School mornings around here are always hectic. On any given morning my tasks include pouring ceral, brushing hair (“pink bow, mom!”), packing lunches, finding that missing mitten while carrying a cranky toddler, handling at least one tantrum about a “bump in my sock,” and telling my children at least 237 times to put on their shoes. No matter how prepared I am the night before, the morning always ends in a mad dash to get out the door on time for school drop-off.
I go through a mental checklist in my head. Backpack? Check. Lunch? Check. Pink folder? Check. Snow gear? Wait. It is finally warm out. No snow gear. Is it Thursday, do we need show-and-tell? No, it’s Monday. Oh! That means we need library book! Sweatshirt? Check. Tennis shoes? Check.
Except on this particular morning, I forgot the mental checklist. After school drop-off, I took the younger children to the playground for a playdate. It was lunchtime when we arrived home at which point I noticed a missed call on my phone. School called. Oh no! I thought as I started listening to the voicemail. Savannah forgot her tennis shoes…wearing sandals…please bring for recess…
I glance at my watch. 11:44. Recess is in 14 minutes. “Kids, we need to go!” I say to my other ones in the middle of eating lunch. We scramble to jump in the car. My two year old crying because he is mid-chew. “Savannah needs her shoes for the playground.” I explain in the car.
Ugh. This is the second time this year we have forgotten her tennis shoes. I hope we make it in time, I think as we pull into the parking lot. As we enter the school, I see they are still eating lunch. The receptionist kindly tells me I may take her shoes to her. As we enter the cafeteria, the kids and I scan the tables for her. And there in the back at the hot lunch table, I see her. And she has a huge grin on her face once she sees us. We deliver her shoes, and Savannah is happy. “My shoes! Thank you, Mommy! I can play on the playground!” She exclaims. She hugs me. We chat with her friends for a few minutes. The girls squeal over her “cute” baby brother.
That was close, I think as we make our way home. I am relieved. I made it in time. I didn’t let her down. She can count on me. And my heart feels full.
The day carried on without incident and on our walk home from school I asked Savannah if she was worried Mommy wouldn’t bring her shoes to school. “No.” She said immediately. “You brought them last time I forgot. So I knew you would bring them to me,” she said as she skipped off down the road.
I knew you would bring them, I repeated back to myself. Her words hanging in the air. She trusted me. Even though it was in the final hour that she needed her shoes, she believed I would bring them. There was no worry. No doubt. No fear.
And right there, I realized I could learn a lot about trust from my kindergartner. She trusted me fully with her whole heart. She believed in me. Can I say the same about trusting my heavenly father? How often do I question God? How often do I worry about plans, relationships, finances, health issues. I ask and ask. Are you sure God, I ask again. Are you listening God? Is it time yet, God? Any minute now, God? I worry. I rant. I stress. I doubt. I get anxious in the waiting on God. In the trusting.
But do you trust me? He whispers.
What if the answer I am waiting for is not about the answer, but in the actual waiting. Waiting so I can actually trust him. Trust. Him. That he knows. He hears. He answers. He always provides. Maybe the answers come once I finally let go.
But do you trust me? He whispers.
What if I trusted God as fully as my daughter trusted in me to bring her shoes? What if I never doubted God and his timing as my daughter never doubted mine? Has he not demonstrated through past answered prayers that he will always come through for me as I had done for my daughter? Yes. Always.
But still, I let my imperfect, broken, sinner flesh dictate my feelings and actions instead of handing it to God and saying, Here God. You got this for me. I. Trust. You.
But do you trust me? He whispers again.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
This verse doesn’t say to trust God with part of your heart and only acknowledge him some of the time. But with all your heart in all your ways. I am working on having “tennis shoe” trust in God with everything from a close parking spot at the grocery store on a rainy day with kids in tow to big life altering events–like preschool closings. And in doing so, he will lead me on the right path.
And the next time one of my children forgets their shoes, lunch, homework, or mittens, (because I know there will be a next time) it will remind me to keep trusting God in the midst of whatever struggle I may be facing.
My five-year-old taught me an invaluable lesson about trust that day. And I know that inevitably there will be a day that I fail one of my children-even with my best efforts-because I am human and imperfect. But she can always count on God. We both can. He will always be there. He never disapoints. He never falls short. He never leaves. He never fails.