It’s not that I planned on being pregnant at 19. I mean don’t get me wrong I wasn’t an “afterschool special” or anything. I was married and I eventually wanted kids, it just happened way before I was ready. As I struggled through diapers and breast-feeding and formula I soon realize that it wasn’t like it looked in the brochure. Every milestone came after much anticipation and provided instant relief of “Whew! Thank God I didn’t screw that up.” The time eventually came to start my baby on baby food, so I did what most moms do and decided I needed to research.
I packed her up in a carrier that resembled an infant straight jacket, and headed to the library, because in the early 1990’s, that’s how research was done. I sat down at a table and combed through baby books. I discovered that infants should be introduced to savory foods before sweet foods so they won’t refuse healthy options later. I thought that made some sense, but also didn’t relish the idea of feeding my baby pureed peas so I settled on Sweet Potatoes. I figure it had the word “sweet” in it and it was a festive color, so it would be the first baby food I would try.
I unintentionally began a Sweet Potato obsession with my daughter. She LOVED sweet potatoes. She would swing her legs in joy every time they were mentioned and would reply with a “yummmmm” sound after every bite. Everyday…every meal…Sweet Potatoes. I grew tired of cleaning up sweet potatoes from the highchair and on my child, and I desperately wanted to get her to try something different. “Would you like bananas?” Crying ensued. “Pears?” More crying. “Apples?” Uncontrollable sobs. I even offered the fine infant delicacy of “Tutti Frutti” and still hysterical opposition. She only wanted sweet potatoes. There was a whole world out there of delicious food! Fruit, and bread, and SUGAR! But my sweet little girl would only eat Sweet Potatoes.
I would explain to her that things would taste so good if she would just give it a chance. I would warm it up to entice her with the smell, and chill it to make it seem more like a treat. I would beg her to try my way, and cry in frustration when she continually met me with ignorant opposition. It didn’t matter how convincing I was, or my promises to fulfill her palette with a taste she had never known, my 6-month-old baby fought me the entire way.
I find myself so infant like. So many times I find myself clinging to a thought, a dream, and a lifestyle that limits my potential. I find myself kicking and screaming and fighting and running from what God has planned for me. I know He has a plan to bring me hope and peace and joy, but sometimes I just can’t let go. I can’t help but wonder if God is enticing me with peace and joy for me future. Is He the Father begging His child to just give it a try? I’m afraid of the unknown. What if I submit and become even more miserable and unsure? Sometimes in my ignorant opposition, I’m holding on to things instead of surrendering to God’s plan and trusting that His plan is beyond perfect. Sometimes I put my trust and faith not in God’s omnipotent wisdom, but in my experience. Sometimes, I just want the Sweet Potatoes.
Today as I look back on my life, the peace and joy have always followed a moment of obedience and surrender. As I embrace the collage of memories from the past, I can always see that when I would just trust in God, I was met with peace. It was never how I pictured it, and certainly never anything I could have even imagined, but it was better. Today, as I stand on the precipice of my next life change, I find myself crying out for Sweet Potatoes. I’m holding on to them with gut wrenching force, knowing that I need to let go. Today I pray for the direction and wisdom of the ever-powerful wooing that God does to entice me with the life He has planned. Today, I’m looking for the Tutti Frutti.