Through the windows of our den, came the screaming, “Mommy, Mommeeee!” It was my girls’ voices and they weren’t shouts of unshared Barbies or swing-sharing injustices, they were fear-filled screams. I dropped the sunscreen for which I’d briefly stepped into the house, and ran to meet them where they stood next to our in-ground pool. Their screaming continued as they pointed to the pool where their 23-month old brother was face down in the water, chubby hands and feet desperately flapping.
Immediately, I was in the pool, pulling him up-he took a deep breath as soon as he was in my arms, and then began sobbing. And, as we stood in the shallow end, me still in flip flops and a cover up, him sobbing on my shoulder, I began to weep. It only took seconds for my mind to begin that terrible parade of what-ifs.
I had been foolish–I had left a little one who couldn’t swim near a body of water, which is never a good idea whether it be for seconds or minutes. What if I had run upstairs for my headband instead of just grabbing sunscreen in the den? What if the girls had been on the swing set and entirely missed seeing him fall in? What if my foolishness had resulted in us losing our son? Through my tears, I whispered, thanks to Jesus who had sustained and saved Beckett.
Later, as I recounted the incident, again crying, to my mom, I started my litany of what ifs. And, I am so grateful she stopped me, and answered my what ifs with this, “Then, God would have made another way to rescue Beckett.” Yes. Of course. Because, even in my mistakes and my foolishness, it is God who orders the steps of my children; it is God who establishes them, equips them, calls them, and allows the breath to still be in their lungs each morning. God’s plan is far greater than my foolish mistakes.
Mommas, read that again, God’s plan is greater than what you can do. Your foolishness, your mistakes, your impatience, the things you get right for your second child and feel guilty about totally blowing for the first–none of it. Today, rejoice with me in the words of Psalm 37,
“A man’s goings are established of Jehovah;
And he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For Jehovah upholdeth him with his hand.” (verses 23-24)
We have the privilege and responsibility of raising up these little people to follow hard after God’s purpose for them, but God’s plans will stand firm even in our failings.