Friday, March 22, 2013

Never Left Alone

Erika missed the hand-off. She was napping when I came home and relieved Nana of the child-caring. Then Nana left, and I knit in my room. Just next door to my girl.
When she woke, I did not hear her. She went directly upstairs in search of her Nana. She found no one—only an empty, quiet house.
Some time after that, I decided it was time to wake her or she would never go to bed that night. I found her bed empty, so I went in search of her. What I found when I reached the top of the stairs shook me.
I saw my sweet girl kneeling in the middle of the living room—sobbing desperately. She clung to her blanket and lion. Her face was red, tears streaming down her face. And fear—near terror—was in her eyes. Oh, my Baby!
"I couldn't find Nana!"
My tiny, vulnerable three-year old believed herself to be all alone. Abandoned. And absolutely helpless. 

We ran toward each other. Sobs began to shake my body then. I grabbed her and pulled her close to me. I rocked her and stroked her head and repeated—over and over—"I will never leave you alone. Never!"
And after some minutes in my arms, she calmed. I took her little face in my hands, and I told her again, "I will never leave you alone, Baby." And she believed me. She leaned into me. She rested in my arms.

What a picture! If a flawed mother can be so profoundly moved with compassion for her child, think how much more a Holy God is overcome with compassion for His child!
I can recognize that Erika's fear was irrational—not based on any past action on my part. And a result of her not seeing the whole picture. But the fear was true and real and gripping to her. And that fact stirred my love—my compassion. I ran to her. I did not tell her she was ridiculous for believing herself abandoned. I only kept repeating promises to her.
How often I find myself in Erika's place—gripped with fear that I have been left alone. Abandoned. Forgotten. Absolutely helpless. And my Father weeps with me. He soothes me. And He repeats His promises to me. He reminds me what He will never do. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for The Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you." (Deut. 31:6)
We chose this verse for Erika when she was born. Her name means "courageous, forever strong." May her strength and courage come when she realizes the forever nearness of her God! He will never leave His child alone!


  1. Emily, I've always been encouraged by your posts--but this one tops them all. Praise God for this beautiful real life illustration!

  2. Yes! I'm always amazed by the many illustrations--mini pictures--in parenting that show me what my Heavenly Father is like! Thanks for the encouragement.