Our days were ordained for us before one of them came into existence according to Psalm 139. We don’t determine our families, our genetics, our in utero care, or our early stories. We are not self aware enough or world aware enough as young children to make choices that are wise and good in the long road for us. We need our parents to make those choices for us, and we have no control over them to make sure they do. None of us got to choose our birth country, our early socioeconomic status, or our family dynamics.
When I look at my daughters I see two different stories taking place in one family. My girls didn’t get a choice in that. And sometimes there are complaints and comparisons, and even at times genuine sadness. As I reflect on how much is out of our control, I can’t help but remind them that God loves us, He knows us, He cares for us, and our stories are not victims of chance. His sovereign hand was involved even in details that are difficult. We don’t have to understand, but we can still rest in Him.
These are hard lessons for parents. They are harder lessons for little girls that are still trying to make sense of this confusing world they exist in. So we keep it basic. We keep repeating. We keep encouraging them with God’s Word, reminding them to take their thoughts captive, to fight anxiety with thanksgiving, and to set their minds on heaven. Of course, those are big lessons, too big for little hearts to completely grasp. So we pray for them. We pray they would have trusting hearts and thankful spirits. It is prayer we need ourselves.
When one little girl wants to know why she looks different than her family, I can’t take the pain that holds hands with that question from her, but I can remind her of the love and care involved in picking her color of skin. Her looks, her personality, her strengths and her weaknesses were not the result of a lottery, but instead were the results handpicked by a loving Creator who knew her before she was born, and loved her. It’s my prayer that she find the peace that comes from understanding this as much as our finite minds can. We don’t get to make the important life determinative choices when we are young in life, but we know the One who does.