Sorry it’s been a minute. But, something happened today, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I understood Your heart a little better.
You probably already know why I’m talking, because well… You are God. But, I guess the whole point of prayer is to talk, so I’m gonna tell You what happened.
Today, I was at a traffic light staring at Holland, who was screaming in her car seat because a friend gave her a paper clip during preschool, and she snuck it home in her clothes, and then accidentally dropped it into the abyss that is my car’s floorboard.
Then, despite her desperate pleas, I wouldn’t pull over so she could unbuckle and climb around the car looking for said paper clip.
That made her BIG mad.
We are talking wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth mad.
Now, if she had known I couldn’t pull over because I was hurrying to take her somewhere special before soccer practice, maybe she wouldn’t have minded.
But, she was screaming too loudly about her paper clip for me to explain.
‘You are an EVIL mommy! A wicked step mother! I wish I had a better mommy!’
Un-freaking-believable, right? I gave birth to that little turdlet, and she had the audacity to disown me over a paper clip.
So, I let her mourn and scream. There was no reasoning with her, anyways. She wanted what she wanted.
To Holland, that paper clip was the most valuable thing she’d ever owned.
But, I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘If only she knew what was coming. If only she knew why I wouldn’t pull over. If only she knew I wanted to take her out for ice cream—just the two of us—maybe she would have gotten excited.’
Maybe she would have forgotten about that stupid paper clip.
I had something in store for her that was so much better than a milligram of bent wire.
But, that bent wire was her heart’s desire. She could see nothing else.
I was contemplating this to myself, and I realized, holy cow, God.
I’m no better than my toddler.
I am essentially riding around in life’s car seat, clutching tight to my precious paper clips, and raging at You when one falls out of my hands.
My writing job changes, but I liked my job.
A speaking gig falls between my fingers, but it’s the one I was most excited about.
My husband changes as a human, but I was comfortable with who he was.
‘My paper clips, God! Pull over and let me collect them! PULL OVER GOD, WAAAAAAAH!’
All the while, You are watching my tears from the front seat, waiting for the wailing to stop so you can tell me, ‘MY DAUGHTER. Let go of that trinket. Stop your crying. I have something better just up ahead.’
So, God. I just want you to know, in this one small way, my mama heart understood a little more about Your daddy heart today.
To be honest, I don’t want to lose any of the things I hold onto so tightly. My youth, my writing career, my children being little, my marriage being comfortable. But, if change must happen, I pray you comfort my heart and remind me Your plans are for my good.
And, remind me, for goodness sake, if I can just stop wailing over lost paper clips for one stinking minute, You’ve been trying to take me out for ice cream.
I think this was a prayer. Perhaps a revelation. Maybe more of a brain dump.
Either way, I feel a little closer to you tonight, God.
And I think that deserves an ‘amen.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mary Katherine Backstrom. Mary’s book Mom Babble: The Messy Truth about Motherhood is available here. Follow Mary on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best stories here.
Read more stories from Mary:
‘Mommy?’ she whispered. ‘Why wasn’t Daddy wearing his superhero mask?’ My heart fell into my stomach. I knew where this was leading.’: Mom says ‘our babies never had to question our superpowers until now’
‘Some days, I make myself the butt of the joke. I tell self-deprecating stories. Other days I wonder if I’ll only ever be the butt of the joke. Nothing more.’: Woman discusses ‘heights and the heartache’ of life
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