As The Conference came to a close, I was snuggling an exhausted baby girl, feeling her nuzzle in closer looking for a place to crash. The final session was about to kick off, the house lights went down, the media lights started flashing their bright colors. The first chord of music jerked my sweet baby girl back to life. I watched as she took in the scene around her. Her senses fully engaged. Her eyes tried to follow the path of lights as they moved about the stage. Both our bodies vibrated with the rhythm of the drums. Her eyes were so wide, taking it all in, and then a huge toothless grin spread across her face.
As the song played, I watched her. I can’t remember what the song was, but I remember her eyes sparkling back the refracted light of the spotlights. I remember how her cheeks rose up to perfect little semi-circles just under her eyes when she smiled, and the faintest hint of a dimple highlighting that huge smile, as she started making her baby noises to complement the song. I remember how poignantly it struck me. Her innocence, her purity, her absolute faith and trust that all of her needs, for love, sustenance, safety would be met. Everything about her in direct opposition to the pain, hurt, doubts, and fears experienced over the course of a life by the hundreds of other women surrounding her, myself included.
I held her a little tighter, knowing the clock will expire on my ability to protect her from the realities of this world. I tried to soak that song up for all it was worth, remembering we all started perfect, and believing to perfection we will return. I may have been mindlessly singing along with the lyrics, but I remember thinking, praying, for the path she will walk. Praying for our collective strength to walk it well together. Praying that I will not fear the process that has occurred in every life since the dawn of man. Allowing my babies to walk through their own doubts, rebuking lies that try to plant themselves in their lives, questioning God and His love for them, questioning me and my love for them. I am believing they will find the truth through it all, just like their mama did, and that I will have the strength to let them work out THEIR relationship with God, rather than playing the role of meddling/anxious mother. I want to guide them. I want to be there to answer their questions, while not fearing their questions are an indication of my failure, rather a normal part of the progression of their humanity.
My heart ached with the realization, that in 30 years SHE might be one of the women walking up to the alter with tears streaming down her face, asking for help in figuring out where God is in her life. As much as that thought hurt, I couldn’t help wondering if a part of me isn’t also praying she IS that person. I never want to see my babies in pain, no mother does, but I know in this life they will have trials. It says so, in black and white. I don’t get to decide what they will be, but I can decide how I will react to them. I want to react with Love and Grace, not fear and shame. I NEED to believe that she WILL be one of those women who, through her own course, finds her way back to the alter. I NEED to believe that someday her eyes will twinkle just as brightly, her cheeks will rise in those perfect semi-circles, and hopefully her smile will be just as big, letting that hint of a dimple shine, as my baby girl praises her Daddy standing on her own two feet.