BY BROOKE BAILEY
This is the sixth in a series of posts.
Then Jesus told them this parable:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home (Lk 15:3-5 NIV).
I have a one year-old baby who I truly love and adore. He is the sweetest, chubbiest angel and has such a happy personality.
But over the past few weeks, that happy baby has been replaced with a teething, miserable, clingy child that I find myself hiding from in the bathroom. Now that he’s walking and talking, the things that we used to do together are no longer enjoyable: riding in a car, grocery shopping, meeting a friend for lunch, walking with the stroller and talking to other adults.
As an extreme extrovert and control freak, I can’t just give up and stay home with him everyday, all day. So I try to get better control of the situation. I would control the nap schedules, the food, the time of day we went out, the location, his favorite movie running nonstop in the car, his comfort level and happiness…I did all of this because his comfort and happiness affected my comfort and happiness.
My comfort and happiness started to deteriorate. There were warning signs along the way. Extra naps, extra coffee and an extra glass of wine at dinner. But they all went unnoticed because I had things under control.
After a few weeks of doing it my way and watching it all end in frustration and exhaustion at the end of the day, I lost the ability to hold back my emotions. A friend asked me how I was doing and before words even started to form in my mind, all of the tears started flowing.
I sat on the floor of her living room, feeding Cheerios to my baby with one hand and managing the ugly cry with the other. The whole time, I was thinking to myself, Where did I go wrong?! Why did I just fall apart? Why is this not working?
Then God, hearing my cries for help, comes to me like the shepherd in the story when I wander off.
He gently reminds me that I gave Him control of my life as a teenager, because I knew He would do a better job than I could ever do.
Because he loves me, he runs to me when I wander off, when I get scared and call out to Him to rescue me.
He searches everywhere to find me, He embraces me in his arms and He holds me close because I am His.
I walked to another room to pull myself together and wash my face. I took a deep breath and said a prayer in my heart, one that I have said a hundred times before: “It’s yours God! I’m giving it back…AGAIN! Sorry I keep mindlessly taking charge of something that doesn’t belong to me anymore!” One more deep breath and my shoulders felt lighter than ever as He took the burden of control off of me.
In this season of Lent, all you have to do is call out to Him. No matter how long you have been gone or how far you wandered, He hears your call and comes immediately with His arms open wide.
Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent (Lk 15:6-7 NIV).
BROOKE lives in the Northern Virginia countryside with her husband and her four wild kids who love climbing trees, running through the woods and daily emptying the fridge. She finds comfort in way too much coffee and connecting with other moms over, you guessed it, more coffee. Currently, she stays home to care for her youngest, renovates her new house, hits the gym and enjoys dining with good friends!