It was an unusually hectic football game. My six-year-old daughter was cheering, while I was coaching her squad. It was “bring a friend” day, so instead of the usual eight girls, we had 16…and the assistant coach was absent. I was on my own with 16 six-year-old girls!
I was also trying to keep one eye on my 19-month-old daughter that my husband was “watching.” She’d toddle over to me and I’d send her back to her daddy so I could concentrate on the game. After the game, I was busily handing out drinks and snacks when I noticed my husband walking back from the trashcan…without our younger daughter, Cici.
I looked over at all the cheerleaders to see if she was with them. She wasn’t. I quickly glanced over the football field. I didn’t see her. That anxious feeling every mom has experienced started up my throat. My eyes again darted from the cheerleaders to the field. By this point I could hear my heart pounding, and I thought I might start screaming.
I grabbed one of the other moms by the arm and screeched, “You have to help me. I can’t find Cici!” She looked confused and asked, “What do you mean?” I gulped, barely able to talk by now, “I can’t find Cici!” I yelled at her. She looked at me and responded softly, “You’re holding her.”
I looked in my arm and there was my daughter, oblivious to my peril. I was holding her all the time! She must have toddled over while I was handing out the snack. I scooped her up and kept on working never even realizing I had done it. I fell against the other mom just for a moment, my adrenalin failing now. “You must never tell anyone this.” I said, half ordering and half begging. “Okay,” she responded, “But if you don’t get off me, people are going to wonder what’s going on.” I straightened up and finished the rest of my duties as gracefully as possible under the circumstances, and then went home and cried. How could I have not even realized I was holding my own child?
Later I realized something bigger. On those hectic days when I’m making dinner, and the children are bickering, and my husband calls to say he’ll be late, I call out “God, where are you? I’m looking God, but I can’t find you!”
I don’t realize that He’s holding me. Like that day at the football field, I am just too busy to realize it. Psalm 121:1,2 says “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
We all have hectic schedules. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have any help. We do. God is holding you! You can feel the same sweet relief that I felt that day: “What once was lost, now is found!” Amazing. Grace.
This article by me is a reprint that first appeared in Vista, Journal for Holy Living, 8/16/09. This is a true story that happened in 2005. The "other mom" that helped me find Cici (in my arms) was Sue J.