Were you the girl that hated to play kickball? Not that you didn't like the game itself, but rather the dreaded pre-game player selection. Some days it was just plain PAINFUL.
Please don't let me be the last one picked. Please don't let me be the only one standing there.
Please don't let the captains look at each other and say, 'You can have her ... uhh, no, that's okay, you can.' Please pick me. PICK ME!
Who decided that those two boys in my class would ALWAYS be the captains?
Who decided that the biggest boy ALWAYS got to pitch?
Can't we change the rules to allow a couple of kids kick the ball at once, rather than feel the heat of a thousand eyes on my wobbly pre-teen legs?
When someone is throwing the ball at me, why do said legs always get tangled up and result in me going to the school nurse for ANOTHER band-aid for my poor knees?
Can't we skip the whole picking teams thing? Let's just draw numbers for pete's sake!
This week, that same old feeling crept into my heart.
My girls were playing some sort of name game in the back seat. I was fiddling with the radio and not really paying attention until I heard my name. My ears perked up. I heard:
Do you like Mommy or Rocko (the dog) better?
In unison: MOMMY
Whew. Glad I won that little popularity contest.
Then I heard:
Do you like Mommy or Uncle C. better?
Uh-oh. I knew what was coming, but my heart was screaming 'PICK ME!'
In unison: UNCLE C!
Thanks, I murmured.
My sweet girls immediately tried to back up and make amends with words. But the damage was done. My heart was pierced.
In reality, I know they love me the most. I know that they thrive under my tender, motherly care. I know that Uncle C is more fun and they only get to see him once in awhile. I know that he gets to shower them with love and gifts and fun times, and I am grateful. I get to do the same, but I am also the enforcer. The rule director. The keeper of their hearts.
While my head cried pick me, my heart said I choose you, no matter what you say.
I realized the little girl that dreaded recess still lives in me. I still have a voice deep down inside that pleads, pick me. Some days it whispers to my heart in a room full of women. Pick me. I don't want to stand alone. Other days it glares at my silent telephone and says pick me. When my children are giving out kisses. My heart breathes pick me.
I am often so consumed with others picking me, that I ignore the gentle voice that whispers, I've already chosen you. You are mine. No matter who else picks you, you've already been chosen. I won't ever leave you or let you go. Dear one, you are forever chosen. Let go of the inner need to be accepted and needed and wanted and enjoy the place I have for you. A safe, place in the palm of my hand. The hands that I purchased you with.
But now this is what the Lord says,
he who created you, who formed you:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name.
You are mine.
I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness.