moments of motherhood. Whether it’s cleaning the kitchen for the fourth time of the day, helping with stressful homework, driving kids (and their friends!) around town, wiping runny noses, or keeping the peace between siblings, our role can many times feel unimportant and as if we aren’t doing “kingdom work.” And yet He sees His own hands and thinks of us.
After having time to get alone with God’s word and reflect on what I knew was a piece of Scripture He shared with me that day, I was moved by this entire passage. My prayer for you as you receive this today is that as a believer in Christ, you, dear momma, will reflect on His sincere love for you as His forever-child.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16b, NASB)
Bless you, dear moms. He loves you, sees you, and will not forget you!
Has the Lord met you in a time when you have felt defeated as a mom? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!