Friday, May 6, 2011

In the Warmth of Grace

I wish you could hear the peace of this place. The late afternoon calm that descends on our backyard like sun-kissed grace wrapping around us.

Alas, no video could make you feel the warmth of the sunshine or the kiss of the slow breeze across your bare shoulders. No recording could do justice to the song of the birds in the trees or the tinkling giggles of the windchimes.

And I realize as I sit here drinking in the afternoon that perhaps there is so much more in these moments to experience. Perhaps the grace of this life is so much sweeter for the days that have come before.

Tomorrow is birthmother's day and every year it brings a somber cloud into my world. The painful echoes  ushering in Mother's day. Celebrating what I have and reminding me of all that I gave up. I haven't known how to meet that. Deal with that. Live that. Reckon with that. Celebrate that.

But this year, as I sit in the afternoon peace I realize that perhaps I've missed the mark on Birthmother's Day. Perhaps instead of trying to find a way to celebrate its loss, emptiness and a wound forever open. Perhaps I should learn to honor it. Honor a choice. Honor your life. Honor life. Honor change. Honor an emptiness only God can understand and only Jesus can redeem.

So, I write to you this day, my sweet baby girls. I know you are so much more than baby girls now, you both stand on the threshold of womanhood and your futures are dawning on the horizons. What would I tell you if sipped iced tea with me here in the late afternoon sunshine?

 Learn to dream. To laugh. To accept the grace that God wants to pour into your life. To be comfortable in your own skin. To know that growth comes from rain and dark days redeemed by sunshine and the warmth of hope. To ask for help when you need it. To give help when you can. To jump in puddles, soak up the sun, touch the ocean and climb in the mountains. Fall in love. Share an ice cream cone with a puppy.  Serve your husband breakfast in bed. Carve a pumpkin. Grow a garden. Go sledding. Dance when you're asked. Sing in the shower, in the car or wherever the words and the mood strike you. Swim with dolphins. Howl at the moon. Take pictures, fill albums and cherish memories. Call your grandparents. Send a friend a card to lift her spirits. Study anything and everything that strikes your fancy, even after school is long over. Smile....

Most of all, I wish for you. Jesus.

I pray that someday you'll sit in a peaceful spot reflecting on the life you have, the days you've lived and the moments marked for celebration. And in those moments you'll come to understand that life is what it is because the Savior knew your name, your face, held your tears and knew the paths you would choose. He loved You anyway. He came for you. He stands with you. And He redeems your mistakes, missteps and dark moments and gives you sun-kissed moments of whispered love and grace to remind you that He will never leave.

I will never dry your tears or hold your hand. I'll never talk lay on your bed and talk about boys. Or help with homework. Or cook your favorite meal. Your mother does that. Will do that. Jesus chose her for you...and connected our hearts. Celebrate her! I do.

Tomorrow I will plant a tree. In honor. In honor of shoes never tied and giggles never heard. Of moments a birthmother misses. I'll remember your first cries, the look of your little hands in mine, your tiny toes and the moments you were mine. And each year as it grows and blooms it will symbolize hope. The hope for somedays and relationships yet to come.

Let me tell you, as I finish writing this with tears in my eyes, the sky has grown dark and there is a storm moving in. But the sun still shines over my shoulder and I can see to the other side of the clouds...it is temporary. A rain that makes flowers grow and readies the ground for our tree.

Tomorrow, I'll plant our memories of hope.

3 comments:

Sandra Groves Timmons said...

So much pain for birthmothers creates so much joy for adopting families. God bless every birthmother and give her peace.

Leebird said...

So beautiful...I closed my eyes and pretended it was from my birthmother.

I love your heart, and I love you.

angie_naish said...

Oh Wendy, I can barely see the page anymore. I never knew there was such a thing as birthmothers day. Thank you for enlightening me to fact. I have always sat and celebrated the precious life I gave away on her birthday for these very same things and cried my heart out alone not knowing anyone else really understood me or even cared. I'm so sorry for everyone that has been down that road and I wish we didn't have to be part of that sisterhood, but so glad we have the one that redeems it all and makes it all worthwhile. JESUS. I pray for those that will inevitably follow in our paths that they find Jesus and his unfailing love, mercy and grace, before they suffer years of emptiness and pain that only He can take away.
Love you sister! God be with you and bless you always!