Originally published Monday, 14 April 2014.
She was more awake today. More alert at the details that surrounded her. Pigeons pecking crumbs in the courtyard. The siren of emergency vehicles whizzing by. The man lifting his cigarette as we stood at the crosswalk.
Her eyes were wide today. We walked along the boardwalk pier and I could almost see her mind reeling. The blue. The waves. The foam. The bigness.
We've been to the ocean as a family of three more times than not. Living a dozen miles from the sand and sea has made us regulars in this little place. Venice beach is our favorite.
But today, today it was like she saw it for the first time.
"You see the water baby girl?" We'd ask, knowing her response wouldn't be verbal. "That's the ocean. The big blue ocean. It's pretty huh?"
As I stared and clicked away her facial expressions, I got excited about so many other things she has yet to see, taste, smell and touch. A forest. A mountain of snow. A fire made just for smores. A zoo filled with animals she's only been read to about.
And then my mind did something I'm finding a little too familiar these days. It skipped passed the good parts to the bad parts. As beautiful as this world is, it will crush her someday. Or at least try to.
It will push her around and call her names. It will tell her she's not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart or adequate enough.
And she will cry. And I will cry. And cry. And cry.
She will break, probably more than once.
Just the thought of her chubby ever present smile fading because life happened makes my insides knot up.
I'll just lock her in her room forever, so nothing bad can ever happen. But thanks to the foresight of Disney's fairytales, we know the will of a girl cannot be contained to the top of a tower.
I've been asking God to give me a promise for Baby Girl Mo's life. A verse or proverb I can pray over her that will foster courage and strength and beauty; more for my sake than hers.
And then I read this this morning:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Which cross-referenced to this:
"If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes [her] steps firm; though [she] stumble, [she] will not fall, for the LORD upholds [her] with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. " (Psalm 34:22-23)
And then I got giddy.
She's not ours. I mean she is, but she's not fully. She's His! Our girl belongs to the Creator of the Universe, the same God that commanded and empowered giant armies, the One who raised up strong leaders out of nothing and gave them huge callings!
She is safest in His arms. Not ours.
She was purposed for His mission. Not ours.
She is more loved by Him than us. As impossible as that seems.
But so are we.
We are more loved by Him than anyone else. ( < Click to tweet)
Thank you Jesus! I prayed.
Thank you that we get to be the one to hold her and wipe her tears and bandage her battle scars. Thank you for trusting her to us so we may see and experience Your grace and love in a more tangible way.
Thank you for letting us help mold this precious little being. We'll try not to screw it up.
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