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A Much Bigger Dream

I had one girl and two boys, all under the age of seven.  I was ready to burst, my fourth baby wiggling incessantly inside my pregnant belly, leaving me exhausted and eager to give birth.  I had chosen NOT to find out the gender, but not-so-secretly dreamed of a sister for my oldest. You see, I was the only girl in a family of three older brothers and always wanted a sister. But no matter how much I pleaded with my mom, no more babies were to be had. A few days after an awful procedure called an "external version" to flip over my not-head-down baby, I packed my bags and headed to the hospital.  After hours of induced labor, the doctor came rushing in just in time to shout, "IT'S A GIRL!"  My heart leapt for JOY (her middle name that mirrors my own) and, in that moment, I thought my BIG dream had come true and my earnest prayer answered. Little did I know that something much BIGGER was on the horizon. The birth of this baby girl became the very starting point of a now years-long journey of healing for me. I'm still not sure why. Perhaps it was a fluke.  Or maybe God just knew that I might be ready. Immediately, her sparkly eyes drew me close, as if she could see right into my soul.I had never before been able to open my heart without pause. She was unconditional love wrapped in a tiny package of flesh and bones.I had never before been able to receive love without restriction. As she grew, her child-like wisdom shocked me in the best ways.I had never before been able to move out of formulaic thinking. KNOWN.LOVED.WISDOM. Three crucial pieces to a puzzle that had long been missing in my life, and that changed it forever. As I write, this young lady stands on the precipice of a hope-filled future, one that reaches far beyond me. BUT... She still sparkles and I feel seen.She still loves unabashedly and I receive it with JOY.She still speaks wisdom and I am, again and again, moved toward healing. My BIG dream did come true that autumn morning, the birth of a sister for my oldest. But God had a much BIGGER dream for me, an "immeasurably more" kind: the slow, deliberate, continuing and tender mending of my own precious soul. #doublejoy

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