There is great power in remembering. I grow more convinced of this truth with each passing day. We call forth the assurance of God's character into our now by the telling of his faithfulness in our then. There is power, yes, but also, there is joy. Deep, shining joy in digging up the treasures of moments passed, dusting them off and gazing at them in wonder.
I penned these words the night you were born, as I sat alone in our quiet hospital room, waiting for your daddy to return from settling your siblings in at home.
"Its so surreal to process that not even 12 hours ago she was still a hidden gift folded within. Now she breathes the air that fills my lungs and her heartbeat sustains her. Labor drew the words, "Mercy..." from my lips more times than I could count, but now I say them with an altogether different tone. It is all His mercy. Her unfolding and her sustaining."
Ah, little one, how could I have known? I spoke of his mercy and your sustaining, and how could I have known the weight and the glory in those words? That just five weeks later we would sit in another hospital room in the black of night, knowing it is all his mercy that sustains our breaking hearts nearly crushed from the news of a very sick you. Or that hours later after an army of the saints called out to God on your behalf that a fourth ultrasound would reveal a mass three times seen was no more? I couldn't have known it then, but now, I can never forget. The days and weeks that followed were still so scary, your blood counts so very very low and struggling to rise. But God. Those two words change everything. He was thick in our thin, and He healed you right pink, this time more slowly, but never leaving us.
I wonder what it is that He has for you, your Creator. I said that when you were born your cry was so different from your siblings, it was strong and resolute - those were my exact words. How could I have known how you would need that internal resolve to endure what you did the first few months of your life? You were poked and stuck so many times, poor Judah always hiding his eyes as he couldn't stand to watch you hurt. I'll never forget the way you'd lock those pleading eyes with mine, only a few months old, but they understood that I was safe and I could make the hurt stop. Those moments nearly broke me in two.
The months have revealed you, and we stand in awe. Already, we see your free spirit, how you giggle at the blinding sun and laugh at the cold wind in your face. How you can't help but dance to the music and oh, how you enjoy food. You devour life in full enjoyment, and only just one year. I believe I will learn from you my whole life long.
You are our vivavious one, Selah Joy, and I pray that spirit is never quenched. That you stay hungry and you keep curious and you devour this life like you enjoy your food even now. But even more, I pray that hunger leads you straight to the Bread of Life and that you feed on Him, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus welling up in you giving you life abundant all your days. There will come moments when the shadow of darkness looms so thick and so heavy that you will wonder if the sun will ever shine for you again, this life both mountaintop and valley low, to be sure, and many a moment in between. But He will be with you each and every step of the journey, His strength made perfect in your weakness, and you will find true the words of scripture, that He himself is our peace. And my precious baby girl, it will be His mercy, all His mercy. Every tear and every triumph, He holds it all together, holds us together in love that cannot be seperated.
Only one year old, and already such a story to tell. You keep telling His story, of the God who is faithful and strong like the mountains with a love bigger than the oceans. And His joy and His glory will bubble up and overflow in and all around you. Sweet girl, you will truly find yourself when you get lost in the great pursuit of Him, there your story finding its purpose and place. Nothing, not our pain nor our mistakes, is out of reach of Redemption. He wastes nothing, and He is ever breathing life into us, from our first breaths to our many heart deaths, He is making all things new. I pray you are resurrected again and again as he awakens the pieces of your heart which the enemy of your soul has tried to kill. God always gets the last word, my daughter, and rest assured, His words are good and true.
My Selah Joy, I couldn't have known how you would change me or how my heart would love you. I only pray God grants me the days and words to someday help you understand. But for today, I'll treasure you in your one year old preciousness. And today, we will celebrate and remember all that God has done for us in you.
I love you with my whole heart and soul,