The One He Loves

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Growing up, my elementary best friend was our pastor’s daughter of a very large church. Everyone knew who she was and treated her special because of it. My best friend all throughout middle and high school had the best dad ever. He was a very prestigious and well known businessman in our area. He taught me what it meant to be respected by men, and he was the first inkling of what it could be like to be fully loved by a father. He taught me how to wash cars and that I should be treated like a princess. I’m so thankful for him.

But he wasn’t my dad. And if I’m honest, there were so many times I wished he was.  

A few months ago I had a dream that wrecked me to my core. It changed me forever. I’ll never be the same.  

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In the dream, I was at our church that we attend now. Everyone was scurrying around, you could hear the buzz among everyone, because Tim Tebow was there. I remember not being too impressed. 

I have this thing with famous people. They put their pants on just like I do every morning, they’re normal people just like me, so I don’t get too worked up about them. It’s not to say the anointing on their life shouldn’t be honored, it definitely should. But for those famous people that are Believers, it’s just that, an anointing from God. He’s the famous one. 

Back to the dream, I walked in church and was running late (shocker). The only seat that was available in the entire church was the one behind Tim Tebow to the left. I sat down in the seat ready for worship. 

And Tim Tebow turned around to me and started talking, doting on me, saying all of the nicest things. He was treating me so special. I started to cry because what he was saying was so kind, but I had seen this before.  

He thought I was our pastor’s daughter.  

It was a compliment. I love our pastor, and feel very much like he’s a spiritual father to me. 

“Wait, wait, I’m so sorry. I think you’ve misunderstood. I’m not the pastor’s daughter,” I said.  

“I know, but your Papa’s. Your Papa’s daughter.” he replied.

In the dream, I ran to the back of the church where I normally worship and laid down on my face, sobbing, completely undone.   

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I woke up from the dream crying. And every time I remember this dream, even as I’m writing this, my heart swells and my eyes fill up with tears. 

I remember Papa God whispering to my heart that favor follows me because I’m His. That I’m a big deal, because I’m His daughter.  

My best friend’s dad was great, but He doesn’t hold a candle to the Father I’ve found in God. That dream positioned my heart to not only receive from Him more fully but receive from others too. It marked me in a way that I’ll never be the same. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about John, the beloved. So many people poke fun at him, because he wrote those words about himself, “the one that Jesus loved.” But the more I think on it, the more I think we might could learn from him. 

John’s identity was fully established by being loved by God. The deeper I go into the heart of the Father, the more I’m learning that His love changes everything. And the greatest part of me, is that I belong to Him. 

I’m my Father’s daughter, the one that He loves.  

This dream I shared is yours too. You’re the one in the story with extra favor, that is spoken highly of, and doted on. Because if you are in Christ Jesus, you’re only identity, you’re true identity is established in the love of God. 

You’re the Father’s daughter, the one that He loves. 

Dear Working Mama,

I'm so proud of you.

I watch you hit your alarm clock three times every morning and fumble out of the bed. Your exhausted feet hit the floor and you know you won't be off them until you fall into the bed again at night. You rush to get ready. Throw on your clothes. Look in the mirror, and wonder if you can make it through another day. 

You dread waking up your sleeping baby to brave the bitter cold. After you put all the bags in the car, her bags, your bags, lunches, and who knows what else, you stand there and hold her. Yes. You're running late, again. But you breathe in her scent because it will be the last time for 7 hours. 

You strap her so tight in the car seat she might as well be going to the moon. You pull out of the garage and check the "going out the door" list in your head before you close it. And you're off. 

You sing to me all the way to work and I love it! She's listening to you and although they're just babbles, you're teaching her to love me. I know you feel stuck sometimes and wonder if what you do really matters. Sweet mama, it does. 

I watch your heart break every time you walk into the sitter's house. Not because she isn't wonderful, but because she isn't you. She's the one who gets to hear a belly laugh and see a squishy smile all day. You'll have to share your sweet girl with so many over the years. Do it graciously. I'm written all over her little life.  

I hear the prayers you pray for her as you walk out the door. Don't worry, Mama. I know you love her more than your heart has words for, but she was mine first. 

I know when you get in the car, you put on a different face. Your work face. I know you're trying your best! I see how hard you work, even when you feel no one else does. All the meetings, meltdowns, expectations, and pressure. It's a lot. Too much sometimes. And you can't stay there all day and night making the newest, best lessons anymore. You have to budget your time and use it wisely now. You might not be on all the committees like you used to, but I watch you love. And I love that more. I'm so proud of you. 

I hear you whisper to me throughout your day. I know you can't wait to retreat with me, but I'm here now. I give you those super powers when you feel like you can't make it until bedtime. 

You've learned that perfect looks a little different now. So it's okay to leave when you still haven't graded those papers. You've done Kingdom work today and your day is only half way over. It's time to put your mama face back on.

You run up the steps to pick up your sweet girl. I love watching you with her. I had your family planned out from the beginning of time, and I love watching my beautiful plans. 

You glance at the mirror, still shocked even after a year, that your daughter is asleep in the car seat. I love your grateful heart.

We went through a lot to get her there, didn't we? 

I hear you make all the phone calls in the car. Because not only do you work during the day, you're a mom, but you also pay bills, make appointments, and work out the schedule for your little family. Everyone depends on you. And I love how you depend on me.

I hear you mentally go through the "what to do when I get home" list. It's so much. Unpack all the bags. Repack all the bags. Iron your clothes, her clothes, his clothes. Lay them out. Pack lunches. Cook supper. Clean up from supper. And that's a day you have at home. That's a day without a meeting or appointment, so you have extra time.

And although you have all of that to do, I'm so proud that she comes first. You know how fast she grows up. And tomorrow, she won't be this little. So I watch you get in the floor with her. You play, read, and sing the Bumblebee song. You are doing Kingdom work, Mama. I am so proud of you.

When he gets home. Everyone's day is better! I know you two aren't perfect, but I also know your hearts. And you really long to love each other like I do. Your marriage is so beautiful to me. You both are putting the Gospel on display, and she is watching.

I watch you glance at the clock. Because for now, life runs on time. And your days just don't seem to have enough. Someone starts to get cranky and it's time for a bath and bed. It's okay when you feel guilty that you're glad. I give you just enough energy to make it through the splashes and tantrums. And I hear every word you softly sing over her. I am already answering those prayers for her. Mama, you just wait to see what I do in her life. And you will be a part of it. I laugh sometimes when you dose off. And then other days, I want to come down from heaven and carry you to YOUR bed.

The "things I have to do today" list is almost complete. And even after all of that, you still come meet me on the white couch. It's my favorite time of day. I get all of you. I understand that you can barely hold your eyes open, but Mama, my Truth is just the refreshment you need. My Word is the energy you need to love hard tomorrow. You serve so many all day, and you need me to serve you. This is how I do it. I love on you through my Word. And all I need you to do it open it. I'll do the rest. And I'll give you rest. You're learning to dance with me and you're getting really good.

I watch you melt in the shower and wash the day away. You fall into the sheets that you will all too soon stumble out of. And I sing over you and pray for you while you slumber. You did more Kingdom work today than you will ever know, sweet Mama.

And you will never know how proud I am of you.

An Old Friend

It took all of my courage just to open the door to the office.

I unbuttoned my jacket, not because I was warm, but maybe it would take away the tightness in my chest. I took a deep breath to slow down my fast beating heart. My hands shook as I completed paperwork and I slid into the corner chair hoping to be unnoticed.

The smell. That sterile smell. 

The magazines with happily pregnant women proudly displaying their swollen bellies were laying on every table. And there were many husbands sitting with their nervous wives.

I was there today. A place that, four years ago, brought so much pain.

I remember staring at those magazines wishing, with every ounce of hope in me, that after "this treatment" that would be me. Happily pregnant. And every time I came back to the same office and looked at the same magazine, I was the same. Barren.

As I started feeling those old emotions creep back over me like a dark cloud, I heard a soft Voice whisper to my heart, "You're not who you were when you sat here last. Your womb is still barren, but your heart isn't."

This time, it was different. I sat in that chair a mama. Not the way I had envisioned four years ago, but this time I am a mama to almost TWO babies.  

An old friend called my name, and lead me back to his office. As we chatted about the bitter cold weather, he began looking through my very thick file. His eyebrows began to furrow, and he peered up over his glasses. "Mrs. Satterfield, what happened last?"

Well, doc, how do I sum that up in a few words? "Um, I had surgery, went on shots, and we were ready to start IVF," I said.

"So why did you stop?" he asked, confused as he saw the date. "Well, we just didn't feel like it was right for us at the time. We felt God call us to adoption," I said.

I whipped out my phone and started showing off my beautiful baby girl. And quickly told him of our new baby coming soon. He was so happy for us and we continued the appointment. We made a plan to deal with my endometriosis. He shook my hand and said, "I'll see you soon. It was so good seeing you." And I left.

So why did we stop? Well we know now, at that time, there was a baby girl with big brown eyes, a belly laugh, and the last name Satterfield, only in God's thoughts. And there was a selfless woman, who was going to be in a real tough situation. And there was a little boy, only a few short years down the road, that we would call our son.

There was a weird comfort in seeing my old friend today. Although those times he walked with me, brought so much pain and heartache, seeing him today, in light of who I am now, was sweet.

He didn't know that when I first met him, I wrapped God up in a tiny little box. My thoughts about God and His goodness were safe and practical. They were about what I could do to earn His favor. I thought that maybe if I prayed a certain prayer, He would hear me and give me a baby. He was only good then, if He did what I thought He should do. I loved Him, but in a safe way.

When I saw my old friend today, the Voice who whispered to my heart just a few moments earlier, now cannot be contained to a perfect little box. He has exploded out of the box I used to put Him in. He is really, really good even though I sat in that same office, with the same broken body. He is sweeter. He is more real to me. He is here, with me, listening to me when I talk with Him throughout the day. He doesn't just hear a certain prayer I pray. He hears every word I utter, and I can not get enough of Him. Do I love Him? Oh, I am crazy about Him. Because we "stopped" in the eyes of my old friend, my relationship with God has propelled forward.

I recently read,

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

by Sara Hagerty. In her book, she discusses adoring God in the mundane parts of the day. As I got in my car to drive home, I was reminded of today's adoration, "The One Whose Goodness Intersects My Every Day-Psalm 27:13."

His goodness intersected my day. Even though I sat with my old friend, discussing my broken body, my heart and my love for this good God, hasn't felt more new.