I reached for a bowl in the dishwasher. That’s all it took. One moment I was standing at the sink scrubbing beets and the next moment, BAM! A searing ripple of pain shot across my lower back, sending all the surrounding muscles into spasms so intense I buckled to my knees and couldn’t get up.
If you’ve ever thrown your back out, you know how it feels. Not just painful but downright annoying. Because seriously? It was a bowl. It’s not like I was lifting heavy furniture or attempting contortionism or something. I was just living my everyday mom life.
On a Sunday.
Which meant the chiropractor’s office was closed.
My daughter heard me whimper and came running. “Mom, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, sweetheart. Can you find Dad and tell him I need his help?”
Minutes later I was propped in a chair with an ice pack and a book, stuck. I looked at my daughter and read her thoughts before she spoke them. “Mom, does this mean we can’t go shopping?”
Bummer. Our shopping trip, the special one-on-one date we’d been planning all week—the event we both woke up talking about (“Good morning! Rise and shine! It’s our mom/daughter shopping day!”)—instantly thwarted by a freak incident. I mean, really, who tears a disc on shopping day?
I sighed deep and grabbed her hand. “I’m sorry, lovey. I know we were looking forward to it, but I just don’t think I’m going to be able to walk today.”
I braced for the tears. The tantrum. The “it’s not fair!” hissy fit. But to my great surprise and encouragement, she did none of that. My sweet girl simply smiled and said, “It’s okay, Mom. Can I make you an egg?”
What? An egg? Who is this child?
And what can I learn from her?
Because for many years, when interruptions changed the course of my plans, I used to throw my own internal hissy fits. Sick kids meant I couldn’t get my work done. Boo hoo, me. Injured kids meant I had to spend my wedding anniversary in the ER instead of an Italian restaurant. How unfair! And car trouble meant Mom was stuck at home when all she really wanted to do was go to Bible study or book club or anyplace with grown-ups to talk to and coffee cake to eat.
As parents, our days are defined by interruptions. We can choose to fight them or roll with them, but inherent in that decision is a presumption of who God is or isn’t. Let’s take a look at an excerpt I wrote about this in my book, The SuperMom Myth:
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Planning is wise, to a point. The Bible says the wife of noble character “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27). God wires many of us to be organized, punctual, and efficient, which are admirable traits indeed.
Yet we must be careful not to presume that our plans are more sensible than God’s.
He is the all-knowing keeper of time. Surely He has your calendar in the palm of His hand, because His Word says, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Therefore, what to us looks like an interruption, is to God simply staying the course.
The question is, do you trust His course?
Ultimately, interruptions—whether big or small—are a test of our faith in God. [He] always knows something we don’t know. His plans are always better calculated than ours, and He protects us from countless invisible dangers every single day. That is why, as Christians, we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
When our shopping date was derailed, my daughter didn’t just roll with the changes. She actually went a step further and offered to serve me. To sympathize with me. To show compassion and unconditional love. I was so proud of her that day.
She was the hands and feet of Jesus.
When life gets interrupted, are our children seeing Jesus in us? I’d like to think I taught my daughter to trust God’s plan, but the truth is she taught me a thing or two that day. Who knows why my back went out just before a shopping trip (as if there’s ever a convenient time for that), but I trust God had a purpose for it. So from now on I’m going to be more intentional about teaching my kids to trust Him by example. Will you join me?
This post contains an excerpt from The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press) by Becky Kopitzke. Used by permission.