Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cradling the impossible...

The question he asked the congregation the week before we brought her up in front of everyone, to be marked by grace, made me sit up straighter in the pew.

"So what is it? What is one of your heart's deepest desires?
The one thing you most dream of happening in this life?"

And my throat catches as I look down at
the impossible laying in my arms.
Just weeks new, fragile with new life, so full of promise.
A living testament of my answer to his question.
I make eyes at my warrior husband as he
understandingly nods back.
He knows before I say it.

 "She is mine," I whisper, holding her as close as I can.
Taking in her smell, her beautiful eyes, her breath.

"She is the deepest longing of my heart.
She has finally arrived."

I reach my arms around the other three as we stand.
 Lock eyes again with the one who's love spilled over to help make them. Rise all together in His House to hear Him, the Word, living and active. I close my eyes as God's voice rings
out through the Scriptures.

"There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." Luke 2:36-38

I glance again at the precious laying in my arms.
Lilli leans in closer, puts her fingers on our tiny baby's head. 

"Are they talking about our Anna, Mama? she asks.
"Is that Bible story about our Annabelle?"
I kiss her head and mouth,
"Yes, baby. In a way it is about our girl..."

Anna, God's "grace" and Belle, God's "beauty". 
A name that means so much to me.
I can't help but look up and smile at my Father.
The One who loves me so much that He delivered me from my own place of yearning. And I close my eyes and remember those long days of waiting. Sitting patiently before the Throne. Learning, like Anna, to worship night and day regardless of the circumstances or the disappointment or the physical pain. I remember the learning, during those long months when my broken body recovered from surgery, to look at each small gift and record them as blessings.
Finding blessing in the brokenness.
Counting my thousands of gifts.

It was planned last minute, but they all come to witness.
Because they know how much this means.
Held together by the arms of Jesus, we all worship as one.
Two incredible families unified under His Cross.
Those who follow the sacred history of the Church stand arm in arm with the ones who radiate the radical hope in personally knowing the risen Christ.
The great-grandmother who's unmatchable legacy is draped around my daughter's shoulders in lace.
The grandparents, who have comforted us during the most during times of struggle and helped grow our children in faith.

The aunts and uncles,
so joyful to add another gift to our every-growing family.
Young sisters and a "big" brother who cradle this baby in adoration and cuddle her in awe.

A Godfather, who's faith is so rock solid, that we pray our youngest will grow to love like him.
The gift of a Godmother. Her ears have heard my fears and
her arms have celebrated my hopes.

 She's christened with holy water and marked for Christ.  

Wrapped in love by a congregation of people and family who will pour into her life and nourish her spiritual growth.

"For this child we have prayed, and the Lord has granted what we have asked of Him."
1 Samuel  1:27
"Our Ode of Gratitude"
It was scheduled last minute
but you came anyway.
With big smiles and gifts
and beautiful words to say.
 Our dear baby was baptized
with waters of grace.
How fitting she was wearing
a traditional gown of lace.
As our Annabelle grows
we're so glad she'll know you.
Thank you for celebrating her life
and offering prayers so true.
Our "grace" and our "beauty"
we see in the eyes of this precious girl.
A gift from our Lord above
one day to His heavens her soul shall swirl.
(Ok, a little cheesey at the end, but you get how grateful we are that you came to Annabelle's was running out of rhyming words! lol)
Love you all!
The Dauses Family