Christian confession: I sometimes get jealous when I hear someone casually mention that God told him or her to do something. Or not do something. I am a Christian person, after all, and it’s not every day that I hear God’s voice offering up advice on, well, anything. That’s not to say that it hasn’t ever happened. It has. I can specifically pinpoint four occasions in which I believe that God spoke directly to my heart. Four. In thirty-six years. You can understand, then, why I struggle with accepting that God so fervently–and frequently–speaks into the hearts of other believers. I can’t help but wonder if my lack of conversations with Him are the result of my being too distracted to hear the quiet calm of His voice amidst all the noise and bustle of my days.
Last spring, I experienced what I believe to be a modern day miracle. (It is imperative to the rest of my story that you click through and read about my miracle). For days–weeks–after it happened I went about my business in a state of euphoria, so very humbled that God would respond to my prayer in such a tangible, undeniable way.
The dailies of life have crept in since then and though I’m still humbled by the experience when I think of it, it isn’t so consistently pressing on my heart and mind.
Last week, a friend shared heartbreaking news with me. The woman I prayed for–the woman at the eye of my miracle–passed away. I was in church when I heard. It took a minute for the news to sink in but when it did, I crumpled. The worship music faded in the distance as my head swirled with the news. Gabbie was a single mom to two young daughters. My heart doesn’t break for Gabbie; I trust she is at home with the Lord. My heart breaks for those two baby girls.
I was walking home from the bus stop with Jayce yesterday afternoon when the older daughter–a fifth grader–approached me. Um, I forgot to tell you, she said, my mom passed away on Christmas.
If you know what the right thing for me to have said would have been, please share. Because I didn’t know. I couldn’t manage a single word without my voice breaking beneath the weight of it. I know. And I’m so sorry, sweetheart, I said. I hugged her. I tried, but didn’t fully succeed in getting a grip on myself as we talked a little bit more about what she and her sister are facing in the wake of their mother’s death. They are moving to a new home–a new town and school–to live with their father.
They don’t know it, but those girls are so heavy on my mind, so ever-present in my heart and prayers. I can’t help but consider the moments they are on the verge of, and how the absence of their mom is going to leave a gaping hole as they traverse the teen years and then marriage and motherhood. I want so badly to scoop them up and take them in and do what I could to fill it.
I came directly home from the bus stop yesterday and googled “Christian resources for young girls grieving their mom”. Before my screen even yielded the results of my search, though, I heard God’s voice for the fifth time in my life. And once I’d heard it, I felt foolish for missing so obvious an answer.
Tomorrow I will be buying two age-appropriate Bibles. The girls may very well already own Bibles, but then again, maybe not. And since adopting them and living out God’s love for them each day is not an option, I can at least make sure they are equipped to not just get through this storm in their lives, but to thrive through it.
It’s what God told me to do. Thankfully, I was listening.