When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. Psalms 126
And so here I sit, here I am, this is me, a captive brought back to Zion. For years Adam and I have treaded water together, weathering blow after blow from this world. For so long I have felt captive to grief, captive to sadness, captive to hardship, ever struggling against their bonds, wincing at the chaffing on my heart as if all these feelings had a manacle clasped around it. And all the while praying, praying, praying for release. Rejoicing at baby steps towards freedom and wondering when I would fully spread my wings, finally be able to stretch them without bumping against the walls of my cage.
You see, without even realizing it I had once again placed God in a box. Asking for healing, asking for freedom but seeing it as a 1 2 3 process. 1.) Ask for freedom…. 2.)Gain said freedom….. 3.)Move on with life…. But oh how God laughs at our feeble little plans, our misguided understanding, our inability to grasp even the simplest of His concepts. How He rejoices in blowing our minds and setting us free.
I could never fathom that having another child would ultimately bring about the very healing I was desperately seeking. That I was the one actually locking myself in that cage, refusing to let myself move forward until I had crossed certain milestones. Milestones that God hadn’t even set up, checkpoints that I had designated for my journey towards healing.
So let me make a little confession, draw you a little picture….I am forever the person standing on the edge, toeing the line, looking down the cliff to the water below but never actual able to make myself jump. But because God has a sense of humor (Oh yeah, and because He loves me) He is forever the person standing behind me, letting me think about it for a while, waiting for just a bit to see if I’ll make the leap on my own, and when, once again, I start to shimmy back from the edge He rolls His eyes and gives me a good healthy shove. And before you think me better than I am, I am screaming and kicking the whole way down, you might even say cursing, hitting the water in a dander ruffled, angry sort of way. But when I finally come up for air, break the surface of the water and take stock of all my non-existent injuries and look around me I realize, again, the utter stupidity of myself. How silly and narrow-minded I can be, asking God for healing but setting up a “so many steps” plan for Him to follow. I am sitting here laughing, looking back at that first post I made after I found out I was pregnant again, sounds an awful lot like a dander ruffled, angry kind of person who just got shoved off a cliff!
But how could I know? How could I fathom that kissing Nora’s warm sleepy forehead would soothe the memory of kissing Noble’s cold one? That the Joy of celebrating her 4 month birthday would ease the pain of wondering what he would look like today. That every time I see her I am overcome with thanksgiving and want to dance over her with shouts of praise. That her very existence lifts my eyes towards eternity. Refusing to live a life of fear while raising her is the ultimate healing process. I remember following the story of Hannah while I was pregnant with Noble, working to ultimately release my hold over him and fully accept the concept that he was not actually my child but God’s. The second time around is no easier. Having experienced that loss I fully understand the weight of what I’m asking my heart to accept, that as I’m challenging myself with this acceptance the enemy is taunting me with the remembered torture of heavy grief. But the simple fact is he will never win as long as I refuse to sink into the trap of fear. I will rejoice over every day that I have her and find peace in knowing that my God is big enough to heal me again should I find myself without again.
And so truly we are like captives brought back to Zion, like ones who dream, can this be real life? He is restoring our fortunes by restoring our hearts, setting our captive souls free, laughing and rejoicing with us as we dance and sing our thanksgiving before Him. We have 3 children now, one here with us and two waiting for us when we finally come home, we are blessed beyond measure.