I waited until midnight last night and dialed my home number with shaky hands.
One baby stolen and one sold was too much for this momma and I needed to hear the sweet voices of my babies on the other side of the globe. I felt weak and weepy on the other end of the phone.
It was worth the $2.50 cent phone call to whisper a goodnight.
As I lay there in the dark, begging sleep to deliver me from my tears and fears, I thought about the bad days leading up to this trip.
They felt like some of my worst days as a mom–arguing over too big piles of laundry in teenager rooms and a picky eater over dinner. Picking the wrong battles and fighting about things I can’t even remember. Complaining about a dirty house having to make dinner again…
We all have bad days.
Mothers know these best–when our buttons are pushed and limits are pressed. Parenting is hard and I’m the first to admit it.
But this week, I’ve met with moms who would love to trade my bad days for theirs.
Today, I followed one of our maternity home moms (a graduate who still lives at Rehema for reasons explained in these pictures) down a slick, muddy path into the heart of her slum. She’s barely 15, an orphan, with a two year old.
I won’t lie–it’s some of the worst living conditions I’ve ever seen.
And I simply can’t describe the unbelievable and impossible transformation that has happened in this young girl’s life. There are no words to describe it. And some stories we hold close to our heart to protect the hearts of others…but know this–it’s miraculous.
I listened as her aunt expressed overwhelming gratitude and love for these two precious lives–and for us. But when shy Lillian asked if she could say something to the group and started crying with her first word, I bowed my head. As Maureen listened to her Swahili words to translate them for us, they broke her.
This is it, I whispered to myself. This moment is what I want to remember. Thankfulness on the worst days in the worst places. Lillian’s deep gratitude made every heartbreaking moment worth it. And I don’t ever want to forget it.
And when I have bad days as a mom, I want to think of this mother and the millions like her around the globe. Perspective is a gift we should unwrap every chance we get.
God help us to remember this on our worst days.
Because maybe they aren’t so bad after all.