Just a few short weeks ago Willow and I were in her room getting herself dressed for the day. I’d picked out an adorable outfit and made sure her two pigtails were just right. Her face was clean and she was beaming up at me in such a way that I couldn’t help but think of how perfect she looked.
Shortly after, I entered the kitchen to finish steeping a travel cup of tea and she emerged from her room moments later looking a bit different than I’d left her just two minutes prior. One pigtail now lay loosely down the side of her head and her shirt was on backwards.
After one look at her disheveled state I glanced at the clock, confirming our lateness, and nearly cried.
“Willow, why did you take your hair down?” I asked her. She continued to beam up at me with that sweet smile but didn’t answer. “Willow, why are your clothes on backwards?” Again, she just shook her head as if not to answer while giving me that same, angelic smile.
I couldn’t decide how to react. My first inclination was to give her a little pat to the backside, but something told me that reaction was a little much. After what felt like an eternity of me staring down at this ball of sweetness she finally piped up with the words, “Mommy, I do it myself.”
It suddenly dawned on me that Willow was becoming independent. She was ready to show me she was capable of helping out by dressing herself…however different that might’ve looked.
She was determined to show me she could take control.
I felt proud of her in that moment and extremely sorry for myself all at the same time. Thoughts of teaching her to drive, sending her off to college and watching her father walk her down the aisle whisked across my mind and I became fearful. She was my last one and I just wanted her to need me. I wanted to be the one in complete control.
Shaking it off, I breathed a sigh of relief that she was still only two and nearly said aloud, “Well, she can’t do everything on her own yet. She still needs me.”
And I had to sit in that thought for a minute. How many of these lessons does He toss gently into my lap? A loving Father who continues to sneak in these opportunities to make His valid point. As a mother who desperately wants to hold onto this little one, He uses this experience to drive home a much needed revelation.
I can grow and gain experience each and every day but I will never not need Him. In fact, I find that I need Him more the older I get because I so foolishly try to pull out those perfectly placed pigtails and rearrange the direction of my shirt. I’m a bit audacious in thinking my sense of style is superior to His.
I know it might seem like a small thing at the time, but every little “I do it myself” moment pulls me further away from Him and the manner in which He intends to clothe me.
Independence or not, I may choose to march to the beat of a different drummer on the outside but under it all, where it really matters, I need to be willing to let Him clothe me with strength and dignity. With the garments of salvation and robes of righteousness.
And, of course, in all His sovereign and Jehovah Jirah fashion, He’s let me test the waters on more than one occasion. Believe me when I say that I’ve run around looking less than stellar. Yet…I find that when I hand over that control I never dislike what I see. The reflection staring back is pleasing to Him and to me.
Ultimately He knows and He provides.
So now, when Willow takes over her wardrobe I encourage her to relinquish control a little bit, but I don’t push too hard. We go out with crazy hair more often than I’d like and she’s discovered the wonderful world of mis-matched socks and sandals… *face palm*
But it’s a process. And as time goes on I will continue to teach her and mold her and clothe her with His words so that she ultimately knows where her true layers come from.
And I know for a fact she will never outgrow that…