Monday, September 28, 2009

Finding Cici, Finding God

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.

Chatty Kelly

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.


B His Girl said...

lol Kelly, We have all had those moments. Sometimes we miss the obvious actually often we miss the obvious. We are in the Lord's hands whether we see them or not.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Kelly, how beautiful! He is holding us all the time! I love how He showed you a bigger truth through this "lost" incident.

Motherhood shows us the deep love in our hearts...and exposes the vulnerable parts we'd rather keep covered at times. God does a beautiful work through being a mommy. As my friends says: "Motherhood is the hardest job you'll ever love." Amen.

Love you!

KelliGirl said...

Ha! I remember you shared this story with us at the Phila. conference and it's just as funny now!

Terrific analogy. How true that we spend so much time searching and wondering "Where is God!" and all the time He's holding us.

Have a blessed day.

Susan said...

A beautiful picture, Kelly!! Thank you for sharing.

Greg C said...

Been there too Kelly. It is frightening. I can't believe that you were holding her though. I do that with my glasses sometimes but never a child. We did lose our youngest at Disney World though so I know how you felt.

Thena said...

Definetly a new meaning to multi-tasking. Cute story.

Mocha with Linda said...

Such a heartrending moment - so glad it turned out okay, albeit rather embarrassing! LOL What a great spiritual allegory.

Bonita said...

Now I don't feel so bad that I continually lose my glasses when they're on my head! You have such a wonderful way of bringing God to life through your analogies, Kelly!

T. Anne said...

That happens every now and again with me. I'm so glad nothing happens without God's permission. It gives a great out in a lot of ways. I'm so glad he's so with me all the time and my children.

Julie Gillies said...

What a story, Kelly! I've actually done this same thing with my glasses, a book, my car keys. It's crazy how we just go on auto-pilot and pay no attention! (And thank GOD your baby was safe the whole time!)

Thank GOD HE pays attention, and holds US, whether we know it or not!

Heart2Heart said...


What a great post about where God is in the midst of our worry! He has been right there with us if not holding us the entire time.

So glad that things turned out the way they did with Cici!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

KrippledWarrior said...

I couldn't picture anyone sitting at a keyboard and telling me how they never found their child. But I didn't expect that ending either. My be your internal computer needs a processor upgrade. ;)
Thank God for God. Amen?

Sue J. said...

I can't believe how old this story is now!?! We look at slideshow pictures from these days all the time, but it's funny to see the little girls in the stroller (or, in your arms, as the case was).

You just need to stand in those shoes once to realize how vulnerable we all are at getting caught up in too many things. God put all of those pieces together really fast that morning, and I knew that it could have just as easily have been me.

I know a lot of folks identify with this story, and I'm glad that you share it so willingly.

Edie said...

I have to tell you that I cracked up after I read that you were holding Cici. I do that with my glasses. LOL!

But then when I read Psalm 121:1-2 and your words "We all have hectic schedules. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have any help. We do. God is holding you!" I have to admit I have tears in my eyes now.

God has been chasing me around with that scripture for several months and He used this to hit me over the head with it. Thanks my friend.

Love you!

Hey what's with the DWV? I'm gonna tell ADHD-Jo. :)

Edie said...

I see ADHD-Jo hasn't left a comment in here either. Now you know why. LOL! (kidding) :)

Beverlydru said...

It is so scary to "lose" a child. What a feeling of panic! I remember. Once again, a thought-provoking post.

Laurie said...

Love the article! I missed that you had all 16 girls the first time I heard/read it! WOW! Hope your girls are enjoying school and you some extra time to write!
Love, Laurie

Melanie said...

Doing a little blog hopping today...for the first time in a while.
Great story. I've done similar things. I know the panic that begins rising when the safety of your child is concerned.

My ADHD Me said...

Thankfully Sue J was there. Otherwise you might still be out there looking for her!

I never get tired of reading this. And I'm so proud of you..
A. because it was published
B. you found her! (with some help)

LisaShaw said...

Kelly, I have to confess dear friend that I did this once but different circumstances. I didn't realize that as I frantically was screaming out for my daughter, and trying to get everyone to call the police...what a scene it was and suddenly, I felt a tug on my sleeve and looked down into the face of my daughter whose hand I was holding, saying, "Mommy why are you looking for me?". She's 23 now, she was 4 then.

My hubby said, "Lisa, no more coffee for you for a while". He wasn't kidding either. :)

All I could do was hold her and THANK GOD that even though I may have looked like a crazed nut to everyone else I had my daughter safe in my grip (smile).

GOD IS ALWAYS THERE. He's so amazing.

Love ya girl!