Lately, I feel like God is on a campaign to break me free from parts of the control freak, Type A, personality in me while simultaneously delighting me with new ways my children can shoulder some more responsibilities. Delegation and letting go of control can be hard at times. I’m grateful for what He is teaching me. First and foremost, He is teaching me I can’t possibly—and don’t have to—do everything that needs to be done. Can any of us?
Particularly in the past few months, as we grow ever closer to publication of Not Just on Sundays, I look around and cry out: “God, please help me! Who is going to do that part of it, because You and I both know that isn’t my skill set.” And then I looked over, and one of my kids was smiling at me. “That’s Your provision, God? Can we both laugh right now?” But the last laugh was really on me. He makes us strong where we are weak, but only when we give Him the reins. The decision part is all us, consequence and all.
So I was sitting next to a pile of stuffed animals that needed mending, but I really needed to make my writing deadline, and yet that pile (and my 8 year old waiting on repaired toys) was quietly causing me guilt. And my 11 year old daughter (affectionately named Chickie—but just in our house) came and sat next to me.
She then quietly asked: “Can I do it?”
“Do what?” was my response, as I wondered what on earth she was referring to? Write my blog for me? Answer emails? Sit next to me and guilt me that I wasn’t offering amazing quality parenting time right then? What? What? Whaaaattttt?!
And she replied: “Sew the toys.”
And my heart melted because she didn’t come to suck up more of my resources (don’t we parents feel that way some days—do they really have to eat three meals a day?). She came to be with me. To offer help.
Wow! Jesus does that. He sits with us and waits for us to notice Him and ask for help.
I was so humbled by my daughter that I quickly encouraged her: “Yes, yes, yes, yes! You want to take over stitch nurse duty? I have waited 14 parenting years for this! I don’t have to sew another plush toy? Yes, yes, yes!”
And I was so filled with gratitude not only for her but for God Who sent someone so obvious to help me. That He cared enough to send her to me when my face was still locked in a screen. She found every torn stuffed toy and clothing item she could find, and she sewed her heart out that night. I didn’t even know she could do that. She didn’t even know she could do that. I never taught her. She just sat down and did it. By my side. We were able to be together, and she felt like a grown-up sewing for me.
I hate sewing but deeply admire, and am in permanent awe of, those who love it, so in that one moment, every cub scout and martial arts badge I had to ever sew was winking at me.
Every ripped-open plush howler monkey,
mouth-stitch-drooping Pooh bear,
hat-tearing Smurf in retirement, and
overdressed Build-a-Bear reopening its back contents all over the floor
—in that one instant—
changed primary care providers!
Turns out Ugly Smurf (my name for him) wasn’t alone! I was in retirement too!
There was a new stitch nurse at Plush Toy Med Center, and I wasn’t it!
And I still have a lot to learn about His provision, about my personal control issues, about my often wrong assumptions, and about a growing young lady’s heart to come alongside me and help. I’m fully convinced He sewed using her hands because He loves us both that much. And if we’re listening, He has a beautiful thing to teach us both.
Where can we each learn to let someone do something for us, delegate, let go? I bet there would be more room in our lives for sweet moments and that we’d learn a lot in the surrendering.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Apostle Paul speaking
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 46:1, Sons of Korah speaking (singing)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.