One of the main reasons I started writing this blog is to bring encouragement to those dealing with the same things I’ve experienced. My life has been far from perfect, and my hope is that people struggling with hardship will be glad to know they’re not alone. And more importantly, there is a God who loves them and would never leave them, no matter what they’ve done or what they’ve been through.
So in the spirit of making sure everyone knows for SURE I’m not perfect, let me share my all time worst “Mom Fail” moment with you.
In late spring of 1993, we were living in the little military/farming community of Goldsboro, North Carolina, and we were leading the college ministry at our church. Richard, Jay, William and Robbie — affectionately known as “The Fellas,” were in our class, and they were my 2 year old and 4 year old little girls’ best friends. They couldn’t wait to see The Fellas at church each week, or to have them over at our house.
We’d gotten into a routine after Wednesday night Bible study. The Fellas would go pick up Lindsey and Kaitlyn from their Mission Friends class and meet us in the parking lot. It was the highlight of the girls’ week! They would jump in the Fellas’ arms and squeal all the way outside, and then they’d run and play with them while we stood by our cars and chatted with everyone else.
This particular Wednesday night was like all the other Wednesday nights in the past couple of years. Except for one small thing — my newborn son, Daniel was now part of our family, and it was his first week in the nursery.
I was so used to the routine after class, that I walked right outside to visit with friends and waited for the girls to finish playing with the Fella’s. I was standing there just a flappin’ my gums when I saw the nursery worker coming out of the building carrying precious cargo — my baby. My heart hit the pavement.
Did you forget something, Dee?
Why yes. Yes I did.
I could make a lot of excuses — it wasn’t part of my normal routine! I must have had postpartum fuzzy brain! The Fella’s should have gotten him too when they got the girls! I mean, they were right there on the same hall!
The bottom line is, it wasn’t anyone else’s responsibility. It was mine. My baby should have been my first thought, but instead I was doing what I was always doing on Wednesday night. I didn’t change my normal schedule to add picking up my son.
Who could forget this precious little feller?! (Of course it’s out of focus — before digital cameras, filters and iPhones hit the scene, we didn’t know what pictures would look like until we got them developed!)
I’m sure I would have realized I was missing a child as soon as we started to get in the car. He wasn’t left in the nursery for more than 15 minutes past normal pick up time, and he was never alone. He had no clue anything was amiss! But the fact remains:
I forgot my son in the nursery.
I can hear the scratching noise of people marking my name off the nomination page for “Mother of the Year” right now. I don’t think I have ever been more embarrassed of my parenting skills!
What could I have done differently? I really couldn’t prepare for it in advance because I never DREAMED I would do such a thing! I was BORN responsible! If I’d thought I could’ve been that forgetful, I would have written a note on my hand:
Don’t forget to pick up Daniel in the nursery, Doofus!
If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I spent some dark times thinking God had forgotten about me as well. I must have thought God was the same kind of parent I am, at least for a little while. I have to constantly remind myself that He is a MUCH better parent than me!
Comfort can always be found in God’s Word. We find that the Israelites struggled with the same fear I have had when we read Isaiah 49:
14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
The Lord sought to relieve those fears, and it should ease ours, too:
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
It’s VERY hard for a woman to forget her child (unless you’re me!), but even if she does, God never will. He will never forget us, never forsake us, never fail us.
Read on and you’ll find out God has a tattoo — more or less. I may or may not be taking some liberties with semantics, but you get the picture. Check out the next verse.
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
Why did God do this? Is He in danger of forgetting us, like I forgot my baby? Did He need to make Himself a permanent reminder not to forget His children? Of course not. The first word of that verse shows us why He engraved us on His palm. He said, “See?” It’s not to remind HIMSELF. It’s a visual aid for US. It’s to show us proof that He hasn’t forgotten us.
In that same way, Jesus used physical evidence on His palms to prove His resurrection to Doubting Thomas in John 20:27,
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.
God’s engraving of us on His palm, and Jesus’ nail scarred hands are there as proof of the Father’s love in tangible evidence to us — for our benefit, to help us to believe and not to doubt. Only love could make them put permanent reminders, “tattoos” if you will — of us, because of us, and for us, on their palms. Proof of a perfect love that never fails, never forgets.