When I was pregnant with her, I was only a couple of years older than she is today. That is a weird thought process all by itself. Month by month I dreamed of her face, sight unseen, and fell in love with her and all of her carefree somersaults and even my widening belly. She consumed my thoughts then, just as she does today. I was blessed with a truly healthy, happy, comfortable pregnancy, something I didn’t fully appreciate at the time.
I was in such a hurry to meet her that my doctor had no trouble convincing me to induce labor around our actual due date. He suggested it not for any particular medical reason; it just seemed to be a fad at the time. A practice of convenience. We both were healthy and she was full weight and well developed. He scheduled it, I prepared for it, and she was born without incident after a really easy labor. Still healthy and happy, and yet again I didn’t fully appreciate these blessings.
When she was finally born on a bright and cool afternoon in September, I was not at all surprised to see her wide ebony eyes, her tiny rosebud mouth, her profile, her perfect olive skin. Everything about her was exactly as I had seen in those sleeping dreams. She was a beautiful baby then, just as she is beautiful young woman now. I am still so grateful for those dreams that showed me her face ahead of time. She was imprinted on my heart in a million silent, priceless ways.
Looking back, so many parts of me wish I had allowed her birth to happen naturally, to experience unmedicated labor pains and the thrilling surprise, the curious timing of the miracle of life.
I wish I had let her arrive in her own way, at her own time.
Then this precious girl was gone for a while, for too many years, for reasons we are just beginning to fully understand. But she was never removed from my heart. Not even for one minute.
For a second time in our life together as mother and daughter, I found myself literally dreaming of her when I couldn’t see her. When I couldn’t touch her, hear her voice, or smell her vanilla-shampooed hair. In her long, sad absence these past years, I would sleep roughly but often catch phantom glimpses of her face in my dreams. Those same ebony eyes, her same small rosebud mouth, that same perfect olive skin that just glows. In this new set of dreams, instead of appearing as the infant I’d not yet held, she was appearing as her grown self or sometimes as a ten year old version of herself, whispering to me the secret that she was soon coming home. She was not just happy in these prophecied moments; she was giddy. Effervescent with joy. I would try so hard to stay asleep and whisper back to her all my love and longing, to cling to those stolen moments. But every time of course I’d wake up to the raw reality that she was still gone.
Do you know how wonderful God is? How far-reaching His Love is? He has seen into my heart all these nineteen years, the regret I have harbored over planning her birth and missing out on the dazzling unknown of His design. He took her away from me for a while only to bring her home, in surprising and unpredictable ways. During her absence He showed me when to push and when to rest; He taught me how to breathe deeply and fruitfully and when to wait. He showed me through those waiting years how constant and powerful Love is. He forced me (kicking and screaming at first) into a place of trust and kept me there until I wanted to trust, until that was my genuine and natural position. In time I became both vulnerable and strong.
It turns out He was working this complex miracle in her as well.
(Have you followed my discipline with the Worry Door?)
Then one day she finally arrived (again). Quite out of the blue, in the surprising, thrilling, somewhat terrifying way she might have been born the first time had I allowed it to happen naturally. One day this past September (almost exactly nineteen years since her first birth) I got the overwhelming phone call that was very much like a rebirth. She was free, and she was coming home.
She showed her pretty face for the second time in my life, exactly as I had been dreaming of her while she was away.
This strong, beautiful girl has possessed a slice of my heart and soul for almost twenty years now, and that will never change. This is just the beginning. I am once more living every promise of motherhood and every hope. We are seeing that not only is time elastic; Love is sovereign.
It’s mid-March now. Six months after her rebirth when she finally arrived in her own way, at her own time. She is peeling away from me and pressing close again, over and over, this time in the best possible, most natural ways. Finding her own legs and learning to walk (again). Squeezing me tight and boring into my eyes with hers (again). Letting me feed her mightily because it satisfies us both (again).
Making me proud beyond description. Always.
Thank you, friends, for every single prayer and every positive thought and word of encouragement you’ve offered, especially when you didn’t really know what was happening. She amazes us daily. She is on a good, strong path today, chasing her own joy and pursuing her own dreams, just exactly like a nineteen year old girl should do. And because of this she continues to benefit from prayer and Loving energy, so please keep it up.
Love is so real. Prayer absolutely changes things. And natural processes best. Don’t force it.
Fear knocked at the door.
And lo, no one was there.