It is funny how life happens sometimes. Really, I just have to laugh.
I think that sometimes the hurt is so deep, yet the reality of His faithfulness so divine that all I can do is stand in awe. This morning, I had one of these moments. I just had to laugh—to rejoice in His redemption alone.
Growing up, I dreamed of a life in which my parents were in the PTO at school, volunteered to chaperone all the field trips, and never missed the school musicals. Just the thought of someday coming home to the sweet aroma of cookies baking and toilet bowls with blue water brought me great joy. I was crying out to be a child—for that to be enough. I hungered for the little things.
I love my parents. I really do. I know that my mom worked and worked and worked to provide me with everything I ever needed. I know that being a single mom was such an impossible task—we as women just weren’t created to raise babies alone. I know that she loves me as every mother loves her daughter. And I know that no family is perfect—the aroma of sweet-smelling cookies and all. In spite of the truth I know now, there is this part of me that still craves the little things. The cookies—the blue toilet bowls—the conversations—the moments.
This morning, I had a moment. I was leaving for work and realized that I needed to bring a lunch. I was offered anything from the pantry to eat. I started making a sandwich and she came along and wrapped it up, adding a few things to complete my meal. She then realized I needed something to put it in. She reached up high and pulled out a lunchbox for me to use. She threw in some napkins reminding me that my orange will probably get messy and these will come in handy. She gave me a hug and sent me out the door.
Ten minutes later I am driving down the road and it hits me—through the tears all I can do is laugh. I can remember buying my lunch all through elementary school, even into middle school. I would sit down with my lumpy potatoes, plastic chicken nuggets, and chocolate milk carton continually glancing across the table at my friends’ lunches. Their pink and purple princess lunchboxes came full of surprises. They would pull out their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, in a perfect square with the crust cut off and sliced down the middle. They got chips and a perfectly plump chocolate treat for desert. And a juice box—always the newest and tastiest. They always had a napkin. The real sweet moms even wrote a little love note to their daughter on the napkin, or snuck in an extra treat for later.
I was so jealous. I can vividly remember crying in the bathroom one day. I just so deeply desired that kind of a lunch box—not because of the food, the colors on the box, or the napkin—I wanted the love that came in the crust-free sandwich and letters on a napkin.
Here I am, twenty-one years old—and I finally got my lunchbox.
And of course it wasn’t about the box—in fact it was a boy-looking lunchbox, nothing spectacular. It wasn’t even about the food—and yes, my bread still had crust on it. But it was about the moment—it was about the thought inside the lunchbox. That lunchbox was filled with love.
As I sat alone eating my lunch at work today, I simply had to bask in the moment—He is faithful to redeem the years the locust has stolen. He is faithful to meet all of my needs—even my need for a lunchbox at the age of twenty-one. And only He knows those needs, even better then I do. And oh is He faithful to provide for them, that He might be glorified in that very provision. Only He knew the joy and praise that would one day come--from a lunch box at that.
Today, I saw His intimate and persistent and selfless love for me in a lunchbox. He cares for each of us so much, that He would place me in this place on this morning with this spiritual mom to whom He told to send me off to work with a lunch in a box, and in that perfect plan which far exceeds anything I ever could have dreamed, I see HIS love for me—the depth and perfection of it. I stand in awe.
Lord, thank you for revealing your love for me in my lunch box.
I am STILL confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. -Ps. 27:13-14