We have had a couple of birthdays this week, which always prompts stories about their births. With each of my four kidlets, before I ever took a pregnancy test, God spoke to my spirit during the night that I was pregnant. I woke up with a song of joy and thanksgiving. During my pregnancies, I could hear Him whisper things about the child inside of me. After sharing some of the details, my seven year old gazed at me in awe. “God really talked to you? About ME?” Yes, He did. I proceeded to speak the words of truth that had burned into my heart about him and his sisters. The faith that I already see growing in him, his older sister’s healing heart, the warrior spirit and contented laughter of the babies.
Then we pulled out the Bible together, piled on the couch like puppies, the little one watching Dora out of one corner of her eye and me out of the other, the middle’s elbows digging into her brother, and turned to the Psalms. I didn’t play Mozart to them in the womb, but during some of the nights when I couldn’t sleep, I whispered Psalm 139 over them. With the background noise of squabbles and a computer game that was left on and Boots and Dora’s dance music, we heard His promises to be with us no matter where or when. I saw my daughter’s eyes glow at the beauty and reassurance of verse 9:
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
A couple who have had nightmares recently perked up their ears at the next lines:
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
I kept reading:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Long ago, I memorized the entire Psalm in Spanish and English. I have heard those words hundreds of times, but this time life sparked in them as I looked into the eyes of each kidlet and repeated them. “Did you hear that? The Bible says that you are wonderful.” They smiled back with perfect assurance. And my breath caught just a little, because some days I lack conviction on the part about “I know that full well”. Not regarding them–never! I see God’s fingerprints all over them, and delight in them just because they are my kids and some of the coolest, most lovable people I know. But to “know full well” that I am wonderful? Well, I keep coming across buried doubts about that somehow.
I snuggle up to my toddler–her hair still smells like the French toast she had for breakfast–and she gives me an enthusiastic and sticky smooch. My four year old joins in with a tight squeeze. “I lub you and I like you all day and all night.” My eyes shut against the tears and I smile at their extravagant love, so generously given and received. They know full well that we are all wonderful, too young and wise to qualify it with conditions or doubts.
As we play and giggle, I hear our Father echo bits of our conversation. “You are wonderful. I love you and I like you all day and all night.” I let those words sink deep into my spirit, and smile back at Him.
Image credit: derPlau