That Easter morning, sitting in the car by myself, I truly gave my girls to God.
Posted in , Apr 3, 2015
At ages seven and five, my daughters Abby and Allyson were very particular about the way they looked–especially on Easter Sunday.
They each had very distinctive opinions about what was cool and what was not. Pretty much anything I liked fell into the latter category.
So, I chose my battles wisely, and the rest of the time, I let the girls make their own choices in hair styles, clothing and accessories. (Of course, I drew the line when Ally wanted to wear her ballerina costume to school, but normally, they did a pretty good job of picking out their outfits.)
Even though the girls didn’t always get it right, I often took their fashion advice to heart. I discovered that one is never too old to learn a thing or two even though I was also confident in a few fashion rules that I had learned from my own mother–rules that were foreign to Abby and Allyson at their young ages. You know, such as: “Never wear white before Memorial Day,” and “Black goes with everything.”
Those rules sometimes caused fashion fights in our home. One such fight took place on a sunny Easter morning, April 23, 2000.
As I helped Allyson buckle her dress shoes, I noticed that Abby was putting on shoes that I hadn’t picked out for her.
“Ab, where are you black patent leather shoes?” I asked.
“In my closet.”
“Why aren’t they on your feet?” I inquired, staring at the white sparkly Little Mermaid sandals she had obviously chosen.
“Because white goes better with my dress,” Abby explained.
“But Abby, it’s too early in the year to wear white. Plus, your Little Mermaid shoes are too casual for your beautiful Easter dress. And, besides, honey, your feet will get cold,” I coached. “You need to wear your black shiny shoes.”
“But, Mom, black doesn’t go with pink,” Abby protested.
“That’s not true,” I said. “Black goes with everything. They’ll look beautiful with your dress; now go put them on.”
“Uggghhhhh” Abby groaned. “You are the worst picker-outer in the world!”
Well, I’d held many titles in my lifetime, but “worst picker-outer in the world” was a new one for me. Halfway amused and halfway offended, I went to the car to wait for Jeff and the girls to join me.
Why won’t she trust me? I thought. Doesn’t she know that I really do know best? Doesn’t she respect me anymore? Why does she constantly challenge me?
The questions flooded my mind. And, just as I was about to answer the questions myself, lick my wounds and pout a while, God interrupted my thoughts with His still small voice deep down in my heart.
This is just the beginning.
Your girls are going to make their own decisions about many things in life–things much more important than fashion–and you won’t always be able to choose for them.
That scared me because I knew it was true. At their young age, I still had control but the time was coming when I wouldn't, and it was coming more quickly than I liked.
You are going to have to give them to Me.
I was somewhat hurt by God’s words. I thought I had already given my daughters to Him. I mean, I had even spoken those very words at their baby dedications in front of a whole assembly of people. The Holy Spirit began ministering to me, showing me that I hadn’t really given them to God. I had allowed God to borrow them from time to time, but I had always taken them back.
To be honest, I was afraid to totally give my children to God, thinking He might not parent them as well as I could. Isn’t that ridiculous? It was much more ridiculous than Abby not trusting me to know which shoes looked best with her pink dress, though I hated to admit it.
During those few minutes alone in the car, I cried out before God.
“I want to trust You, God, but what if You call them to foreign countries to be missionaries? What if You call them into dangerous professions? What if You allow them to make mistakes that I could help prevent?”
Then I heard God’s tender voice, asking me the very questions that I’d asked myself concerning Abby just moments before:
Why won’t you trust Me? Don’t you know that I really do know best? Don’t you respect Me anymore? Why do you constantly challenge Me?
That Easter morning, sitting in the car by myself, I truly gave my girls to God. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it continues to be difficult—even though Jeff and I are technically “empty-nesting.”
But, here’s the deal: giving our children to God is the best gift we could ever give them. Better than new Easter dresses and shiny shoes. Better than Easter baskets filled with candy. Better than anything.
As we celebrate Ally’s college graduation and Abby’s recent engagement, I realize the days of frilly pink dresses and sparkly white Little Mermaid shoes are long gone. And, yes, at times, I’m still considered “the worst picker outer in the world.” But one thing I chose correctly is when I gave my girls to God that Easter Sunday long ago.
I don’t care if your children are seven or 70; it’s not too late to turn them over to our Heavenly Father. So, give your children to God this Easter and celebrate with a renewed joy and a supernatural peace.