focused on seasoning the bubbling liquid on hot stove top, i didn't realize soon enough that you were trembling.
my hand reached out and turned down the soup as i knelt down in front of you, pressing my ear close so i could hear what your tears threatened to drown out,
"mama, are you going to give me away to another adult?"
shock stole my breath.
lit by the oven light, your tears were as bright as your flushed cheeks, the panic in your eyes about did me in.
"no, baby! no!! mama will never, ever give you away to another adult. ever. you, lyla mae, are mama's. you are daddy's. and baby girl, for better or for worse you are stuck with us!"
i pulled you onto my lap and let you cry out your worry, your fear...whatever it was that had caused such terror to invade your mind.
soon, you were relaxed into the curve of my body...reminding me of how heavy i was with you 5 years ago that green, washington christmas. the weight of you inside me, close under my heart...
i whispered in your ear that like the Christmas gifts we will give to one another, Jesus gave you as a gift to me that rainy january evening, and you were a gift that i was treasuring and marvelling at; you were a gift one doesn't get tired of and give away.
i think i know what triggered your fear...one thing coupled with another and in my own sadness this evening that began in the early morning hours i hadn't made the connection until...
until your fear made you tremble.
i realized as you looked into my eyes and asked the inevitable question, begging out the question, "you'll never leave me, right mama? i'll always, always be with you? every day?"
and more than anything, i wanted to cradle your beautiful face in my hands and promise that yes, you will always, always be with me. you will never have to fear abandonment, you will never have to worry about rejection because i will always, always be here.
but i know i can't. i can't promise you that i will always, always be right here. because, i won't. and whether that is unexpectedly soon or years and years and years from now, at some point, Jesus is going to call me Home and i won't be here.
but, sweet, tender child of mine.
you. will. never. be. alone.
why, sweet one? because He has promised. and because He is faithful and He is true.
and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of Truth. the world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. but you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. because I live, you also will live. on that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.
i don't know what tomorrow holds, or the next month or even the coming new year. but what i do know, what i know more than anything...as long as He gives me life every morning, i am not going anywhere.
but if some morning, you wake up and i have gone Home, know that the same Hand that knit you inside of me and knit our hearts together will be the same Hand that will guide you and hold you close and give you the shelter that you need.
this post to you, lyla mae, marks the 500th post that i have written on this blog. my first post was about you. and this post is most definitely about you and about my desire that your heart falls more and more in love with Jesus everyday.
i know i'll fail you. i know i'll unintentionally hurt you and your tender spirit, but i know we both have the same Heavenly Father who will bind up those wounds if only you ask.so, as long as He gives me the time, i will give you my best.
because you. are. worth. it.
and i love you, madly...