The long-awaited moment was finally here.
I was elated, holding my first-born son for the first time, crying and laughing at the same time, and just trying to soak in all the blissful seconds of those first minutes.
The special moment was interrupted by a well-meaning grandmama: What is that on his forehead? Is it going to go away?
I noticed the birthmark as well, but didn’t care about it. Until the above remarks made me doubt my son’s perfectness.
I felt guilty, feeling like there was something wrong with my perfectly healthy baby boy. And there were more questions and more pressure to find out from the pediatrician when this mark would disappear.
“Hopefully he won’t look like Gorbachev,” said one grandpapa.
“At least he is a boy.”
My perfect baby boy.
But somehow, in those precious first moments, I was made to feel like he could have been more perfect…
Thankfully, these feelings lasted only a short while.
I became annoyed with these comments and my response turned to “You know, I look at this birthmark as a sign that he is especially marked by God, because he is an extraordinary boy. He will probably be one of God’s favorite human beings like David.”
My son is an energetic six year old now. I could go on forever, listing all of his talents and bragging about his athletic abilities, his aptitude for math, his rather generous and sensitive heart, his ability to bring out a hearty laugh from me with his acting skills, etc. The list could take more than 1,000 words!
And yes, that birthmark is still there. It didn’t fade away like most do. And, for an apparent reason, it became more obvious to his grandmama after a recent short haircut.
He overheard the inquiries into whether the “unfortunate” birthmark is fading or not, and started to ask questions about what in the world we were talking about.
My son, you are perfectly and wonderfully made… There is absolutely nothing I would change about you.
It’s us that need the changing…
Fortunately, my second baby was declared “perfectly beautiful.”
I didn’t have any reason to be annoyed at anyone, and there was no need to come up with a witty and yet respectful response to well-meaning grandmas or grandpas.
My daughter, you are perfectly and wonderfully made. There is only one copy of you among the 7 billion people. You are preciously unique.
And I will spend my life pointing out your value and your worthiness…
My third baby was born a little over a month ago. By the grace of God, I now have another very perfectly beautiful and healthy baby girl.
“Her legs are crooked. Hopefully this will change. For you know how bad it would be for a girl to have crooked legs.”
At least I was able to respectfully point out that all babies’ legs appear “crooked” after being confined to a very tight space for months.
“Her nose is a bit pointy. You need to gently press on it throughout the day so it will point down a little.”
My precious baby girl, as I am holding you in my arms right now, I pray that you would always know just how much I treasure and love you. You are also God’s unique and perfectly wonderful creation. I cannot wait to see what talents and gifts our Father graciously bestowed upon you!
How do I respond in love?
How do I convey to these individuals that each one of my children is perfectly, beautifully, wonderfully and fearfully made by the Creator of the universe?
Perhaps I can’t change the well-meaning grandmamas and grandpapas.
As the saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
But I can make sure that my boy and my girls grow up knowing just how perfectly and wonderfully they are made…
Why did I feel the need to write about all this, you may ask.
Truth is, the Lord used these seemingly annoying individuals with their seemingly annoying comments to teach me a valuable lesson.
You see, the devil will often come up and whisper into your ear: You are not perfect. If only you were this or that, everything would be just right. If you could only sing more perfectly, talk more eloquently, write more poetically, disciple more skillfully, lead more effectively, minister more selflessly, love the sinners more passionately – God would be so much more pleased. Who are you to think you are worthy of God’s love?
Lies, lies, lies and more lies…
You see, my precious daughter, the devil wants you to focus on you. He wants you to have a pity party about how much you are lacking in this or that area.
By focusing on the supposed imperfections, you entirely miss the One who made you for a reason.
But just as your son and daughters are perfect in your eyes, I made you just as you should be, with just the perfectly beautiful amount of gifts and talents.
You may not be one of the greatest missionaries in the world, but you can be the greatest missionary in your home.
You may not even come close to having an angelic voice you have always dreamed about, but you can sing about Me to your children at home (and they will not even notice your off-key notes).
You may not be the greatest evangelist in the world, but you are the most important evangelist in your home.
You may not be strong in apologetic debates with your atheist friends, but you are the first apologist of the Christian faith your kids will know. Live out your faith daily.
You may not be an influential woman impacting hundreds of souls, but you are the most influential woman in the lives of your children.
This is where I placed you today – to be “just” a mother.
All the “imperfections” that you may ever think of are really My perfections of you and where you need to be right now. And that is being a mother after My own heart…
What about you? Do you find yourself focusing on your “imperfections?”
My prayer today is for us to be content with just how our Creator made us, to use the gifts and talents He gave us wherever we are in our lives without complaining about our inadequateness or our alleged imperfections.
He rejoices in His sons and daughters!
He is pleased with you despite what others may be saying. He loves you despite what the devil is saying.
He is a good, good Father…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
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