I’ve always known the question would come. But I certainly didn’t expect it from a 1-year-old. I had plans of initiating an official conversation. You know–someday when she was ready. Or…when I was ready.
Annie pressed her baby tightly under her chin and “shhh-shh”d it to nigh-nigh. Audrey rummaged through her doctor kit declaring to be a savior of babies like Annie (how’s that for a 3yo’s career aspiration?). I sifted through the dresser for a comfy outfit to dress Annie in that might last an hour before covered in paint, glitter, milk, peepee, or some other mess.
Annie’s humming and shushing turned to an announcement, “Uh oh! Mess! Mess! Uh oh, Momma! Mess!” Already?, I thought. At least she wasn’t dressed yet! I knew we’d left the breakfast in the kitchen, so what could it be?
I turned around to find Annie wiping at her bare chest. She repeatedly rubbed and swiped to rid the “uh oh”–a permanent mess that can’t be rubbed clean.
She had finally found them. For the first time, Annie noticed her scars. And she worked agressively to clean herself up.
I wasn’t ready! I didn’t have my Bible in hand open to Psalm 139. I hadn’t prayed first and sat her down to explain God’s goodness in her suffering and faithfulness in her present stability. I hadn’t defined survivor and chosen or shown her the thousands of prayer cards offered on her behalf. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth!
But I kissed her and clothed her and began to tell her of the beauty that she bears. Of the miracles that her precious marks declare. Of the Person who will always be known because of a purple line twice cut, a jagged white x cinched tight when the draining stopped, fading dots that once held pacing wires just in case, another white x pulled taut once the tube ran dry, dots on her wrists from continuous monitoring, the circle in her thigh so the meds could squeeze her heart, the oval on her foot from an IV gone wrong.
And many more scars are yet to join the troops. Still, we can celebrate!
We’ve been reading a bedtime book that talks about looking for God everywhere because He’s easy to find. I excitedly explained that because of her perfect “uh oh mess” we even find God in Annie. We pray that others will too!
Later in the car together we danced and sang along to our usual storytime CD. Audrey belted out the lyrics, “God made all of me, so that I can praise Him.” Annie stumbled along “God…me…I pays ’em.”
Yes, dear one, even that heart that doesn’t seem right. Even those scars that don’t feel pretty. Even a lifelong sickness that doesn’t seem fair. God knows all about you (Psalm 139:1) and made every part of you so that you can praise Him.