Our bed covers snuggle me in warmth and I hear my husband softly breathing beside me. My eyes stare into the darkness of the night. Outside, our little world is sleepy in its own blanket of fallen snow. All is still, but my mind is racing. So many doubts and fears give rise in the dark.
The day plays back in my head and I wonder what He is up to? What is He doing with us? Why am I here? Where is He taking us? Major life decisions arise on our road and the possibilities are exciting . . . and terrifying. But He didn’t call us to a life of clarity, predictable comfort or safe security. He draws us close in the uncertain and unsettling places in life, that we might realize that He is the only Comfort we seek.
He holds me tight then, and invites me to trust. He is enough.
Yesterday morning, I woke up singing a song from my pre-teen years, I believe first sung by DC Talk, I Wanna Be in the Light. How’s that for a blast from the past?! 🙂
It ran through my head all day, which, I’m sure was probably getting on my husband’s nerves, since we were all stuck in the house because of snowy/icy roads! I could only remember a few words:
I wanna be in the Light, as You are in the Light
I wanna Shine like the Stars in the Heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
‘Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light
Firefly and I were in the bathroom later in the day, brushing her teeth and hair as I was singing and dancing (I use this “dancing” word loosely) to this song.
She stopped me still.
“Mama, why does she wanna shine like the stars?” she asked, her signature inquisitive look on her face (Since I’ve subjected her to hour upon hour of Sara Groves, I think she believes that all singers are female….)
I held my breath. I think I could sense something Big here.
“Well,” I began, “she wants Jesus to shine in her and in her life,” I stumbled for words.
Excitement bubbled over, my little Firefly lighting up.
“I wanna shine like the stars!!!!!!?” Her tone full of the demand of a three-year-old’s “I wanna!”, but with the lilt of a “can I?” by the time she reached the word stars.
“You do? Well, you can! When Jesus is in our hearts, He can make us shine….” I tried to explain.
She nodded her head at me in all her exuberance, eyes alight.
I hesitated. She doesn’t understand, I told myself. She’s too young. But I continued anyway, hesitant.
“You can ask Jesus in your heart and He can make you shine. Do you . . . want to ask Jesus in your heart?”
She nodded fast.
I smiled. I still hesitated.
“Do you . . . want to pray together? We can pray to Him and ask Him to come into your heart….”
This is where I expected the conversation to end, because often, I ask her if she wants to ask God anything and she always says, “No, you ask.” She seems to be much more comfortable thanking Him for the little somethings she treasures in her day. But this time she answered with a yes.
So I took her little hands in mine and she prayed after me, asking Jesus to come into her heart and life. Right there in the middle of our peachy-flowered, wall-papered, linoleum-floored bathroom.
And we went to tell her daddy.
It hit me as we were sharing the news. I didn’t mention a word to her about sin. Nothing about Him washing us clean. Nothing. What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking. I was so caught up in His light shining up her dark spaces that I forgot about the dark spaces altogether. I wonder if I messed up this precious moment. But maybe focusing on His light, his work, his Otherness, is all we need to realize our deepest need for Him.
He lovingly challenges me later.
Do you really think that you could possibly “mess up” my plans for you or your children? Mine? Me, the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the Galaxies? In me is pure light . . . I give chase to the dark doubts and fear that visit you in the night. One little flicker of Me in your daughter’s heart is more than enough. I will always finish what I’ve begun.
I rest in knowing that He is already there, on our bends in the road. I know that He always has and always will have my Firefly’s little heart in His hands.
He calls me up to simply lean on His Everlasting Arms. Invites me to cling to Him. Dares me to trust.
I curl up on the couch, blanket over me, sipping hot cocoa. I lose myself in a book that I’ve picked up again and again over the years. Strong Women, Soft Hearts, by Paula Rinehart (I heartily recommend this book as a must-read for every woman). My mind settles on her words as I remember Firefly’s “I wanna!” and coinciding “can I?”…
Between your longings and the demand for their fulfillment is a place as real as any in the tangible world. But it is uncharted and uniquely tailored to your own personal story. You will only know you are there when you feel a little on the edge of your chair — and strangely at peace. Getting there, sometimes, feels like a miracle itself.
It is the place of trust.
Trust hangs somewhere between knowing what your heart longs for and trying to dictate the shape or timing or outcome of your heart’s desire. It lies in the willingness to accept the particulars of how and when and where God chooses to intervene. It waits in the cool shade of surrender.
I trust that He is all and in all. For me. For us. For our children.
We drop anchor in the goodness of God. ~Paula Rinehart