I follow lots of artsy moms on Instagram.
It’s a little strange, but there are a few photographers/design folks out there who from time-to-time will post cute, VSCO-filtered photos of their chubby lil’ kiddos and I don’t mind having that in my feed.
It dawned on me recently, looking at a picture of a sweet husband and wife hiking through the forest with their baby girl (maybe 6 months old?) — that she will never recall any of this. This adorable, loved child wouldn’t remember one moment of their grand, woodsy adventure. In fact, every last precious moment behind every last snuggly Instagram post her mama made would be never be fully known by the child.
The one truth that would remain from such moments, however, would be this:
That her mother and father were there. And that they loved her.
When I was little, I went to the ‘96 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Now, I have no recollection of this whatsoever except for extremely tired family photos and some olympic memorabilia in our garage.
But the fact that I do not remember any of this does not change the fact that I was there, that my parents were with me, and that they love me.
I was thinking on Psalm 139 the other day, on how God knew us, formed us, and loved us before we could even remember — and suddenly it all clicked.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Reading this, my mind goes to vast expanses in galaxies unknown, places I do not remember, and yet, places where I was:
in the mind and heart of God.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
He thought of me, He knew me, He formed me, He held me close.
Regardless of how long you’ve been aware of it, you’ve been known and loved by your creator before your existence, and even still now.
If you’ve never checked out this Psalm in full, I really recommend you do so! It’s a beautiful reminder of who we are and who our God is, a lot like if that same child — a few decades down the road — went through her mama’s Instagram and saw those photos/memories/captions of love.
But how do these reminders affect our moving forward?
A few weekends ago I visited home, weighed down by school stress among other things, and was in a funk the whole time. It affected how I treated my family, and so in the few hours before I caught my bus back home, my mom and dad sat me down and told me how they did not like what they saw.
In that moment I had a choice, I could have easily (as I often do) pushed aside their loving rebuke and done things my own way, funk and all. But by the divine grace of God, my weariness lead me to broken humility, and through tears I shared with them all the stresses on my heart and worries in my head. It was the most honest I had been with them in months (as college can be quite the distancing season, if you let it) and it was beautiful. They listened to me carefully, lovingly told me the truth I needed to hear, and together we did the only thing we could to help fix it all — pray.
They were aching to be a part of my life. To show me love, to guide me. To be intimately involved in the little details and take my prayers up as their own.
And again, it dawned on me:
the One who formed me, who’s known me longer and better than anyone else out there, is just waiting for me to come to Him with my worries. In the same way that I could have ignored my parents’ pressings and tried to push past what I was going through, we have the option to ignore God and do things our own way. He gives us this marvelous gift of free will and we can run whichever direction we please —
but who better to run to than the One who knew us from the start?
In our childhood, we were helpless. We had no choice but to rely on the nurturing love of our parents to survive and grow. But just as choosing to go to my mom and pop that weekend helped bring about spiritual nurturing in me, intimately relying on God produces infinite growth in us. And just as my ‘rents were aching to be involved in my life once again, to be trusted with my troubles — to lavish our Heavenly Father with love in this way, with our honest cares, with returning and resting in Him…
He delights in that.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
I think my favorite line of Psalm 139 is the honest prayer in the end, where David invites God to continue knowing him as He did in the beginning,
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
May this be your prayer as you let the One who formed you and knows you lead you on, day by day.
Twitter: @melgirm // Instagram: @melgirm
Hey there! I'm Mele Girma, a freshman at Belmont University hailing from a suburb just outside of Atlanta. My major is currently songwriting with a minor in Spanish (and a possible additional minor in sociology) so if that's any indication -- I basically have no idea what I want to do with my life and am learning to be okay with that. I'm passionate about many things, a few being: worship, children's books, and social justice. I have seen every episode of The Cosby Show at least four times. My favorite poem is Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings." In a perfect world I would have breakfast food for every meal of the day (and nobody would judge me).