A girlfriend and I have weekly coffee on blurry-eyed Friday mornings, and we work well together, a slight quirkiness about us both, listening so intently to one another unless a good song comes on and makes us zone out and start singing. We both do it, so it’s funny. Ginny and I both have kids and it’s hard, and we need a break so we come, but we don’t always come ready to reveal the depths. Often we come to soak in friendship a little. Always we try not to be mushy, but usually we fail miserably.
A few Fridays ago was no exception. I was explaining how recently I’ve been through a season where I felt carried along. Being in the hospital with Titus was more traumatic than I had given it credit for. I didn’t know how hard it was at the time, because I fully believe that God had scooped me up like a sleeping child with her eyes barely peeking open. I saw the bumps, felt the roller coaster, the capsizing waves, and I hardly flinched.
I was being carried by God, with barely a prayer on my tongue or even the knowledge of left from right. One night I stayed awake all night long holding my limp Titus, and I hummed the songs I thought we could sing at his home-going. I may have been in shock. I planned my child’s funeral.
I’m explaining this to her as one who understands more than I would ever want her to. She lost her son, and now she has three gorgeous children with her on the daily, one whose needs are very very special.
I was explaining it to her, how I feel like God has just put me down, and I don’t like it. He’s put me down, taken my hand, and said, “Now walk with me,” and I’m watching myself pitch a fit like child. I would rather be carried, and I hear him whispering that He wants me to know Him, interact with Him, watch Him and follow.
Ginny’s reaction to this was so dramatic. Both her hands hit open-palmed on the table, and she shook her head down, saying: “If you only knew. If you only saw what I do everyday.” She went on to explain to me that when she brought her precious daughter home from the Ukraine and they had no idea the extent of her special needs, what they had to do was carry her everywhere.
Their daughter has learned to crawl and sit up strongly, and now she’s walking very well with a walker. I remember rejoicing that she was learning to take more and more foods, praying that she would receive the bites and move her mouth appropriately. Just last week, Ginny sent me a video of her daughter with a spoon in her own hand. She was feeding herself, and I wept to see it.
Sometimes I feel the swell of the waves, the ship about to sink. I feel pressure on my marriage, and community is hard work, and my children aren’t always likable. Life isn’t coasting how I want it to. It’s one of my most precious thoughts I have now to think of how He loves me: to take this image of our friends going after their daughter, bringing her home, and leading her in maturity. How they put her down and teach her to walk because they love her.
With tears rolling down both our faces, Ginny said, “All I want is for Lena to look at me, to interact with me.” And it clicked for us both, more like we’d been whacked up side the head. God just wants us to receive Him. He just wants us to look at His face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
*UPDATE* I wrote this post about two weeks ago. Watch what has happened since. It’s also on Ginny’s blog. Glory!