When the wind rustles through the leaves in the giant, old trees shading our backyard, Sophi always looks up and opens her mouth. It's like she's trying to taste the wind! She smiles with a look of wonder! I smile too! We can't see the wind, I tell her, but we feel it! It's the same with Jesus, and even though we can't always see Him, He is here with us! I know she doesn't understand, but, sometimes, I just need to remind myself! The wonder of His mercy!
He is here! He's here in the middle of our messy, hard days! He's here when we're laughing! He's here when we're crying and screaming and kicking our legs in a fit of anger! HE IS HERE! He never leaves us, never abandons us, never rejects us! He never quits loving us, never gives up on us, never stops thinking of us! And when I'm holding Sophi close in my arms, and she is fighting it with EVERYTHING she's got in her, I tell her this very same thing:
Jesus never abandons you, baby girl, even though I know you have felt abandoned. Jesus never rejects you, sweet one, although I know countless times you've been rejected. When you rage, when your anger makes your veins pop out, when self-hate causes you to bite your hand and pull out your hair, and even when you do the same to me, I tell you over and over and over again! Jesus loves you, Sophi! Momma loves you! His love never quits! He never lets go of us, and by His grace and strength, I will not let go of you either, no matter how hard you push away! You might not understand, but I know the Enemy does, and so I will keep speaking the truth into your ears. The one who wants to see you stay in darkness understands very well when I speak the name of Jesus over your little life! The Enemy understands when I claim the blood of Jesus, the FINISHED work of the cross, over every part of your life, from the top of your head all the way to your toes, from the moment you were conceived up until this very day! The Enemy understands because he knows that when I take the authority given to me, he has to leave you alone, Sophi. And, so, your Daddy and I are speaking Truth and telling the Enemy to take his hands off your precious life!
So even as I am fighting back tears in the middle of the fight, I can still smile because I know it is truth! And, if for a season, or for a lifetime, I have to hold on tight and tell Sophi that Momma holds Sophi and this Momma doesn't let go, it will be okay! More than okay, it will be good! It will be good because I know God is working all of this, every single season, for our good and for His glory! And I know that Mercy will be there in the midst of it!
The seasons change, and this is mercy! This season we are living in now will one day pass! We will look back and laugh as we remember all the diapers changed, the milk spilt, the battles over sticks turned into swords and spelling practice and taking turns on the rope swing, the temper tantrums, the 4 am feeding and the 5 am wake-up call from a little blond-headed boy wanting his "choc"alate milk! The season of washing sand out of a mouth and hand-feeding that same little mouth every bit of food and telling it that we don't bite hands when we are mad, this season will pass! The dirty hands that pull my hair, the big brown eyes that look everywhere but into mine, this little girl will grow and will learn and will blossom! One day I will long to see a pile of filthy clothes by my back door and cowboy boots and guns and bows and arrows and hats scattered across the kitchen! The unmade beds and a floor covered in legos, the bottles that need to be washed, the potties that seem to always need to be cleaned, the sights and sounds of a houseful of half a dozen little people...
It's part of this season, a season that will pass much too soon! So just as I am embracing Fall, as I'm opening my windows and teaching grammar lessons on a patchwork quilt in the backyard, and serving meals on the patio, I'm learning how to welcome this season too! In the middle of the mess, in the midst of what is just plain HARD, in this season, He is here! Mercy surrounding me. Love filling me. Faithfulness carrying me. Grace strengthening me. Father God holding me. This season , every season, for our good, and for His glory!
To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.