The other night when I tucked Ivy into bed, she was anxious about her upcoming solo at her Christmas program. She’s been sick, and that night she was overcome with fear that she would have to cough during her solo. So I prayed with her, and discussed the options with her, including telling her music teacher she wasn’t up for the solo. I reminded her that the worst that could happen is she messes up, but even then, that’s not so terrible. It’s an, "Oh, well," and the audience will think she’s sweet for even being brave enough to try.
All of this didn’t seem to help, which was evident when I heard her crying in her bed after I left. Sometimes crying feels good and helpful, so I just let her be for a few minutes and went about doing laundry. She kept crying, so I eventually went in and climbed into her bed and snuggled her like “spoons” while she cried. I hoped just being there with her would help.
My daughter. I absolutely treasure her.
We talked a little more, and I reminded her to just pray every time she got worried. She eventually fell asleep, probably exhausted from worrying and crying.
Once when Ivy was about three or four, I asked her, “Do you know why I love you?”
I was appalled when she answered in her cute little voice, “Because I’m pretty!”
Apparently I always called her Pretty Girl, adoringly and innocently. But she began to think that’s who she was. My love was equated with her being pretty.
So I corrected her by saying, “I don’t love you because you’re pretty. I love you because you’re mine. You’re my daughter. You are the one God gave me, and nothing will ever change that. I love you just because you’re Ivy. My little girl.”
She smiled. And I vowed to stop saying how pretty she was! From then on, I tried to remind her that I loved her just because she was mine.
Life can be so difficult. Haha, no kidding, right?? I just feel like I’m always battling to keep up, and somehow never quite able to be all that I want to be or accomplish all that I want to do. It sucks.
I wish I was a better wife.
I wish I could actually stay within our budget and learn how to save.
I wish I could stop overeating.
I wish I were a better housekeeper.
I wish I could stop being irritated by and judgmental of other people.
I wish I weren’t so lazy about cooking dinner.
I wish I would make it a priority to go visit Seth’s grandpa, who is going to be 98 next month and will be gone before long.
I wish I didn’t worry so much about my daughter fitting in and being included.
Last week I was carrying a weight on my shoulders, feeling like a failure for a particular way I continue to let Seth down. I was driving, feeling blue, when God reminded me, “You are not defined by what anyone else says about you. Not even your husband. You are special because You’re mine.”
I started to cry. Oh, yeah, I had forgotten. My identity comes from Christ alone. My identity doesn’t come from all those constant failures that mock me every day. My identity doesn’t even come from all the successes and things I feel proud of: mom, Bible study leader, preschool teacher, friend.
My identity is based on this: I am a daughter of the King.
Nothing can change that. I don’t have to be perfect, successful, and victorious in all that I do. Because I’m His.
Seth and I have been watching The Crown on NetFlix. It’s about when Elizabeth II became Queen. (It’s really good, by the way!) But I bring it up because one of the crowns she wears is gorgeous. Diamonds! And it came to mind while I was praying the other day, because God reminded me I am His daughter, a princess. And all of the insecure emotions I was feeling about myself and my daughter began to ebb. Because I realized that I can hold my head high, adorned in a beautiful crown, which is my inheritance in Christ.
I just happened to be at this point in my Bible reading this morning: Galatians 3:26-29 says, “You are all sons [and daughters] of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
If you know Jesus, you are a son or daughter of the King of Kings. The next time you get discouraged about your failures, or the next time you start to worry what others think of you, or the next time you feel insecure and uncertain about what you’re supposed to do, just stop. Remember Whose you are.
This morning I took some time to “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. I laid my head on the couch and cried, picturing myself with Jesus, Him comforting me through the tears. Just like I laid in bed with my daughter Ivy while she cried, Jesus just sat with me and loved me through all my worries and sadness. He’s so good to me. I’d be lost without Him.
I determined that today I will walk with my head held high. I wouldn't want that gorgeous crown to fall off!