Tuesday, September 6, 2011

bye bye baby

allow me to introduce you to 'baby'...

...she has been lucy's best bud since she was a 'baby' herself.  baby isn't always treated the way a best friend should be treated {i.e. thrown out of grocery carts, rolled over by wagons, bitten in fits of rage} but she and my preschooler have been nearly inseparable for 3 years.

we had an episode with baby last week.
let me explain.

imagine a crazy post-nap rush with 3 kids {my 2 plus my friend heather's 1}.  rousing grumpy toddlers, quickly taking care of everyone's toileting needs...everyone dressed?  everyone have a pair of shoes?  ok...we've got places to be at very specific times and we need to be out of the door 5 minutes ago!  buckle carseats.  got my purse? keys?  ok...heading out...
rolling down the driveway the 'episode' begins...

no baby.

must i keep up with myself, my 2 kids, all of our stuff, AND that stinkin' baby???  i make one last mad dash through the house but baby is no where to be seen so we are going to have to leave without her.  i knew it would be difficult but i had no idea that i was in for the mac daddy of all meltdowns.

when i return empty handed, apologizing, and reassuring that we will get baby as soon as we return i am met with what could only be described as an irate, inconsolable demon child.  there is screaming and crying and yelling and kicking and red-faced rage...for t-h-i-r-t-y minutes {that seemed like an eternity}.  somehow i remain calm as God begins to reveal to me just how dysfunctional this relationship between my girl and her baby has become.
i started thinking that maybe this needed to happen.  had to happen some time, right?  at least at this particular moment my friend is in the car to help keep me calm and ensure the accountability i need to not pull over the car and turn into demon mommy.

i start praying.  

God - give me peace and patience and understanding.  console lucy.  she thinks she needs that ratty old baby but all she really needs is You.  i want her to know that.  i want her to discover that baby only provides false security.  seriously...what is a 2 pound ball of fabric with a plastic face going to do to protect her?  to help her?  to comfort her?  to give her true peace?  God - i pray for true peace for her...not the temporary, artificial kind that doll has been providing her with for 3 years.

despite my prayers, the kicking and screaming continues but i feel a peace...a real peace...that God is going to answer my prayers.

after running a couple of errands we reach our final destination - the Y.  our plan was to take the kids to childcare and exercise for a bit.  hmmmm...not sure how that is going to work out considering lucy has only been there one other time and she was clinching baby walking in and out.  i feel this nudging to give it a try.  if i am confident she will be confident.  right?

i walk the hysterical child inside explaining that she has 2 choices - 
#1  go on into the classroom with her brother and friends and have a great time {without baby}
#2  sit outside on a bench with me and do nothing...let the opportunity to play and have fun pass her by {also without baby}

she chooses the bench...of course.

a couple of minutes pass and then the miracle begins to unfold...
me:  well - there goes addison and baylor.  i know they wish that you would go play with them.  sure would be fun.
lucy:  ok

what???  'ok'??  that's it??
she stands up, takes my hand, and walks right inside with her friends.  
i'm still not convinced it could be that easy.  for my entire hour long work-out i keep waiting for one of the childcare workers to come get me.  to tell me that she couldn't make it.  never happened.  i walked back to pick her up with joy in my heart but i had no idea what awaited me.
do you ever have a moment that you wish your memory would catch and hold onto tightly forever?  this was one of those moments.  as they called lucy out for pick-up i saw my sweet girl round the corner with the biggest ear-to-ear grin...running...bounding...curls flying...and her face said it all...

i did it!

from false security.

what i realized was that false security never completely satisfies us.  for lucy her false security was found in a doll but for us it can take the form of money or power or drugs or a relationship or being 'good'.  somehow these things never really gives us what we need.  

every other time i have picked my girl up from anywhere she has walked out just as she has walked in - clinching that baby.  seemingly 'ok' but in her heart still unsure.  still without true peace.  that day i witnessed my girl sit her false security aside and step out in faith.  it was scary but she did it...and i was so proud.  
i know it won't be the last time in her life that she will pick up something completely inadequate and hope that it will fulfill her but i pray that when it happens again she will quickly learn to set it aside and step instead into Jesus' arms of grace to find true peace...and freedom...

today lucy started preschool.  

when she walked through the door she left baby behind...thank you God for tiny miracles that make such a huge difference...
thank you for giving us strength to let go of the things that keep us from You...

whatever is providing you with false security right now i am praying that God will instead fill you with his completely satisfying joy and peace and give you the courage to set your 'baby' down...

i pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
romans 15:13