Last night I got off work and headed straight to the grocery store. I was on a mission to stock up on the ingredients I’d need for the next day to make my slow cooked BBQ chicken.
I grabbed some fresh onions & garlic and hopped into a checkout line. The woman in front of me in line immediately apologized for the amount of items she had. I assured her that I was in no rush, but her tired eyes only became more frazzled.
I watched as a beautiful, yellow birthday cake went through the scanner. Then a card, some mini balloons, and candles. The woman pushed up the sleeves of her sweat shirt as she turned to me and said,
“I’m so sorry. It’s just-I’m frantic. It’s my daughter’s 5th birthday and her father didn’t do anything for it, of course, he’s not really present, so I’m scrambling to create something for her “from him”. So sorry for the holdup.”
I could feel my heart sink as I smiled at her and said “Oh, no worries. I know how that is.”
The woman grinned and asked me if I had a daughter. I laughed and said no, but I explained that I had one of those “fathers” who wasn’t really cheering me on and celebrating life with me. A father who was also “forgetful“. Forgetful of birthdays, choir performances, dance recitals, and holiday dinners. I thought about the amount of times I watched my mom go above and beyond, partially out of love and partially to make up for the other half of the team that dropped the ball.
I could see the woman’s facial expression soften. She thanked me for my patience and I wished her good luck with the birthday festivities.
As we parted ways, I thought about how lucky I am…how lucky all of us are that we have a true father. It’s easy to remain hurt. It’s never going to disappear. But how can I continue to feel forgotten when I have a father who knows every hair on my head? How can I feel left behind when my father has promised me eternity with Him? How can I feel unimportant when it is written that I am marvelously made?
I’ve been that 5 year old girl. My mom has been that mother…scrambling to create perfection in the midst of brokenness. But the cool thing is to look back and know that God was present through it all. He never abandoned me on a birthday or one moment of life.
You are worth celebrating…
and He is celebrating every day for you.