I let her down.
Not intentionally, of course, but there it is. You can try to do everything right as a mom and always be perfect and still not always get it either right or perfect.
We chatted about what books might be the best choices.
I made sure to ask my oldest daughter how to keep from embarrassing her when I visited her class. (Don’t read with too many enthusiastic or dramatic hand gestures. Apparently, that is highly embarrassing.)
She was also highly skeptical that I could come up with a picture book that would interest mature, chapter-book-reading fourth graders, but I was convinced I had chosen a winner.
When the big day came, I read to two classes, hugged two of my daughters, and arrived at the third daughter’s classroom only to find she wasn’t there.
They switch classes all day long in this grade and apparently my scheduled time to read occurred when neither my daughter nor any of her classmates were actually in their own classroom.
Not only that, but her teacher was absent, as well, so I couldn’t even explain my predicament and find a quick and easy solution.
So, I read to other people’s kids and not my own.
Then I tracked down my girl in the school, knocked on the door, and slipped in quickly to let her know what had happened, that they scheduled me to read for a time when she couldn’t hear the book.
And then I went home.
Two girls climbed into the minivan at the end of the school day bursting with exciting news about this and that. My third daughter climbed in quietly. I heard the sniffles from the far back of the minivan about halfway home.
When I asked her if she was crying, all she kept saying was, “You went to the wrong class.”
I knew the truth. I had gone where I was supposed to go when I was supposed to go there, but it didn’t change the bottom line.
We pulled into the driveway at home and unloaded the backpacks and lunchboxes. I settled my kids into the routine and then snuggled next to my still-tearful daughter on the big, comfy bed.
“I was so disappointed. I told all my friends you would come and what book you would read and I waited all day and you didn’t even come.”
I guess she misunderstood and thought I was just going to come back later.
It really didn’t matter whether I was justified or not, she was disappointed and sad nonetheless.
I’ve been there.
People let you down sometimes. Even well-meaning, good, godly people can disappoint you.
No one is perfect and certainly circumstances aren’t always perfect. Sometimes they conspire against us to turn life into a crazy mess of unexpected obstacles.
Truth be told, sometimes I feel a little disappointed with God, too, because even though I know He is working out things for my good and even though I know His plans for me are best, sometimes they sure don’t feel “best,” “good” or “perfect.”
In fact, maybe the plans I’ve concocted seem to make a whole lot more sense in the moment.
But I read two verses in Holley Gerth’s book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days:
“You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely” Psalm 59:9-10
So we know and rely on the love God has for us – 1 John 4:16
I believe this truth, that we don’t really know and can’t begin to comprehend God’s great love for us.
Yet, even if I’ve packed my head with all sorts of knowledge about the heights and depths of His love for me, what I really need is to rely on His love.
Because He’s reliable. Because He’s trustworthy. Because His love for us is never-failing, never-giving-up, always-and-forever, I can’t do anything to mess it up love.
So, I can rest in that. I can stretch back into the arms of Christ and relax all those tense muscles of worrying and fretting and trying to hang on for dear life to every detail of every day.
And when life shoots unexpected arrows at me or plans seem to go awry, still I rely on His love. I trust that He is my strength. He is the fortress where I can be safe.
He will not let me down.
Circumstances will let me down. People will disappoint me.
But God will not.
On this I can rely.
P.S. One hot cup of tea, some hugs from me, and a quick email to my daughter’s teacher to set up another time to read made my daughter’s day much better.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King