It makes me crazy…..
I get sweaty. My heart starts racing. I can’t breathe as well as I did before that thing that makes me crazy started. What is this thing that turns me into a crazy, claustrophobic, nervous wreck?
The kind of crowds where you can’t walk by someone without bumping them with your purse or smelling what they had for lunch 2 hours ago. The kind of crowd that rock stars love as they add up the dollars in their pockets. The kind of crowd where you wish you were at least without children to watch over.
They were 18 months and 3 years old. The museum was new and every mom, dad and kid within a 100 mile radius was there that day. I knew we should’ve waited another week or two but we were bored with nothing to do and this seemed like a fun thing to do with the girls. But as we were sitting in our uncrowded living room that morning, I could convince myself that nobody else but us had heard of this grand opening shin dig and we’d be the only ones there. We’d surely have the place to ourselves so the girls could run around and touch things and learn with every new stop at a giant bubble maker or static electricity ball! It would be great……..
Reality was different! Isn’t it always? Within about 10 minutes of being at this great fun, learning place I was a wreck. Oh I didn’t let it show too much…..until I couldn’t find my baby girl. Megan was holding my hand but where was Lauren?
I panicked! Here we were in a sea of people who were all suddenly kin to the person who took the Lindburg baby! Where was Lauren? I was sure someone had snatched her up right underneath my nose. I frantically began calling her name and moving through the crowd as quickly as I could manage. I couldn’t believe in that short period of time I had lost my child. I began to frantically call out “Lauren, where are you?” I was a total and complete mess…….
Here is sweet little Lauren a few months before I so rudely lost her in that big, stinky, crowded museum!
Flash forward , oh, about 24 years. I’m older, and wiser. And so is Lauren. She’s no longer a baby but you know how it is…..she’ll still be my baby when I’m 95 and she’s 70! Y’all may have heard about the “Snowpocolypse” that hit Atlanta in late January. I’m afraid we were the laughing stock of many northerners . National news ran stories on this storm. Talk shows talked about it. Even Saturday Night Live included a spot on Weekend Update about it….everything just went completely “caddywhompus!”. All over 2 inches of snow.
It’s all fun and games until someone you love is stuck in it! As people were sitting in their warm, safe homes far from the madding crowd in Georgia , likely making fun of what was going down in Atlanta, the reality was quite different. It wasn’t just snow. It was thick ice on the roads. And it was millions (yes, MILLIONS!…I rarely ever exaggerate!) of people stuck in their cars on Atlanta Interstates and back roads trying to get home. I was safe at home but Lauren, once again found herself stuck and lost in a crowd. And this momma heart was calling out to her “Lauren, where are you??” I was afraid to call her too much because I wanted her full attention on the treacherous road she was facing. But I could barely stand not knowing where she was. So I called people I thought may have reached out to her during the day to see if they had heard from her and knew where she was. Megan had talked to her. And Susan had talked to her and while that relieved me to an extent I still wished for a minute by minute report on where my girl was. For the most part, I was able to control my need to stay on the phone with her and get hourly updates. I only buckled twice during Lauren’s 12 hour journey down a 10 mile strip of road. During that first phone call , she requested something of me that was really just second nature for me at this point in my life….
“Mom, will you please pray for me?”
So while in the flesh I was worried to death about my girl……were other drivers being safe around her; was she staying out of the ditch; was she driving slow enough; was she hungry, thirsty, did she need to go to the bathroom; will she make it safely to Susan’s…..I knew in my spirit that God was with her. I knew that He’d heard the prayers of this Momma and He would in deed protect her from harm. And I had peace.
She might have been lost in that crowd of crazy on Dallas Highway, but she was securely found and safe in the grasp of Jesus. I admit though that even while trusting my daughter’s life and well being into the Hands of the One far more capable than me , I did not close my eyes that night until she called me at midnight saying she was at her destination. Thank You Jesus!
One thing that being a parent has done for me is it’s given me the ability to see more clearly how God must love and care for us. I know how much I love my children. How much more does God love and care for US? He’s the ultimate parent! When even one of us is lost, He pursues us until He finds us……until we find Him.
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” …Matthew 18: 12-14
Pretty sweet words right there! Whether we are figuratively lost and just far from a good place with Jesus or whether we’re literally lost and just not sure which way to go next, He is with us. He’s the ultimate Mapquest!
If I could go back in time and talk to my 26 year old self standing frightened and beside herself with worry in that overcrowded museum that day, I’d say this….”Take a deep breath and don’t worry. God is always with you and He has this. He’s with Lauren and loves her more than you’ll ever be able to. Trust in His protection and care always. …….And by the way, take a look at what you’re holding in your left arm”.
What was in my left arm was my precious one year old giving me the oddest look! What I thought was lost, was right within my grasp. No….it WAS in my grasp. Holding on to me . I had let fear so overcome me that I didn’t even realize that I had been holding Lauren the entire time. Don’t laugh ….at least not too loudly! We’ve all lost things that were right in front of us. At least humor me and pretend you’ve done this too!
So 26 Year Old Self, next time you find yourself so scared over something you can’t see straight, take a good hard soul search and know beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus is there holding tight to your hand. He will never ever ever let go.