She was a babe, naked to all that the world can steal but with an infant life that was stolen, nonetheless. Loss was her lot. She has no early memories of gain.
So He hid her.
But she didn’t know it.
My former-orphan was protected, but spent her nights wide-eyed, vigilant, waiting for the darkness to shroud her.
He folded her lanky body in His arms, while she trembled with loneliness. He was near and she’d grown numb — vacant — from her searching. Her hope had been deflated by what she couldn’t see. Her world got small. It was whittled down to what was right in front of her.
And now that she’s in our grip, He is narrating her story. He is re-framing the narrative that she’d once tucked away into the darkened parts of her mind. (He’s going back there, with her.)
My little girl is starting to see. More than just what’s in front of her. And with her seeing, has come a song.
I sing about carrots and sweet potatoes in a stew of coconut oil, throwing words into the pot next to the babe who’s strapped into his chair (mesmerized). I make-up songs about “Baby Bo’s toes and all that grows.” I’m flippant with my choruses … while she sits with her piano teacher and pens the true narrative of her life, from who He is in His Word.
Just run to Me. And hide yourself. She writes.
She’s seeing the hand that hid her, now calling her to choose the hiding. What once was passive and barely-received (or even acknowledged) is now a call and a charge for my little girl who is letting God tell her not just who He is, but who He was to her, then.
And of course: she’s no different than me.
Today when I wake up to a morning meltdown from a child and a bill I forgot to pay and a stretching calling He’s put in front of me inside my home and out, when all I really want to do is run to the gym and pretend I’m twenty-three and free again, I need to know not just who He is now, but who He was then.
When I had a marriage hanging by a thin thread and a heart even more amuck, He was alluring me.
When I had an empty womb and stripped-dry heart — tired from years of running hard for God — He was the one unraveling me.
When I had a dad forgetting my name because cancer had taken over his brain, He was showing Himself to me as the Father who would never die.
Just as my daughter didn’t know when her body was paralyzed with fear over the sounds of the never-ending night, I didn’t know back then just how near He was. But as He re-frames the narrative of my history, today looks different. He looks different.
We force our history into a one-time testimony and try to tie it up all neat — just once, and (phew!) gone in a flash and never to intercept our life again — when it’s meant to be fodder for our now conversation with God. We run from the parts of our past that we wouldn’t share at dinner parties nor over the pews during post-Sunday service conversation, and we forget that He wants to redeem those, too.
She sings, now, of who He was … then. Who He was, then, is that He is giving her her song.
What’s the story He is telling in you? What’s the narrative He is re-framing from your life with His Word and with His whisper?
So, I have this book. This story. Who He was, then, in my own long night, is shaping the way I speak of Him now. And I’m blown away by how this little re-framing of His is making a dent in your hearts. The stories you’re sharing about His response to your reach and the hunger for Him welling up within you are … overwhelming.
As you read (and as some of you adore*) might you also sing? Tell the story. Even just a snippet. How is He re-shaping your perspective on your life through His Word and His whisper? How is He making you hungry for more of Him?
See below for the hashtag we’ve chosen (#EBTISstories), and share your stories in pictures and words … in your way. Let’s link arms and not-just-whisper how He is restoring our perspective towards Him (and making us hungry for more!) in our dark days.
For those of you dipping your toes in the water of adoration, Faith Gateway is giving away a 30 Day Adoration Devotional I created with my daughter, Lily. I love what these people have made available to you. (They’re making it hard for us to say no to this little habit of adoration that might just transform our families.)
And I say: Thank you.
Photos compliments of Mandie Joy.