Anyone besides Isaac, that is. I tell that man everything I can remember. As a momma, it's a little hit and miss with memory, but if I can remember it - I share it with that blessing of a man.
I grabbed a pen, my journal, and sat on the couch. I pulled the blanket up over my feet and wondered if 30 minutes before Daniels bedtime was really the best time to write. Was now the best time to open the journal that hadn't been touched since Victory died?
It almost felt like I couldn't stay away from writing any longer. It almost felt like it was now or never. So I opened the journal, longing to ask the Lord one of the questions that had been burning in my heart for the last few months: Do you give ME good gifts? It's not a question I would have ever thought I would be asking. I grew up thinking that the Lord didn't owe me anything - and that's still true! But I also believed that I should never ask for anything because He had already done so much for me.
Related: When grief kneels down
Praise Him that He still wants us to ask of Him even though He's already done so much. Praise Him that He isn't afraid of our questions and welcomes them!
So I'm sitting there in my pajamas, feeling the warmth from the lamp that stands next to our couch, and writing my question when I turn just one page back. September 30, 2016. The day we lost our sweet Victory Anastasia at just 6 or 7 weeks. The day that has been redeemed because it no longer holds only horrible memories. We actually thought that we had already lost the baby, so Isaac and Daniel joined me in St Louis so I could go to a conference with my friend, Deena. We didn't want to be apart and I felt like I needed that conference more than ever.
I remember Kari Jobe singing Miracles and I told Jesus that I believed He could raise her from the dead RIGHT NOW. I instinctively reached down to my stomach, but there were no kicks. So I kept praising Him because that's the only thing there is to do - whether you're in the middle of deep heartache or unhindered joy. Beth Moore took the stage and as she spoke, these were the words I wrote:
"I did not receive the gift of a baby in part, but in full. You have not given me something evil or bad when I asked for a good gift. She is still a beautiful, good, perfect gift from you even though we are separated temporarily."
I turned the page, remembering that day in September like it was a movie I had seen for the hundredth time. The tears fell as I sat there in my little corner of the world last week. Tears mixed with grief and joy - remembering again that the two can exist together. I remembered the two verses I had pinned to our bathroom walls as reminders to my weary heart:
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11
Related: Louisville walks with Daniel
I flipped back a handful of pages to something I had written on June 2nd. What I'm going to share with you feels so close to my heart and it's not something I normally share online. But I want you to hear this promise, which came before the greatest loss we have ever known. Even now, I don't want to share this with you because it's such a beautiful promise to me and I want to keep it to myself. But the Holy Spirit keeps pressing it on my heart and I have to share it with you. Here's what I wrote:
"Just now I held out my hands as the Lord said to receive a blessing. He said over me:
'Rain instead of drought.
Moisture instead of dryness.
Fog instead of dew.
No more rocks.
No more hardness.
I make the ground
and I sow in it.
For this is the land I give you on this earth.
Fix your eyes.
Streams in the desert.
Soar on high.
Anointing instead of lies.'
I saw the skies open to a storehouse of water - how it must have been when the flood filled the earth. I saw myself from behind and there was a veil of running water over my head, receiving.
He said, 'Get ready for my rush of wind.'
And I said, 'Lord, when it comes, I will take to the wind and not hunker down.'"
He gave her to us as a good gift. She's a good gift. Not even death can take that away. Those rocks the Lord mentioned? I have felt that in my life. The hardness? Yes, that too. And I can't imagine that I'm the only one who has felt like that. So I'm praying and hoping that this encourages you in a deep, meaningful way.
I still have questions I'm asking Jesus. And to be completely honest, even with this beautiful, beautiful story, I'm still not convinced that He wants to give me good gifts. Sometimes it feels like I'll somehow always draw a short stick. So if you have ever felt a little left out when it comes to Jesus and His voice or blessings, let me tell you that there's no lack in His Kingdom. He has enough long sticks. He doesn't create short sticks. In fact, He doesn't make us draw sticks at all.
Thank you, sweet friend, for letting me share my journey with you. He's turning the deepest season of heartache in my life into the greatest season of praise. #rememberingvictory