• Marnie Hammar

Confessions from Soccer Carpool

Updated: Feb 6

I’m nearly damaging my steering wheel with my anxious gripping, waiting for the red light to turn. My middle son is lacing his soccer cleats, inserting shin guards. My youngest, just along for the ride, is practicing using the training device that came with his epinephrine cartridge.

As I focus on the clock and the traffic and the getting there, he is focused on a medicine that could save his life. Peanut allergies, his constant reality.


“Mom, am I doing this right?”

“Mom, I still have to go to the hospital even if I use this?”

“Mom, does the school nurse know how to do this?”

“Mom, if I have to use it at school, how long before you get there?”


I’m annoyed by his questions. I’m thinking in breaths: I just want the light to turn green. So I can go. Because soccer is waiting for my middle son. And I’m failing at getting him there. I’m failing. Again.


And then this song cuts through the hurry, becoming a punctuation mark inside my mom-mobile. The music forces a pause that feels entirely different from the red light. The words land between my thoughts and my steering wheel, pulling me out of myself.


On the outside, what I’m doing looks right. Soccer shuttling, check.

But the outside is not aligned with the inside, because my heart is a mess.


My small mama moment of shuttling to soccer is – ironically – at odds with the big picture of what I’m actually called to as a mama.


As I’m stopped for a red light, I see that I’ve overlooked the more significant green light inside my car…an invitation to go…to move towards my kids. I remember the very reasons I’m in the car with these precious boys: God has placed me here. I get to do this.


Tears.


How do I keep the big in my mind as I walk through the small?

How do I rise up on the days that try to keep me down?

How do I keep truth bigger than lies?


That Tuesday, “I am failing” stepped in between me and my kids.


As I sat in the driver’s seat, those lyrics of truth gripped and pulled on that planted lie, and made room for me to see a very big moment happening in my rearview mirror. As my youngest tried to be informed and rational about a food allergy that brings anxiety for both of us, I was distracted and dismissive? Because I was too absorbed with fabricated negativity in my head?


I almost missed it.


Mamas, as we walk out the high calling of filling water bottles for practice, erasing toothpaste from counters, and washing stinky socks, there is no room for these lies. If I believe that I am failing…that I’m not heard…that I’m not important…then I am walking through my days listening to the wrong voice. And those lies create chasms between us and our calling. Distance from our people. Separation from our purpose.


We cannot believe these lies.

We cannot allow them to take root.

We must rip. them. out.


The light turns green. I choose to step into this moment, not as a frantic, faceless carpool driver, but as the daughter of the King. Standing on the truth of who I am and who I am called to be, I gaze at my youngest, seeing him new: a seven-year-old who is trying to understand. I hear his very real fears in new ways and walk him through each, with care.


I turn to my middle son, tell him we’re fine. We’re almost there. He settles, relaxes.

And then I look at myself in the mirror. I breathe. I am not failing.


But what about next time?

What happens when I hear “I’m failing” again?

How do I keep truth bigger than lies?


And God whispers: To keep truth bigger, you need to hear Me louder.


In all of the noise of my own self-sabotaging thoughts and the enemy’s condemnation, I forgot to listen to God. I forgot to hear Him. That Tuesday, it took God speaking to me through a song to pull me back to Him. And it wasn’t until I chose to listen to His voice that He could start working.


And this is what He reminded me:

Those lies you hear? They’re not me. Because I don't condemn. (Rom 8:1)

Listen to me. You know me. You know my voice. (John 10:27)

You’re not failing. You’re a masterpiece. (Eph 2:10)


That Tuesday, God met me in my own noise. He drew me up from the lies, showed me what they look like from above, and quieted them. He led me toward my kids and gave me His eyes to truly see them. And He handed me a second chance at an almost-missed, significant moment.


If He met me in this moment, then how much more can I trust that I can hear Him louder in any moment? In heartache. In hard conversations. In conflicts. In lonely times. In places where I am tempted to hear lies amplified.


Lord, let me always choose your voice over the others, always hear yours louder. And thank you, Lord, for meeting me where I am – and for not leaving me there.

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