Object Constancy

Ephesians 3:14-19

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

There is nothing that quite compares to the glorious feeling that overwhelmed me when I held my baby boys for the very first time. Seeing the evidence of God right there in those doctor’s hands, all squinty and crying and covered in grape jelly! When I first laid eyes on my newborn children, they were the absolute most beautiful squishy little things I had ever seen. I took them in my arms as soon as the doctors would let me. I felt the warmth of their skin against mine, held their small little hands in between my fingers, and tried to understand why God would entrust this tiny human into mine and my husband’s care. We were one, my child and I. This was the jumping watermelon I carried inside of me for ten months. My blood ran through his veins. I desired to love and cherish him as long as I lived. I desired to meet his every need with patience and tender mercy. I daydreamed of being the mother who would never yell, never lose her temper, always have a sweet song to sing like Celine Dion every night before bed…and I would always always have fresh baked cookies in the kitchen.

Well, fast forward six years and I think I score a meager C+ at being the mom I dreamed of being. I am so thankful we serve a graceful and forgiving Father!

When my children were born, I really had no sense of myself apart from them. The past year had been spent preparing for their arrival. I couldn’t even be in a different room than them without feeling guilty. And to leave them with somebody else and go on a…what is it called again?…oh, a date! Nope, I’ll leave them alone with somebody else when they are 18!

Thankfully, I did eventually chill out! But I was very much aware of the “symbiosis” between my baby and me. A newborn has no sense of self apart from his mother. This symbiotic union between a newborn and his mother comes straight from the heart of God. It’s the reason why nobody can comfort a baby like his momma. The child does not have a sense of safety apart from her presence. However, as the child grows and learns…and especially when he starts to crawl and walk!…this symbiotic union is replaced with the goal of “object constancy.” I know mommy exists even when I don’t see her. I know mommy loves me even if she is not holding me. I can tell mommy goodbye and know she will come back. Mommy is a vital part of my life, even if I am not in her presence.

I was just talking tonight to some friends about this transition most parents experience. It breaks our heart when we drop our little one off at preschool, and they cry and cry. Yet, it also breaks our heart when we drop them off and they don’t even want to give us a kiss and they go right to playing…and even have the courage to look up and say, “Mommy you can go now.” I mean, really? I feel the love! He doesn’t even need me anymore!

But, you see, this is all so so beautiful! Object constancy is explained in Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:7. It is the will of God that we, as His children, are rooted and established in love, and built up in Christ. God’s desire for us is to be so aware of the great love He has for us, that we never feel alone…even when we are alone. That we feel His presence even when our circumstances tempt us to doubt Him. That we trust His provision even when we have trouble understanding why certain things are happening. That we look outside and see the beautiful sunset, and the rushing ocean, and the majestic mountains, and know that our daddy made His creation to display His splendor to us and His love for us.

I cannot go on without taking a look at my own heart. Do I live as a newborn in my faith – only trusting God when I understand and only believing He is real when I can see Him? Or, have I matured into object constancy. Do I trust God even when it is hard? Do I truly believe that I am never alone? Do I write the Lord’s words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” on the walls of my heart? Will we continue the all too familiar cycle of seeing a problem – doubting God – watching God come through – realizing we should have trusted Him – until we see the next problem – then we doubt Him again. Or, will we take the initiate to mature in our faith and allow the Lord to bring us to a new, stronger relationship with Him?

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