First Friday: A Tangle of Pink and Blue

The cool air carried a tangle of pink and blue balloons above me.  The scent of flowers filled the air.  And the squeals of my one-year-old broke my momentary oblivion to what was happening around me.

A few hours before, with rain beating against our windows, we had written words of love on those same pink and blue balloons. A simple tribute for a little life lost to miscarriage last September. A tribute fitting for the significance of the day, the day the same little life would have come into the world.

With each stroke of the pen, love was spoken.

I watched as my eldest painstakingly wrote her message to our baby, wanting to make sure the words were clearly visible to its recipient.  I watched as my son plastered his treasured Thomas stickers all over his greeting.  And I even watched as my youngest paid little attention to any of it.

Little attention, that is, until tears began to fall down her daddy’s face.

At that moment, my sweet Sophie pushed her way through my own embrace, held tightly to my husband’s leg and looked up expectantly.  As quickly as he lifted her, she took his face into her soft little hands and said clearly, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”  To which she followed with a loving pat and snuggle at the nape of his neck.

In each and every little way, love was spoken.

A love that was carried with me as we later walked down the winding path to the lake.  A love that forced me to giggle a bit as Sophie ran furiously in front of me.  A love that knew that what was about to happen would be less than Hallmark perfect.

Instead of a serene release of pink and blue, we kind of hiccupped our way through letting go.

We hiccupped as we discovered the baby running into a mud puddle mid-launch.  We hiccupped as we heard the eldest loudly chastising all of us for not following the rules.  And we hiccupped as we saw a little blonde boy refusing to let go of his balloons altogether.

It was hopelessly hiccupped and hilariously imperfect.

But somewhere in its imperfection, somewhere between the letting go and the holding on, amidst the sadness and the joy, I found myself coming to terms with a poignant truth:

Love carries and cradles and protects.  But love does something else too.  Love lets go.

Especially mommy and daddy love.

I secretly wish it didn’t have to.  Like my children, I have done my fair share of finding distractions, micromanaging my circumstances and refusing to let go altogether. Because let’s face it, letting go hurts like the dickens.

But even as it hurts, letting go as a parent also demonstrates profound trust.

A trust that communicates that Jesus holds us perfectly.   A trust that says God’s sufficiency is bigger than our fear.  And a trust that points directly to the hope of eternity.

Time and time again, God’s word speaks to that truth.

You see, love put Moses in a basket upon dangerous waters.  Love gave a longed-for Samuel back to God.  And precious, heartbreaking and surrendering love wept for Jesus at the foot of the cross.

And there were many tears.  And cries of anguish.  And unimaginable pain.

And it didn’t matter whether the baby was an infant or a toddler or a grown man, it hurt all the same.  But beyond the tears, beyond the pain came an unfailing trust that God’s love was greater than earthly love.  In every weave, in every prayer, in every tear, each of them echoed Hannah’s promise, “For his whole life, this child will be given over to the Lord.”

Love trusted Him enough to let go.

Not once.  Not twice.  But for life.

Every day, love let go.

I want to be that kind of mom.  I want my faith to be bigger than my fear.  And I want to trust Him enough to let go every day.

Be it through the toddler days, the teen days or the grown-up days.

Promising that for their whole lives, Grace, Drew and Sophie will be given over to the One who loves them most.

But in that promise, I want to remember that this vow took root in an imperfect moment.

One that honored life, garnered hope and pointed straight to eternity.

All wrapped up in a tangle of pink and blue.

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie.  When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers.  But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful.