"I barely know You, take me deeper."
I've prayed this prayer everyday for the last three years. And every time those words flow out of my heart, I realize I've barely scratched the surface of all there is to Him. Each season, both the hard and beautiful, bring to light a new side of Him. A side, a lifetime of knowing Him, I've never seen. The second He satisfies me with all of Him, I am left aching, hungry to know Him more. He is not the God many of us have grown up hearing about in black and white. He has colors. Lots of them. And they are beautiful. At least the ones I've seen.
The closer He pulls me to Himself, the more I'm realizing I only have a sliver of understanding of His love for me. God is love. I know this. I've heard this my whole life. I've sang it, said it, doubted it, and believed it. But this is the kind of Love that is relentless. This Love that I've barely tasted is furious, crazy, unbelievable, and pursuing.
I realize the more I'm beginning to understand His love for me, the sad reality that I don't truly know how to love others. At least not the way He loves them. I'm just coming out of a season where He asked me to "
." And during that time in the secret with Him, He begin to take away misunderstandings I had about Him, and replace those with Truths.
I have two adopted children. I understand, first hand, the process of them being fatherless, to having the best daddy in the world. I know the hours of paperwork we completed. The financial sacrifices we made so they could join our family. The process of them coming home to us was hard and painful. Our story is one of brokenness. We had experienced loss and our children and their birth mom have too. But the days we each declared to the court that we would love them and take care of them forever, are the most special.
Because those are the days they became mine.
I get this about my children. But so often when life gets hard, or life is easy, and I'm moseying around on my own, I forget this about myself. I forget that
. I am His. He has adopted me into His family, calling me daughter. He has given me an eternal inheritance. Once an enemy, an orphan, now His. He sacrificed so much bringing me into His family. And sometimes I live as if I don't know who I am, Whose I am.
I am His kid, and He is crazy in love with me. Zephaniah 3:17 says He sings over me. Psalm 139 says that His thoughts about me are more numerous than the sand on the beach. He knows intimately every detail of my life. I no longer a slave to anything, but it's His blood that runs through my veins now. Because He's my Daddy, and I belong to Him.
Every time I walk into a doctor appointment for Micah, I pray that the words they say or label him with will never stick. You know the children's book,
, by Max Lucado? The little girl in the story is different from all the other wooden people in the town. They all walk around sticking dots or stars on each other. Either stars because they're beautiful or good at things, or dots because they're ugly and no one likes them. But the little girl doesn't have any dots or stars, because they never stick. She spends time every day with the Carpenter who made her, so when the wooden people try to put dots on her, or stars, they fall off. She knows who she is.
I pray each doctor appointment that those dots fall off. They don't stick on Micah. Because that's not really who he is. He is loved, cherished, adored, and is created for amazing things. He's my son and his daddy and I will always love him.
Micah had a MRI about a month ago that came back abnormal. We had initially been told he had a large amount of fluid in his brain, they label this hydrocephalous. He was going to have brain surgery, so a shunt could be implanted to drain out the fluid. This was the reason, or so we thought, why he has so much trouble eating. The pressure was building up, causing him to have severe vomiting, therefore causing his oral aversion and need for a GJ tube with continuous feeds.
We were referred to a pediatric neurosurgeon to discuss the shunt and surgery date. I prayed in the waiting room, like I do every time, "Lord, don't let this one stick. It's what he has, not who he is." We waited for two hours with a ten month old. We played with everything that we couldn't take off the walls, and we even started crumpling up the paper on the table and made balls to throw. We've found ourselves in this situation more times than I can count.
The doctor finally came in. He started talking and like always, I look to my husband for translation. And then I heard it...CP.
"Wait, hold on, why are you talking about cerebral palsy when he needs a shunt?" He said something about fluid and white matter and sausage links, clearly I have no medical training. And I said again, "What exactly are you telling us? I'm his mom, just tell me so I can understand."
And he did.
"He doesn't need a shunt. The extra fluid in his brain is where the white matter didn't develop. He has cerebral palsy. It's too early right now to determine what type, or how severe it will be." He was kind, that doctor. But his words stung so deep. I looked at my sweet boy, who has already spent the majority of his life fighting, and realized the rest of his life wouldn't look much different.
We went in that office with a plan to fix everything. Now it was a scary plan, but the shunt would fix the pressure that would help the vomiting that would allow him to medically eat. We left that office with a diagnosis that would last a lifetime, only complicating everything. We got into the car, and I had to ask my husband if he was sure of what we heard the doctor said. Did he really tell us that?
It's the initial shock, that first blow, that's so hard. And then the string of questions without answers that follow. Those are painful too.
We do know this explains a lot. At least we have a reason now for the "unrelated" issues Micah bravely fights each day. We also know that his isn't severe. We're hopeful he'll walk, and have been told the part of the brain that is injured doesn't hinder his cognitive development. But it also has everything to do with why he has never been able to eat and why his speech is so delayed. But we're going to keep plugging away with therapy, and
I'll watch my son sit at the table with us and enjoy a meal.
He might fall a lot more than most kids, he might have extra scars, but we'll be there every single time he falls.
And we'll teach him how to get back up.
We'll be there with his number on our shirts in the stands, screaming louder than all the other parents, because this boy's dots don't stick. He might never be the MVP, but he will always be in our family. He's always been a fighter. He's spunky and he'll need that later, I'm sure. We'll have to learn how to balance protecting him and pushing him. It will be hard some days. And just like I have grieved so much of his future over the last week, I'm sure there will be moments when I grieve for him again. But this doesn't change anything. Just slightly our expectations.
Because I know who I am. I know Whose I am. In the secret, behind closed doors, I have learned I am Dad's kid. His love for me is wild. He knows every detail of my life, and I can trust Him. Because He is a good Father. And just like He loves me, He loves Micah more than I could even dare. He perfectly formed him. He has written out all the days of his precious life.
And He is writing a story. A story that shows weakness, but the strength of the Father. It's a story of beauty from ashes. A story declaring the glory of the Lord. And Micah gets to walk in that.
He will walk.
What I want my children to know more than anything else in this life, is Whose they are. And I want them to live in that identity. When we begin to grasp that we belong to Father, a good Father, our lives drastically change. Bad news is still painful, but those facts beat up against a wall of Hope.
When we know Who we belong to, even in the beautiful days of our lives, we find Him to be the most beautiful. When we know Who we belong to, our circumstances might change, but He is always the constant.
I'm praying this for you and me today. I'm praying the more we know the Father, the more we spend time with Him, nothing sticks to us, except what He says about us. And He says we are worth fighting for, we are loved relentlessly, we are passionately pursued, and He delights in us.
We can trust Him. Because we belong to Him.
We are His.
*All photos by