Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Messages from Daddy

My sweet daughter is so much like me. This theory has many implications. For example, she can be crying one minute and laughing out loud the next. She loves to make people smile and occasionally goes into a solo performance in the middle of the living room. Unfortunately it also has some negatives, like having a temper, making impulsive (and often downright dumb) choices, and (as we discovered tonight) can be sent into a hopeless downward spiral over a bad haircut. Let me back up a little...

I got this idea tonight, during our little toenail painting, girls night, pretty party, that I should cut Ellie's bangs. She's never had bangs before, and in fact has only had very minor, and very infrequent haircuts. Well tonight, as she was happily playing games on my phone, I started snipping away. As soon as she set the phone down and her eyes locked on the scissors, she launched into a fit to make any angry politician on the senate floor or colicky baby look like an amateur. I was totally shell shocked and caught off guard. When I finally settled her down enough to talk to her she looked at me with her giant, blue, tear-filled eyes and said "Daddy won't think I'm beautiful anymore." I stared at her in disbelief for a moment, and I'm not sure if it was because I could so plainly see the plight of every little girl's heart (including my own) or that she would be so insecure to think that her Daddy's affection would ever be lost but my heart fell to the bathroom tile and shattered for her.

I immediately texted John (who couldn't answer his phone at the moment) and he responded by sending her a voice text. After 10 minutes straight of crying I got her to listen to it. There were many sweet little sentiments in the message but the one that was most significant was "Ellie you are so pretty." After listening to it 5 times (I'm not exaggerating) she settled down. I was able to hold her and pray for her and encourage her and all was well...then she looked in the mirror again...and on it went.

I had to let her listen to the message over and over again for her to finally settle down and go to sleep (after ferociously telling me she did not like her hair and I could never cut it again).

Now sometimes watching these little moments in our lives play out seems significant for reasons we can't yet decode, and other times the parallels to our own hurts and hang ups are so obvious that we're dumbfounded at their lack of subtlety. See I think a lot of really ugly things about myself, and (if I'm being honest) about what God thinks of me. I know the Bible says God loves me, and Jesus died for me, the only problem is that doesn't intersect with my identity very often sometimes. You know how I can tell? I start getting really hung up about things like my saddle bags, and how clean my house is. I might be able to settle myself down enough to listen to a message from God "you are mine, you are beautiful because you're mine" long enough to stop freaking out, but soon enough I'm looking back in the mirror and I'm screaming.

It's as I'm watching my daughter press the play button over and over on that sweet message from her Daddy that I realize, I need messages from my Heavenly Daddy on repeat over and over again, not just once or twice, incessantly,relentlessly, perpetually echoing in my ear:

"John 1:12 I am a child of God"; "John 15:15 I am Christ's friend"; "Romans 6:7 I have been freed from sin's power over me."; "Romans 15:7 Christ has accepted me." And on and on and on (click here for an amazing list of messages from your Daddy).

I must be ever vigilant to remind myself of His words, His truth about me. I must be so ridiculously dependent on them that without them I scramble to get that phone back to my ear, listening to his voice, and his truth. Otherwise, I'm just a sad little girl, crippled by my own fears and lies, staring in the mirror focusing on all I lack.

Martin Luther once said, "entertain no doubt of God's love and kindness", I'm learning...moment by moment, to live this as reality. So tomorrow morning, when she looks in the mirror and remembers she has bangs, I'll begin pressing the play button on my phone for her again and again, all the while pressing the play button in my own mind...for myself.


John Schmidt said...

And I wasn't lying when I told her she was pretty. Even though I am not the biggest fan of her bangs, I was able to get a small glimpse of God's love for us. I can't look at that girl and see anything but beauty. I am blinded to anything else. In Christ, we are like that. The Father can't see anything but beauty when He looks at us. Now I understand that just a little bit more.

joy christian said...

First time to be here, and the couple posts I read are beautiful. God is so gracious to use our lives to reveal his loveliness. Thanks for sharing yours... Truth is a wonderful gift!

Katie said...

Very cool story - and that is so neat that you can take ordinary events like this in your life and extrapolate what God is teaching you.

Ellie is very lucky to have an earthly father to tell her she is beatiful. Many children (me included as a child) do not have fathers. She is also lucky to have both parents to point her to her heavenly father.

You are right how adults need the message from God that He sees us as beautiful. We can be busy sewing our 'fig leaves' as Mitch Majeski would say to make us feel beautiful. But God sees us as beautiful because of justification on the Cross. Thanks again for sharing.