Do you know the most fulfilling moment I have had between me and my newest little one? You might guess that it was when she pointed to me and affirmed “mama“. Maybe when she first said “my love you.” Maybe it was when I had been away for a couple of days and returned home to her enormous, crescent-moon-eyed smile and shrill screams of excitement. Those things are precious to me, like jewels.
Those things tenderly noted, the most profound, fulfilling, moment ~hands down~ I will always remember in these early days is when I looked back in the van and saw my girl asleep. We had been out and about that day and in the middle of all the activity, she gave up her no-nap policy, closed her beautiful eyes and slept. Then again, voluntarily, a few days later at home~
There is a lot of hard mixed in. As I have written before and will say again, adoption is a result of brokenness– the kind of brokenness that affects the way a brain is wired. It can, and many times does, cause defensiveness and insecurity that might follow for a lifetime. It makes complete sense that would be the case. It would be unkind for me to assume otherwise.
For weeks she had been testing me. She wasn’t sure what to think of this arrangement. All of her faculties had been telling her that she needed to make sure nothing was going to fall apart. She thought she needed to prove her worth half of the time and the other half, wanted to see what I would do if all of her brokenness spilled out in all the worst ways. She needed to measure my response and know, with as many senses engaged as possible, I would always be there– Micah too. Sleep was not her friend in this endeavor. Anything could happen during the dreaming hours. If she wasn’t holding this all together, who was?
But this child of mine, she laid it all down– the control, the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty, the illusion of need for panic– and my little one rested. What an honor to be privy to such a sacred, healing, space.
This child. She teaches me so much about the way I am loved. Not because I am particularly good at loving, but because I so identify with her struggle. It is easy to say, “Jesus loves me.” It is much harder to believe it when I am experiencing all the things she doesn’t have the sophistication to hide. We all carry varying degrees of the same struggles.
There is something beautiful and holy about true rest– even aside from the pursuit of it. It is a part of self-forgetfulness (T. Keller) only grace gives. When it just happens, whether it is because we reach the end of ourselves or because it is so contrary to the way that everything else works in the world, it evokes a peace that is beyond what I may find the words to describe. What I can do, is point to its shadow and appreciate, rejoice even, its presence. I know that behind the presence is a Person- three to be precise.
You could take a thousand of my struggles and sins and line them up. You could name them for which lines they cross. But this is sure of each one: every visible and invisible sinner-side of me is barred with temporary, “I am His, I can rest” amnesia. My problem is not finding and remembering all the ways my relationship with Him should go sideways. It is remembering that He remembers my sins no more and has done everything— everything— to make me His.
My soul finds rest in God alone. My salvation comes from Him. Psalm 62
I imagine that, after all has been done for Him to say, “You are Mine”, coming to the end of control, fear, anxiety, reasoning, and trying so hard to make sure it doesn’t all fall apart then finding rest in the comfort of His work, His peace, His mercy, and His grace gives Him a glory due my Abba, Father, by the work of His Son, and in the abiding of the Spirit. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.