Target. I’ve never known a mom friend who can live without it. Or anyone who can bypass that little section right at the front that contains the $1 and $3 seasonal stuff. I’m pretty sure I go there at least once a week. It’s typically a hurried trip to restock on diapers and wipes, so I consider it no more than an errand to be run. I certainly don’t expect my spirit to be renewed there as I attempt to get through the aisles at breakneck speed before the baby needs to be fed again. But on this day, Target became holy ground. Because The Lord spoke into my soul a very clear and impactful message.
We had just strolled our way into the baby section and had literally only been in the store for five minutes when things went haywire. Jacob was loudly wailing about something while flicking cheerios out of his snack cup and kicking his shoes off and Ella was full on screaming. I was holding her pacifier in with one hand while stooping down to take a photo of a bouncy seat we needed to think about buying all while blocking the entire aisle with my monstrosity of a double stroller. I hadn’t even noticed the lady who was right next to me until she spoke. She said, “Mine are fifteen months apart. I can see that yours are close in age too, and I just wanted to tell you that you’re doing a good job. Keep up the good work. You’ll make it through this. It gets easier!” I wanted to cry tears of joy but I didn’t even know why. And then it hit me. Someone actually sees me. Someone sees my crazy mixture of happy but tired but happy and my attempt to get through this day (particularly this outing) and that I’m really trying to do this mom thing right. Isn’t that the affirmation that we all seek? At some time or another, we all crave proof that someone else gets it. That our task is worth it. That we’re not in it alone. Friends, the truth is that there’s always Someone who sees us. Not only does He see us, but even the most trivial struggles of our days are significant to Him.
Our God. He sees the things we don’t talk about, text about, or post on Facebook. He sees every diaper changed, every towel folded, every tantrum diffused, and every lunch packed. He takes note of every tear wiped dry, every hand held, and every cry lovingly soothed. He is attentive to the tiniest details of our days. On the days that we feel unnoticed, unappreciated, and inadequate, it’s important to realize that we aren’t invisible raisers of babies. We are daughters of the Living God, commissioned with the task of braving the trenches in order to raise up these little souls entrusted to us. All for the glory of a God who lovingly ordained these exact moments and carefully planned out every day that we have breath in our lungs. And if we really believe that, we can wholeheartedly trust in the fact that every day (including the struggles that come with it) is uniquely designed to accomplish purposes far beyond ourselves.
And He cares deeply about the mama things that we store away in our hearts – our joy in watching our babies being silly in a bubble bath, our heartbreak over that first skinned knee. He sees all of those things. He is familiar with our daily struggles. He sees me when we are laughing as we build towers with blocks in the living room, and He sees me fighting exhaustion while comforting screaming babies at night. He rejoices with me as I take delight in my children, and He grieves with me when I cry into my cup of cold coffee because of all the things that make motherhood hard on my heart. He is right there beside me, even when I am so distracted that I don’t perceive His presence. And just like that sweet lady in Target, you know what He’s saying? He’s saying, “I just wanted to tell you that you’re doing a good job. Keep up the good work. You’ll make it through this.”
I wish I could say thank you again to that lady in Target for serving as The Lord’s instrument. Friends, He sees us. Being mommy is tough, and sometimes the mixture of joy and pain can be staggering. Sometimes the days and nights are so long it hurts, but there’s a bigger purpose here. All of these things are steps in our race, mile markers in our pursuit of the calling we have on our lives as moms. Some steps are easy and some are hard, but they’re all worth it. Keep up the good work, fight the good fight, run with perseverance the race marked out for you. And know that you are seen, really seen, by a Father who holds your heart in His hands. These mama things are no surprise to Him. He formed, fashioned, and molded you to fit perfectly into this role He’s called you to. And praise God there’s not one place on this journey (even Target) that He hasn’t already stood.
You are the God who sees me. | Genesis 16:13