The Baby Carrier
Last year I packed up the majority of our baby things. Play mats, burp cloths, clothes, and the various paraphernalia that got us through one stage and on to the next were stuffed into our old Buick. They would find their new home with another mom.
I remembered the freedoms that had come throughout the last few years. No longer did I need to stuff diapers in a purse, find a half-eaten banana in the bottom of a diaper bag, or take twenty minutes filling bottles and formula cups before I’m out the door for the day. I felt a mix of emotions as each baby item I piled up stripped away my past. Overall, I was ready for the next phase of kid-life- school, friends, conversation, and deepening personalities. Yet while I was ready to say goodbye to most items tied to the baby years, I couldn’t part with one.
My baby carrier still hangs in our front closet, and when I get a glimpse I feel my heart sink in my chest. Can it stay a little longer?
These layers of canvas stitched together made morning naps still possible while I frantically grocery shopped, praying they’d fall asleep quickly and stay that way. The carrier was the reason any mouths were fed during the painful weeks of teething. It held them against my chest, swaying while we worshiped together each Sunday.
I see those padded straps and I think of family hikes, trips to the zoo, and even late nights at 2AM when my last hope was walking around an empty campground patting the child strapped to my chest wondering if I’d ever sleep again. But I did. And I’d go on to carry a second child, and a third in the very same wrap as we’d do it all again.
But sometimes I forget.
I wonder if I let it go, will the final strands that link those memories go with it?
Every baby item we owned carried special moments- but my carrier? It carries memories as close to my heart as the child who slept there. It holds the frazzled ones, the desperate ones, the exhausted ones. It holds the days when I just couldn’t handle it anymore, and the nights when prayers filled my thoughts and lips. I can’t let those go, for those are the memories I need.
Because it’s there in those moments that I see the faithfulness of the Lord clearly. I see his presence for the fearful girl of twenty-four, twenty-six, or twenty-eight – and I remember that he is the same faithful God for my thirty-second year.
Psalm 77:11-12 says “I will remember the deeds of the Lord, Yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” Far too often it’s easy to forget the work he has done because we are so filled up with what consumes our days now. Like the Israelites who had just been redeemed from slavery and watched the Red Sea part, we wail and complain for the food we don’t have now. As sinners saved from death by the blood of Christ, we too have been brought out of slavery. We’ve been given the bread of life and the living water in Jesus Christ. He has rescued us, and since then he will continue to show his faithfulness to us as his children. We might see its course throughout our own lives in the small glimpse of a baby carrier, but we see it clearest in the grace he offers us each day as we come repentant before his throne. Will we remember his rescue? Will we ponder it, and meditate on his provision?
I’ll keep the carrier for now. I can’t part with it yet. It beckons me to look upon the goodness of the Lord, and that is exactly what I need in this new stage, and the next, and the next.