A few days ago I was feeling a little anxious. I hadn’t felt little sister move much that day. And, logically, I know that some days babies are just more sleepy than others. They have lazy days just like we have lazy days, too. But it still sends me into a bit of a panic. Most times when this happens, I’m in the middle of my day and something distracts my attention until sure enough I feel that sweet little punch and I whisper, “Merci” – deep breath, or “Gracias”- deep breath, or “Danke” – deep breath. I get bored saying the words, “thank you”, like a knee jerk responding to a doctors’ plessor so many times a day….maybe it’s fun for Him that I change it up every now and again? Or, maybe it’s stupid? Whatever, that’s not the point. I was wanting some reassurance the other day, and I wasn’t getting it in the way I wanted. I decided to take a shower, because that’s what I do when I don’t know what else to do.
And I heard, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.”
And, I responded with blubbering and whimpering like a babe who had just surrendered the fight of an all out tantrum.
“Trust You!?!”, I said. “How does trusting You really make anything better for me here?”
I trusted Him with Brooklyn. We all know that didn’t protect me from heartache or hurt. Everything did not turn out alright.
How do I trust Him, with her? I mean, I know how to trust Him with my wreck of a life as a whole, big picture, story beginning to end kind of trust, but what about right now – in this moment? This is when I remembered that trusting Him looks a lot different than being granted a feeling that everything is going to be OK.
The story of Cain and Abel kept popping into my head. I had just recently listened to a sermon on worship and the offerings of Cain and Abel were discussed. I said, “Not applicable right now, Lord. I need something on trust. Whatya got on that for me, right now? I’m pretty desperate. I’m about to use up all the hot water, and it’s much less messy to cry in the shower – sooner rather than later would be great.”
Nothing. So, I just wore myself out and went to bed.
The next morning, guess what kept popping into my head again? Cain and Abel. What in the world? So, I decided to read through the story again and somehow I saw something new this time. If you’re not familiar with the story, basically Cain brings the Lord a bunch of fruits and vegetables and Abel brings the Lord a lamb. God accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s.
Bottom line, Cain worked for his offering. He gave out of the curse. Abel, on the other hand, just received. He didn’t have to do much for that offering – just got the sheep together and let ’em do their thing. Cain and Abel were sons of Adam and Eve. The Earth is still pretty new at this point. This could have been the first time these sheep had procreated? Maybe Abel didn’t know if it could happen again? But, he gave anyway.
“How’s she gonna land this one….?” You hear in your head, in the Jim Gaffigan hot pocket voice.
Look at how much Abel had to trust to offer what He did? Cain had prepped the land, he’d tended it, he’d harvested it. They may have been the best of the crop, but He probably knew He could do it again.
Their offerings came from two different places of the heart.
When the Lord gave me Brooklyn I may have said she was His. But, my heart was holding on so tight still. I would have fought tooth and nail to get to keep her, as I’m sure any Mama would. But, ultimately I had to give her up. I was forced to give her up. Even though it was my reality, I still had to learn how to give her up day after day after day.
That was one type of offering.
But, this new baby. This is a new type of offering. A new type of trust He’s stitching into my heart. He’s asking me to give out of my uncertainty. To offer my heart regardless of the outcome. Which is cool and all, but it can be hard as a human being, whose nature wants to protect itself, to connect and bond with something you’re holding “loosely”. And I want to feel every bit of joy and connection I can with this babe! At times it can feel like cupping my open hand to get a drink of water but my fingers are spread apart. The water runs right through. I want to feel the weight of the water in my hand – the weight of the gift that it is today, and tomorrow and each day I have her.
Just a gushy Mommy side note: I’ve been so very aware lately that this is the only time she will never be far from me. Yes, she will be in my arms eventually, but at some point the nurses will take her away to get all their data down, I will share her with Adam 🙂 and family, and friends. She will nap next to me, and with some time in another room. She will eventually go on play dates, and go to school and move out and get married. But for right now, she can’t go anywhere. She’s all mine and I’m all hers in a physical, spacial sort of way.
Anyway, He showed me that I am trusting Him when I give her up to Him and receive the gift of her all at the same time.
And this, in essence, is worship. Giving back to Him what He first gave to us. So, for now He’s given me a new way to deal with the fear. A new place to cast my eyes. And very literally, new songs to sing.
This morning I asked Him what He wanted me to do with my time with Him. I was open to ditching the devotionals if there was something my heart needed more. And He told me to write Him a Psalm. So, I did the dishes.
Then I decided to be obedient and sat down to write Him something. And, I didn’t focus on the “art” of it all, as I may have in the past. I just told Him what my heart felt. And then I read it to Him, aloud. Twice, actually.
You are more real than I know
More real than I can see
More real than I can feel
You have re-programmed me
You have broken my bones
And reset me, stronger than before.
You have pressed the reset button on my heart
and put a new song in it
My eyes are new
You have painted my world with fresh colors and meaning
You have shown to me – myself
And rescued me from its destructive patterns
You are not far off
You have been nearer than the next breath I breathe.
You haven’t let me down in my greatest disappointment.
You haven’t left me in my bed, or a pile of tissues on the floor.
You have become my only hope, my only salvation.
You have put me under the heavy, rushing waters
And with Your strong and loving arms
You have held me there….
But not a moment too late,
You have raised my body – in Yours.
You let me breathe Your first resurrections breath, with you!
It’s been hard
Many days and nights have been terrible
I never thought I could be at such a low place
But You were on the bathroom floor with me
I certainly have wanted to die
For it to all be over with
To be in Heaven with You, and her
Sounded exponentially better than to be here –
Separated, without, corrupted, cast off.
But You have shown me that there is much I can give You here.
Much I can give you here that I cannot give to You there.
Things the angels long to give You.
Things they wish they could give You.
They watch in amazement and wonder.
You have turned my days from a waiting room
From a count-down of breaths
To notes in a song book
I want to waste them giving back to You what You first gave to me
You have given me a reason to keep breathing
My forever has already begun
My worship, Your praise will follow me
And echo its’ way into eternity