Oh, YOU’RE Annie’s mom!
Oh, you’re ANNIE’S mom!
Oh, you’re Annie’s MOM!? I know, I look young enough to be her sister, right?, I’ve resisted replying to this intonation.
Any way you say it, I’m proud to be Annie’s mom! It’s much better than other things I’ve been known for lately (remember when I was G2P1 carrying a deformed fetus?). Now I’m toting that super cute, 5-month-old, laughing, grinning, drooling, babbling, hair-pulling former fetus around Little Rock on my hip. And loving every second.
But lately I’ve felt like something isn’t quite right. It’s a peculiar feeling to be “famous” for something so unwanted, so awful, so I’d never live through again. It’s different to enjoy my baked potato pizza on a Larry’s Friday night and detect a conversation about our family underneath the spatula scoop of honey mustard chicken. A wife mouths to her husband, mid chew, “There’s baby Annie,” and throws her head in our direction. Another family swallows bites of Bavarian cream and waves to their kids playing in the game room, “That’s baby Annie, who we’ve been praying for!” All the while I smile casually and rhythmically bounce Annie, who is weekly lulled to sleep by the pizza parlor hum, while I try to keep a quick eye on Audrey taking tokens and tickets from 7-year-old arcade victims.
Some of Annie’s fans have even claimed she’s super baby, the star, and Little Rock’s favorite baby. While I fully agree that she is and could be all of these things, something keeps catching in my spirit. I love that people recognize her. I love that children have learned about prayer through her long-lived hospital stays and have prayed hundreds of thousands of prayers for her. I love that people connect with Annie’s story and want to support us by giving financially and buying t-shirts and sharing Annie’s victories with friends around the globe.
But I don’t want Annie to be famous. I want God to be famous.
I want people to know Annie’s story as God’s story. I want people to see the unbelievable challenges that Annie has overcome and see the only hand that has brought her through. I want people to not think, God gave our family what he knew we could handle, but to see instead that no family or individual could possibly survive the dark days we’ve shuddered through.
And that’s the point. We haven’t done this. We cannot walk this every day. Annie hasn’t simply fought hard enough to defeat her physical conditions and been resilient enough to pull through. We haven’t been kind enough to our community to gain such an overwhelming outpouring of financial support.
It’s God. We couldn’t and can’t handle this. God gave us more than we could ever imagine handling. Because then our lives shout to a watching world that HE can handle it. God has carried us through every desperate, laborious, bedside day. God has held Annie on operating tables and in recovery rooms. God has provided the money for us to pay the steep price to save Annie’s life.
So when people look at Annie, I don’t want them to see Annie. I want them to see God, the one who made her and whose glory her life declares.
“All of life comes down to just one thing: that’s to know you, oh Jesus, and to make You known.”