In an adventure to the craft store, my oldest daughter fell in love with a broken bunny. Anxious to pick out a craft in preparation for what could be yet another snow day tomorrow, she and I both decided that a cute little cloth bunny would be the perfect guinea pig for us as we learn to sew.
If only my three-year old were that easily sufficed. She’s not. I negotiate shopping trips on lollipops. With dreams of being able to wander aimlessly with my toddler toting happily beside me throughout the store entertained by a sweet treat, I hand that first one over like it’s the absolute solution to all that is mayhem in shopping with toddlers.
Little Lo skipped happily around the store picking bouquets of fake flowers for me to smell. But before long, I started to catch that ornery glance through her static-attacked hair (that looked like it hadn’t been brushed in weeks….yet was just hours before.). If only there was a lollipop that she could never finish…
Brianne played happily with her bunny as she toted it along to look at artificial flowers and buttons and thread. She held up multiple fabric squares to the little stuffed creature, then decided that giraffe was a pattern that would fit it perfectly, along with another. Then, I noticed that her precious bunny’s arm was only hanging on by a couple of loose threads.
“Brianne, that bunny’s arm is about to pop off,” I pointed out to her. “Why don’t you put him back and pick out another one?” I suggested. After being distracted briefly by my younger child’s temporary disappearance from my line of sight, I looked expectedly to Brianne to go switch out the bunny.
The look I received did not reflect that of the realistic, and quite logical, request that I had just made. No-no, the look I got instead was one of heartbreak.
“Mom! No! I love this one!” she replied.
“Are you sure?” I plodded. “Don’t you want to pick a bunny that’s not broken?”
After the third and fourth request, and then walking over to the bin of bunnies with her to pick another…hoping a visual would seal the deal…her eyes welled up with tears, and she said to me again,
“I’m already attached to this one,” and held her broken bunny tight….all the way to the checkout line.
That’s my Brianne. To her, that bunny wasn’t broken, it needed to be rescued. It was just as good as any other bunny. It just needed some extra love and a little mending. She is such a creative spirit, and no doubt sees that bunny as an empty canvas for all kinds of new outfits and adventures.
Wouldn’t the world be a more refreshing place if we all took each other at face value, without looking to see if there are ripped seams? What a novel idea it would be to consider who might be hanging on by a couple of threads before we launch into our opinion on their shoes…their job…their kid…their life.
There are lots of days when I feel like more than just my arm is hanging on by a few loose threads. When the chronic pain that I endure simply starts to eat me up. There are many times that I am overcome with doubt about every possible area of my life.
Some days, I just feel like I’m under attack…
And on those days, sometimes after much wallowing on my part…God picks me up, gives me a hug, and says,
“I love this one….I’m already attached.”
Burdened by pain that I can’t explain, confused as all get out at which direction I should go next, feelings at times seemingly hurt beyond repair…life can be crushing sometimes. I’ve trained my daughters to rally in those situations. To let their emotions flow out of them, and then put the pieces back together through hugs and prayers.
As I sat in tears through one such moment yesterday, it was my daughters who came clamoring up the stairs and jumped on my bed, with hugs and “I love you’s,” and so much silliness that I eventually ended up in a pile of cuddles and laughter. What a blessing it is, to be a mother. Through all the doubt it entails, it’s so rewarding to be the recipient of a warm embrace like those we so often give out throughout the day. It’s heavenly encouragement that we’ve done something right.
I think it really is that simple. Like Brianne saw the potential for all kinds of magical things in her broken bunny, God already knows the abundant blessings that will unfold in our lives.
When our spirits are under attack, when we’re feeling like everything is unraveling before our eyes…like the pain is too much to bear, and the circumstances are too hard to understand…He is there, watching it all unfold as planned…
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.- Jeremiah 29:11 NIV