I recently started doing an early morning online bible study with a group of girls and have been loving it. Usually the first thing I do when my alarm goes off is check emails, scroll through Instagram and browse Facebook, then hop out of bed and hope I get a few minutes during afternoon naps to squeeze in a little quiet time. However, one of the girls in my study suggested getting up early and doing the study in the quiet, early morning hours, letting God gently speak to me before the world (or social media) gets to scream at me the rest of the day. That simple suggestion has been priceless. Even though my alarm is set for WAY earlier than it used to be I have been stepping into each day feeling refreshed, covered in the Holy Spirit and cloaked in peace.
I have to admit that the past 10 months I have been fully immersed in “mommy world”, living and breathing Nora’s every second of existence. Losing Noble has given me a different perspective you might say. It taught me to cherish, to fully embrace in a way I fear I never would have had I not lost him. Even in those early morning hours, when she is fighting sleep, screaming at the top of her lungs and just being a little turd (excuse the frankness) I find myself singing praises over her. Cheesy sounding, I know, but it’s the truth and I won’t apologize for the ten thousand pictures I take of her or for the sappy, sentimental mush she has turned me into!
But even as I have relished these moments I have also felt my soul missing those plentiful, intimate times with God. I let the physical and emotional demands of motherhood take first place for a while, but now it’s time to enter back in to that intimacy. It’s been a snug winter of cuddling by the fire, growing as a family and learning how to exist as three….but now it’s Spring time in my heart, I’m ready to throw open the windows and let the Holy Spirit blow into my dwelling, plant seedlings in the soil of my soul and feel the Son’s glory on my face. And so after a long hiatus I am writing again…….
Recently, my morning study was on a short passage in Luke 1. Mary has just been visited by Gabriel who told her she was going to have a baby (only God’s son, no big deal) while her friend Elizabeth, who had been barren for all her life and was pretty old, I might add, had found favor in the Lord’s sight and become pregnant. Gabriel told Mary this as well and so Mary traveled to Judea to visit her. As Mary entered her home Elizabeth became filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed in a loud voice “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
I was struck by how uplifting and encouraging she was, she jumped right in to praising Mary’s faith and trust in God, in His plan. I immediately saw myself in her place, here comes my teenage friend and tells me the same doozy of a story and because God’s favor is all over her I believe her but I could hear my prayer over her echoing in my heart….”Oh Lord please protect her cause the peeps in our village are gonna eat her for lunch. Give her strength because this is gonna be real hard. And please dont let that man of her’s run off, help him believe her story and stick with her…etc”. Praying over her as a friend but allowing my own fear and brokenness to seep into my prayer over her, immediately seeing the worst possible outcome in the situation and then spewing out all that negativity under the guise of prayer. Saying with my mouth that I believe God, believe in His goodness, in His power, but all the while thinking in my head “Oh boy, this could go South real fast”. Elizabeth didnt see any of the possible ugliness in Mary’s situation, or maybe she did and just refused to acknowledge it. Either way I was convicted by her perspective….and that’s when God started speaking….
“There are casualties in every war, whether they are murdered by the enemy or simply left behind in the fight to survive. In the battle for your heart the casualties are emotional, huge sections of your soul can be lobed off with one blow and in the fray and confusion of the fight you patch up those wounds with false perspectives. You were hit hard and heavy and the casualty was your innocence. You learned the ugliness this world can hold, your heart beheld the darkness and that view was a crushing blow. In that moment of life and death there was no time to properly heal the wound of lost innocence. I held you, I cried with you, I held my hand over the gaping wounds and kept you alive. But now there is time, that battle is over, it’s time to rebuild, restore, replant. I am the author of life and just as I resurrected my Son from the dead I am raising your innocence from the grave. So set down your tools…..”
And I saw a vision of who I had become. Kara, The Expert In Storm Preparation. I was forever standing on the cliffs of the sea, scanning the horizon for approaching storms and upon spotting clouds I would immediately put my analytical hat on and begin to assess just exactly how bad the storm could get. And once I had all the angle’s analyzed I would race to my tool shed and begin pulling out all the tools needed to survive the worst. Boards to cover delicate glass windows, check, nails for securing costly items, check, blankets to wrap precious heirlooms, check. As I’m working away to preparing my little dwelling I’m praying “I love you Lord, I know you will shelter me and protect me, I trust in your plan for my life and know you will carry me through any storm.” Just a busy little beaver who is blind to the fact that God is standing right next to me saying “Hey there crazy lady, I got this, that storm isnt even gonna hit land. Seriously, I AM protecting you. Hey, stop boarding up your house, I’m gonna blow this thing out before it can even get started! Don’t you pick up that hammer, it’s just gonna be wasted energy…..Hello?!” And what do ya know, the storm blows over, I pull the nails out of my front door, walk outside to blue skies, praise the Lord for His protection and then have the nerve to ask for renewed energy because that little whirlwind of activity just exhausted me! And “Oh yeah God, what was that you were trying to tell me? I couldn’t hear you over all that hammering I was doing.”
But God isn’t calling me to be an expert at storm prep, it is my lost innocence that causes me to see the storms in the first place. I was never meant to be a horizon scanner or to have a tool shed full of hardship tools. God is the one who scans the horizon for me, He is the only one who can forecast what is to come. The ONLY tool I need is my relationship with Him, it is through this relationship that I survive and not by anything I can wield with my human strength, perspective or understand. It is through the death of His Son that I can live this life without fear, dancing in the rain in purest freedom with no thoughts of an approaching hurricane.
So here I am, innocence being restored, learning how to dance again, laughing at the downpour with hands outstretched to catch the drops…..with a daughter in my arms.