The gift of reassurance
A lot can change in eleven years. Many of the very somber scars of my heart have occurred in the last decade. But I want today’s blog to be more upbeat. The most celebrated event of our lives was the birth of our baby (who despite all of our best efforts, at ten, is no longer anywhere close to being a baby). Of course, there have been a few other changes, like our remodeling our home, gain a few pounds, lose a few pounds, trips to the hairdresser suddenly becoming more necessary, and instead of chasing toddlers, keeping up with teenagers.
Another difference compared to my life eleven years ago is the way I am able to interact with friends and family on a daily basis. Accepting the inherent dangers, the advent of social media has been a game changer for us. While definitely insignificant compared to the birth of our last child, keeping up with friends and family has revolutionized my world. While we do have cousins a little over an hour away, our parents live more than four hundred miles from our home. Sometimes, my best long-distance “connections” are no farther than a finger swipe away.
Last summer, I came to the realization that our baby girl hadn’t taken her trip to Chicago. Since our Boy Wonder is now a senior, I knew the clock was ticking on how much longer she would even be little. We checked the calendar, cashed in an Amtrak travel voucher, and packed our bags. A big send off by Sister and Sally Gal and I pulled out of the driveway. Sister’s parting words were, “Take lots of pictures and keep us updated.”
Throughout our travels, I posted snippets of our adventures. If it was a new and novel experience, a photo was snapped to document the memory. Don’t get me wrong! The point of the trip was to be with my little girl; so, I only shared highlights with my corner of the world.
Most of the comments were ones about my ridiculous ideas, but one comment completely caught me off guard. While not these exact words, I interpreted the message to be: I hope she appreciates all of this. Why is it that we can have hundreds of supporting comments and uplifting messages, but one small negative interjection can stop us in our tracks? Sucks the joy right out of you. Last year, I received my first hate mail on this blog, and believe me it was vile. At first, I was shocked, then saddened, then really saddened that someone could be hurting so badly to write hate mail about a blog in which I talked about the support we received when Reed died. In the end, I just wanted to find this person and give them a really big hug. I didn’t, but if you know me, that is exactly what I wanted to do.
My transformation didn’t happen instantaneously. The words ate at me for a long time. I actually talked to my pastor about it when our families were having supper one time. The same blog that elicited the vitriolic response was the one that opened the doors on my readership and in the end, tens of thousands of people read it. My sweet pastor gently explained how I would never please everyone and the positive comments far outweighed the one person who was clearly hurting. Just let it go, remembering I share my story to help people.
Which is exactly what I did with that comment on Sally’s gratefulness, I let it in and then I let it out. Or did I? God knows my thoughts, my doubts, my fears, and my hurts. As we were riding in the taxi to the station to head home, I snapped this picture.
Of course, this was after we were two blocks from the station, the first time, and realized I had left my phone sitting on the counter at the hotel. The AMAZING and MOST UNDERSTANDING driver ever let me use her phone to call the hotel, waited with my child on the street while I ran in, and still got us to the station on time. Can you say huge tip and a hug?
Anyways, after I snapped the picture, completely unscripted, my baby girl looked into my eyes and said, “Momma, I don’t know how I could ever thank you enough! This was the greatest trip of my life! Thank you, Momma, for buying me this baby, but mostly for taking me on this trip! I love you!”
God knew . . . as I wiped away tears. God knew that the comment stung what I would like to think is my very tender heart wrapped in a tougher than I have ever expected it would need to be exterior. He also knew when he created this little (and grateful) girl the exact words of reassurance she would say that would forever melt my heart. I am abundantly thankful that he did!
Wherever you are today, may God use someone’s words to whisper into your heart!
From → Faith Family Football