The very next morning, I asked God, “What do I do with this? Is this it? Am I healed? It doesn’t feel like I’m done. What’s next?”
He said, “Now… I want you to write this story again as if your mom knew Me and loved you completely. She was showering you with her love.”
That was a tall task to be sure. I wondered if I could do this. I hung back at the keyboard. Could I do this? What does this look like? I had to picture a different mom. I had to manufacture her in my head.
Yet as I began, my fingers flew on the keypad! I was having fun. I was more alive than I was when sobbing over the last two essays. I was energized to see there was another way for this story to go! The flow was mesmerizing. I was so happy for the private time God allowed me for this exercise.
My Beloved, I Will Never Leave You
(Told from Mom’s perspective)
“What’s that? I hear something.
Is it my beloved baby? I walk down the hall, interrupted from my coveted creative time, but she is worth it. I slowly open the door to take a peek at her. From the noises, I can tell she is busy with something interesting. I crack the door a bit more and what! I am taken back by what I see. She has found her poop! I think, oh no I have got a full afternoon ahead of me. Better psych myself up for this! I close the door the odor is seeping through the air. It is putrid. My goodness, what did I feed her that smells that bad? Hwooee!. I head back to my project and quickly close up the linseed oil and the turpentine I left open. I put away what I can and prepare for the battle.
Back down the hall, my darling is painting away. She has captured my creative side already! I head in smiling. She sees me. I have a towel ready to pick her up with, trying to catch all the fall-out as we head to the bathroom. Oh! the smell is awful, but her smile is captivating.
What a mess. But her sweetness is overwhelming the offensive odor that is searing into my nostrils.
Once in the tub, I act quickly and keep my smile and look into her eyes, so she knows I love her even though this is hard on me. Oh! the laundry I will have to do today. Good thing it is late morning and it’s a sunny Mississippi day.
Look at her! She is such a blessing. She must never know this is a chore for me. She has no idea. And I know she didn’t do this on purpose. I was hoping to get a good start on that project that has been on my mind for the past several weeks. It can wait. Another day won’t hurt.
Wait till I tell my hubby! He will laugh. We can have a good laugh and maybe I might have to cry too. This girl is so precious. Look at her smile. Here comes the soap and the waterfalls! She loves taking a bath. This is one of her favorite things.
“All clean again for now! How about some lunch, Monica? Are you hungry after you completed your project? Let’s go to the kitchen and get in your highchair. There. Now mommy can make your lunch.” “Look at what a beautiful day it is, Monica. Look outside. Oh! see the birdy? It’s sitting right there. I’ll pick you up so you can see it.” She loves learning new things. She is so inquisitive and attentive to the things I show her. I hope we can always share times together.
“Lunch is ready! Here we go. Let me grab a chair and sit down with you and help you. Oh, let’s look at this, green beans and grapes and oatmeal. Oh my. You are so hungry! You must have worked up an appetite this morning!”
“Okay, how about you join me in your room? You can sit in the highchair while mommy cleans up the mess in there. Okay?” I grab up the highchair after putting the dirty dishes in the sink. She is so tired she is leaning on the side of the chair. I carry the whole kit ‘n kaboodle down the hall. All the while I sing about the yellow bird sitting on a tree to her. She looks up at me with love. We move to open the door and the stench has saturated this room. I am repulsed. But I keep a smile. She hasn’t noticed the smell. She is trying her best to stay awake to keep me company. I look forward to the future when she is older, and we can laugh and talk together.
She is just about asleep in her chair. I feel bad about the position she is in, but I need her to keep out of the mess as I clean up. Oh! and the boys will be home soon. I have to clean efficiently to have time to greet them at the bus stop. Monica should have a sufficient nap by then. She loves her brothers and gets so excited when they come home and play with her.
“Well, that’s it. The last of the laundry is on the line.” I had to open some windows to help move the smell out. But that’s okay. It's just one afternoon. I gently moved Monica to her clean fresh sheets and blankey in the crib. There was poo everywhere! She really worked it into the crevasses! I will probably find places I missed next week when I clean in here again. Oh well. She stirred a bit, but a peaceful look is on her face. She has had a wonderful day! And so have I. I have so much to be thankful for.
I will make a quick treat for the boys when they get home. I have just enough time to make some Kool-Aid.
Should I tell them about my day? Hmmm. Best not tell all the details. I don’t want them to think ill of their sister. Yeah, I'll keep this one to myself.
They will be so excited to try this Kool-Aid! They haven’t had this flavor before. Oh, she’s stirring! I'm going to sneak up on her and surprise her. Who knew having kids would be this much fun?
“Boo!” She smiles and rolls over to pull herself up on the crib. I stand up from my crouched position. And grab her up and twirl her around. Yes, it smells much better in here now. It will be our secret.
At the finish of the essay, I asked God, “Is there more? What’s next? Thank you so much! That was fun!”
He said, “Write it from your perspective as the baby.”
“What? How do I …?”
HE DIDN’T MAKE ME WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT DAY THIS TIME! It had to happen that day!
There was a sense of urgency in finishing this today. He provided me the time again.
(Told from the baby’s perspective)
I wonder where mommy is? I am alone and want company. I want to play! Mommy! Mommy!
I roll around and stand up and oh something’s happened. (Diaper fell down). What’s that? Oh, it's squishy. And maybe this will be fun to play with. I can paint like mommy does!
Whoa, this is fun!
I’m making swirls and patterns like mommy does when she holds a pen and writes on paper. She told me that. Pen, paper, write. She showed me. Just like she showed me how she paints. Her paints are colorful, but this will do for me. Oh, let me get up and call for mommy again. Oh wow! My hands don’t grab the rails like normal. I fell down but it was fine. Let me try to roll over and get up that way. Mommy!
Oh! there she is!!! Mommy look! I write like you do. Look, I paint like you do!!! I wanted you to come and play and here you are! What’s the matter, mommy? You look like something is wrong. Oh, there’s your smile! She assures me she will be right back. I look around pleased with my write and paint.
Here comes mommy! She has an apron on now and carrying a towel that has many colors on it. She swoops me up in her hands but doesn’t hold me close. She is taking me somewhere. Oh, the bathroom. Is bath time already? Oh wow! I love bath time. But this time it’s different. Mommy seems to be distracted with something. Oh, there she’s smiling at me again! I love mommy! She scrubs me a little harder than usual but it's fine. We drain the tub and start over. Okay, this is better, but now she is more fun. We laugh and play in the water together. She says we are all done! She brings me to her and hugs me tight. I love you, mommy! She holds me close, and she talks about having lunch.
We go to the kitchen, and she swings me around and sits me in my highchair. I am comfortable except I am hungry. I just realize this, and I want food now. She is making something, and I try to wait patiently. She makes food fun. She makes everything good together. I like you, mommy.
Oh boy! Food! It’s here and she is sitting down with me. This is the best part. We are together. She says, “spoon,” as she points to the spoon. I already know this but she does it anyway. She feeds me my meal. I am so happy. This is a fun day!
After lunch, I’m pretty tired. I don’t want to fall asleep but I watch mom clean up the dishes. She is coming to me. She whispers something to me. I am sleepy. She brings me and the whole chair into my room. It smells funny in here and she tells me it does. She scrunches up her nose and makes a funny face. I want to play some more but … mommy is busy now.
her… (snores softly). (Smile on face)
It was just me and my laptop and this huge assignment. Looking back now, I see I needed to know how to receive this kind of love. Or THIS KIND LOVE. I was amazed at the love that I felt for this mom of mine. I truly loved her. She was so kind and tender-hearted toward me. I had no idea that I had made so much extra work for her that day because she seemed to love what she was doing the whole time and there was no doubt that she loved me!
I felt like I had accomplished something monumental in my life. I am not sure if it healed me, but something had changed inside me. I am set free from something. I know it! I wanted this healing even if there is more to it! I asked God every now and then, “Is there more to this? What’s next?”
What a picture of what it means to belong to Jesus. And what He wants to do for us. In our mess, in our shame, in our dirty place, He picks us up with joy. He sees beyond our filth. He loves and values the person behind the crap. His love is so kind. His joy in His creation is so deep. His love for us is incomprehensible. It’s as deep as it is wide, and high, and long. His love is unfathomable.
Ephesians 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
That is why we have such a hard time grasping that He loves us and that His love sees beyond our mess. He sees us where we are, and He sees who we are and yet still showers His blessings and benevolence on us if we let Him. There is no shame inside His arms.
Isaiah 54:4a Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth…
There is no guilt. There is no awareness of any of this if we look into His face. His eyes tell the story. His heart overflows. He is in love with us. He even likes us. He is never disappointed in us because He knows we will make messes. He knows we will be curious, and creative. He made us that way. Why do we struggle with the message that He loves us, each, individually? Why do we limit Him? Why do we set up walls and boundaries with the only One who can love us this way? He’s not afraid of our messes. He’s not put off by our stench. He finds His joy and fascination with us. We can find strength in the Joy of The Lord!
Nehemiah 8:10c … For the joy of the Lord is your strength.
He is smiling when everyone else is frowning. He states the possibilities when everyone else is negative and finds faults with us. He says yes when everyone else says no-way! He delights in us when we are being ourselves. He gently moves and works around us to help us see more clearly what He wants for us. He provides the necessities we need when we need them. He lifts us out of situations and cleans our hearts, cleanses our situations, and puts us back into them. He does this knowing it will all get messy again in time, and He will have to do it all again. To Him, it’s a labor of love. He’s not in any rush, or hurry to get to the next project or the next thing. He has the time and the patience to deal with anything we get into. He wants to do this, He is willing to do this, has done it in the past, and is promising to do this for us in the future. He will always be there with us and for us. There is nothing more important to Him than you. Keep in mind, that His love is not authoritarian, not a dictatorship, it is powerful and direct but with integrity and a future and a hope attached to it. He is not selfish, nor does He read into our actions because He knows our hearts. He has an ultimate plan for us but it is to bless us and prosper us. His actions toward us are for our good and for His glory.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
He rejoices over us because His banner over us is love.
Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.
He rejoices when we do well, He delights when we learn the truth and practice it. He bears all the things that we throw at Him. He believes the best about us. He endures all things. He operates in hope for us when we can’t muster up hope for ourselves.
He never fails us. We must trust Him with everything in our lives including ourselves.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never fails…
(I changed Charity to love for context)
By Monica DuBois