The God of the Messy Bits

Toddlers are hard.

Not because they mean to be, of course. They are just discovering a brand new, big world, and they have to find their place in it. What an amazing adventure and privilege it is to get a front row seat to their discovery!

But it’s hard.

Boundaries are new, and though necessary for their safety, they are still unwelcome. After all, they are invincible, right? 🤦🏻‍♀️

Church with a toddler has been the most difficult so far for me. He’s still so little, but he’s getting big and needs to learn….but he’s not even two, so I cannot expect him to act like a ten year old.

Having to constantly take him out of the service and missing the preaching myself has been so, so hard for me spiritually. I feel like I’m always missing the most important part of the service, and even when I’m in the congregation, I’m so distracted by trying to keep Mac from distracting others. Add in exhaustion, and it’s easy to get in a bad place in a hurry.

We’re currently on week two of being out of routine and in church every day and night, and Mac and I are both about to lose it.

I’ve been praying for weeks that the Lord would help me in this meeting, and tonight, it seemed like He really moved in the service and helped people….and I was wrestling my over-tired, super-emotional toddler in the nursery and missed it.

People were weeping and praising God, and I was only a closed door away, crying with Mac because I was so overwhelmed.

As I drove back tonight, I felt jilted. I needed help too, and I was still left out. Forgotten. Overlooked.

*I feel it’s important here to pause for a moment and say that I am in no way blaming my son or being ungrateful for him. I’m just being real with y’all because life is full of messy bits whether people want to act like they are there or not.*

Anyway, I got Mac ready for bed and started to say our nightly prayers. As I prayed, I reminded God how much I needed help this week, and I knew He could help me, even if I was in the nursery the whole time.

As I kept praying, God started reminding me how much He loves me, how good He’s been to me, how He has always taken care of me and met my needs, whether they were physical or spiritual. He started pouring help into my soul while I was still asking for it….and my asking turned into worship. Sweet little Mac sat calmly in my arms (for the first time today) while I prayed and thanked God, and wet his head with tears.

All the days I spent begging God to make me a mama, I didn’t imagine the hard days. I envisioned all the fun parts without the messy bits, but that’s not the way it works. Thankfully, God loves to use the messy bits to remind me that these hard days exist because He answered my prayers.

God knows how overwhelmed I can get, and there’s several verses to which I can cling about how He takes notice and comes to my rescue.

The messy bits are tough, but He always has a knack for showing up right in the middle of them, and for that, I sure am grateful. I’ll take the messy bits with Jesus over easy days without Him.

So tomorrow, I’ll get up and take my toddler back to church because that’s where he’ll learn about the gracious God who helps his overwhelmed mama on the hard days…and one day, Mac will know that same God will be there for him too. ❤️

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