Frustrated by the pain in my neck and how it just wouldn’t go away, I sat on the floor in the kids’ room and moaned. I had just given them both a shower and dressed them for the day but, of course, not without the usual dramas associated with the routine – so the neck was a lot sorer than when I had begun. As I sat there staring at the carpet, my eyes caught two little feet walking towards me and suddenly I felt two little arms wrap around my neck and warm lips planted on my left temple. All I could do was smile. My heart warmed up and I almost began to cry – but fought those tear – my usual go-to response for moments of mushiness.
But if I actually did cry, it would not have been as a result of the emotional drama that just played out before me, rather, it would have come from the nagging guilt that flooded my heart as I thought about what just happened with respect to who I have now become.
Our relationships and experiences do change us!
I have changed a lot. And maybe I never would have been too bothered about how much I have, if I wasn’t constantly reminded every day every time I look at my daughter. The purity with which she loves and expresses her emotions. The way she cares to a fault. The way she ‘mothers‘ everyone around her, trying to help with her friend’s jacket, or socks, or shoes. The way she cries with me when I’m crying. The way she always wants to help with something. The way her free spirit makes her sing at the top of her voice not minding who is being disturbed, and how she would dance with funny steps and feet that didn’t care. These are not traits that everyone in the world possesses, they come naturally to a few and can be seen in it’s purest of forms when life hasn’t really taken its toll.
I remember when I felt I had too much love to give, it seemed unnatural. How I would weep and wail should any harm come to anyone I loved or knew. I remember when a need would have only gone through my outer ears and my arms would already be outstretched trying to meet it to the best of my abilities. I remember one evening, in my 20s, skipping along my street towards my house and singing to myself, but telling myself never to grow up so I could always skip along anytime, anywhere . . . and sing. I remember telling myself that when I got married and if I ever got into a fight with my husband, I would never hold a grudge, but kiss him long and hard till all the anger dissipated and we wouldn’t remember what we were fighting about. That was my plan for every fight. I remember when I was so confident in myself that I knew the answer to anything. I remember when my confidence was confident that I would always love unconditionally. I remember when friends would hurt me so much and I would still fight for us to remain friends. I remember those times I think I held on for too long. I remember all these, and I ask myself:
“Where did that girl go?”
She grew up, right?
How sad it is to grow up, then.
It’s funny how we all change, somehow. It’s inevitable. Even when we never really mean to. If someone had told me that the somewhat childlike parts of me would dissipate with the years, I would have smacked them on the head, rolled my eyes and walked away never to speak to them again; here I am, smacking myself.
But this moment, my eyes are full of tears that I can’t attempt to fight back. Tears because in all of these, there is someone who has loved me constantly and consistently, through all my changing changes; One who has never changed. When He said He would be with me till the end, He meant it. When He said He will never leave me, He meant it. When He said He will be with me through the fires and the floods, He meant it. When He says He loves me . . . He means it. I have many times run away from His arms but He never withdrew them, they stayed outstretched waiting for my return. When I stay silent and speak less to Him, His words constantly flow from His heart into my soul. I would never know the meaning of the ‘constant’ taught in my science classes if I never knew Him – He is the definition of SAME!
So when I catch myself moaning about how much I have changed and how I might never be able to find that girl again, I’m lifted by the words I always say to Him in our mushy moments:
“Jesus, you are the CONSTANT in my life”
If everything about me changes till I cannot recognise myself in the mirror, may You, Jesus, always remain the CONSTANT in my life.
Our relationships and experiences do change us with time, yes. But when you cannot remember who you used to be, remember this –
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8