Allow me to introduce you to Caroline, the youngest in my brood of five.
God has used this precious little girl to speak to me countless times over the years, hitting me right between the eyeballs with her profound questions and bold proclamations.
She did it again last week.
We were driving in the car – just Caroline and me. Suddenly she broke into the silence, “Mom, do you think I sometimes want to be like other people, or do I just like being myself?”
I was stunned. Did she just say what I think she said? In that split second, as my brain attempted to process the words that had just come out of her mouth, I asked her, “What was that, Caroline?” She proceeded to repeat the exact same question.
Was she asking the question because she intended to follow it with her answer? Or did she sincerely want to know what I thought? Either way, I found myself speechless. How did she have the ability to formulate this deep internal thought into a question? And what drove her to verbalize it to me?
I was speechless for another reason… Caroline had no idea that just days before I had spoken at a young women’s conference about this very topic. She did not know that I had given a talk called “Don’t Fall for the Lies” – a talk born from my own struggle – about how easy it is for us to buy into lies about who we think we should be, instead of living in the freedom of the truth about who we are; and who God created us to be.
This six year old child had just verbalized a thought that has run through my mind a zillion times in a zillion ways – sometimes consciously and others subconsciously… wishing I was more this, or less that. Thinking if only I had this or that quality, I’d be more happy; more likeable, more fulfilled, more whatever.
At this point we were parked in front of our house, and I was scrambling to find a piece of paper and a pen to scribble down the conversation that was taking place between us.
By the patient silence that followed her original question, I knew she was looking to me for my answer.
“You know what, Caroline?” I finally replied. “I kinda think both. Sometimes you might feel pressure to be like other people, but most of the time, I think you’re just free to be Caroline! And that’s exactly what God wants… He wants you to be just who He made you to be!”
As I spoke those words, could I read Caroline’s mind? No. Do I know why she asked that question? No. Do I know what answer, if any, she already had inside of her to that question? No.
But God does. In fact, He knows my sweet little Caroline perfectly.
Just as He does each and every one of us.
And that is why I want to know Him MORE.
That is why I want to know His Word MORE.
That is why I want to pray for my children MORE.
Through that priceless exchange between us, God gave me the gift of a new and deeper insight into Caroline. He equipped me with the words of truth to speak to her, and He also enlightened me to an area that now I need to continually bring to Him in prayer for her.
I could have begun to obsess over her words, creating some catastrophic thought in my head that Caroline is comparing herself to others way too early in life and that something’s terribly wrong. I’m really good at catastrophic thinking, by the way. ☺
ca·tas·tro·phic /ˈTHiNGkiNG/ noun : the act of projecting the worse case scenario on a situation. Thought process commonly experienced by moms and/or anxious people, which pretty much includes every person on the face of the planet at some point in their life☺ (My layman’s definition, of course)
Yes, I could have done what I’ve done all too often – let concerns, anxieties and lies consume my thoughts and steal my peace. But not this time.
Due to my crazy busy life, it took me a few days. But I finally did what I have learned to do:
Don’t worry about anything, PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING. (Phil. 4:6)
I opened my “Mother’s Prayer Companion”, flipped open to Caroline’s page, and jotted down my prayer for her – that she would know how beautiful, unique and special she is just as she is, just as God her Father created her to be. And that when she feels tempted to want to be like other people, or feels she is less because she lacks something she sees in someone else, that she would know the truth about who HE created her to be!
And on the opposite blank note page, I wrote down a few Scriptures that I wanted to begin praying for her and inserted her name…
• What great love the Father has lavished on Caroline, that she should be called a child of God! And that is what she is! (1 John 3:1,2)
• Lord, Caroline is Your masterpiece. You have created her anew in Jesus Christ, so that she can do the good things You planned for her long ago! (Ephesians 2:10)
Today is a new day.
I have no idea what might come “out of the mouths of my babes” today. What I do know is what needs to come out of mine…
“Lord, fill me with Your LOVE, your GRACE, and your TRUTH, so that I will not worry about anything, but pray about everything… knowing Your PEACE will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7)