She was adopted into a home where the Mother ran the household like a general, and so one day she decided to run away. It was a cold day and the hunger in her stomach eventually brought her back to the house but not to Mama.
She hid in the barn loft amidst the hay and waited.
“Will Mama come for me?” she wondered. Did Mama–did anyone really care about her?
The guest speaker shared her childhood story and the question she asked hit a tender spot in my heart.
Perhaps it’s because lately, I’ve seen my own children ask the same question in varying ways – does anyone really care about me?
Maybe at the heart of it, it’s a question we’ve all asked sometime or other. I have, and it’s generally been during the hardest days of my life. It’s when it matters the most that we know, that we know that someone loves us.
I’ve read countless books, it seems, on parenting, on mothering looking for answers on how to be Mama that God created me to be. And 12 years into this parenting role, I’m still looking for answers to eliminate the pain I know I cause, and the pain in my heart.
It’s hard gaging the pushing away of words and attitudes coming from my oldest. Is the opposition to everything I stand for just her asking – will Mama come for me?
“Why are cutting up your clothes and putting holes everywhere? I don’t see your classmates doing that.” I say.
“Maybe because they don’t have a hole in their hearts,” she says. And I’m left speechless.
I wonder – how did that hole get there? Did we not love her enough? What about Benny, the Alaskan Malamut pup, who joined our family at her bidding?
“Only Jesus can fill that hole,” her father reminds me.
I see the little girl hiding in the hay loft waiting to see if Mama will come. And I see Jesus there. Did anyone love her? Yes, the answer is a resounding yes!
There was a babe who came and was born amidst hay and animals in a barn just to show us how much we are loved.
Jesus! The answer remains the same. Jesus. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you. We were never unloved. Never.
The guest speaker who is now a grandma goes on to share how her Mama eventually came for her, and how she came to know the love of God found in Christ Jesus years later.
And I take comfort knowing that even though my daughter may have reasons to doubt my love and may not “see” God’s love for her, Jesus loves her just the same. And my prayer is that someday soon she will truly see how loved she is.
As for me – I realize that part of the pain in my heart – the aching I feel is really an aching for home found only in the heart of my Heavenly Father. Just as I wish that my daughter would know she is loved, my Heavenly Father desires the same for me.
I think of the babe in the manger and of what it cost for God to send Jesus into our world. And there’s no doubt.
Yes, Jesus loves this broken Mama, despite her misgivings and failures. And if like me, you need to be reminded again — Jesus loves you! This is the essence of Christmas – Jesus came that we might know, truly know that we are loved.