Without fail, every time I sit down to do something I have deemed “important” (reading the Bible, showering, making that phone call, taking care of *ahem* “business”), I hear those four words that beckon me from what I was doing to tend to the pressing need of whatever child has called for me.
“I NEED YOU!” is never proclaimed lightly. It is always done in such a way that makes me think someone has cut a finger off, gotten a concussion or has single-handedly ended the world (and wants praise for it).
Without fail, I rush to the scene to discover that really, nothing major has happened. Someone can’t button their pants after going potty (though the shower curtain is now suspiciously wet from the wrong side). A brother and sister are fighting… because they’re brother and sister and that is their JOB. Some milk was spilled or a toy can’t be found… whatever the cause of the need, it’s not life-threatening, but it warrants some attention. And that attention must be mine.
Because I’m “Mommy”. No one else can fix “Mommy”-worthy problems, because it’s part of a mommy’s job description: “be readily available to do what is needed when you hear your title being called.” Just think about the last time you were out in public and you heard, “MOMMY!!!!” from a distance. Did you not stop for a second and say, “What?” in your head? Even if your kids aren’t even with you?!
When I first became a mom all those years ago I remember thinking that in order for me to be a “good” mom, I’d have well-dressed children who slept through the night, didn’t talk back, and played well with others. I would also have a clean home, cookies ready for guests and have my kids in activities that would spur them toward greatness from the time they could walk. I would be a good mom if people were envious of my incredible mothering abilities.
Oh, how much I had to learn.
In my thirteen years of “Mommy” I have learned, albeit slowly, that being a mother is not about me looking a certain way or having trophy children. It is not a “title” that I have to earn or live up to. Being a mom is a lifelong commitment to sacrificing oneself for the well-being of another, typically smaller and more needy person than oneself. It requires tremendous sacrifice, perseverance, strength, humor, humility and unconditional love. It is an immense privilege and it is a job that is really, really hard and not for the timid.
Kids are needy. They are demanding. They stretch us to the point of breaking… often.
But they are AWESOME.
“Mommy! I NEED you!” says the girl.
“Why?” I ask.
“Just because I do. I wanted to know you’re here.”
<3 melt <3
Our Father in heaven knows what it’s like, you know. I cannot tell you how often I have cried out, “GOD! I NEED YOU!” and He says, “What do you need today, my dear one?” “I just need to know You’re here… and that I’m not alone.“
So often I feel desperately desperate. I just don’t know how I’m going to keep pressing on through whatever trial I’m facing this day or that. My heart is aching. Or I’m super-excited about what just happened and I want to share it… “Did you see that, God?! Wasn’t that awesome?!”
And He, our great and mighty, loving Father in heaven, says, “Yes! That WAS wonderful!” or “I’m so sorry that you’re hurting. Come to Me and I will give you rest.” And I do. I just curl up in the comfort of His gentle arms and rest. It is a healing rest that only the Father can provide; just like when our kids get hurt or have a really hard day and they just need to snuggle in to their mama’s arms so they’ll know, “everything will be alright”.
Oh, my friends, this journey we’re on as parents is not for the faint of heart, but we were not meant to do it alone. Our Father in heaven is right there leading our way. Our job is to call on Him and invite Him in, and follow His lead. He desires to rejoice with us in our happiness and He feels sorrow with us when we’re struggling. Isn’t that amazing?! The God of ALL creation actually cares how YOU are feeling.
Invite Him in. Call on Him. Tell Him you NEED Him.
He is waiting for you.