Not just of Him, not just about Him.
I know Him like I know my own daddy.
People say this every day and I wonder what they mean by that. I wonder if we know the same One. I wonder if He talks to them like He does me. If He shows up in light and doves and wind and speaks to them in whispers.
I wonder how He feels about the way I talk to Him.
Because I don't talk to Him like you do. I don't talk about Him like you do.
And I don't think that's wrong. But my life looks different because of this.
I have my reasons for doing the things I do. I am an introvert, by nature. I need time to process, to think, without worrying about your reaction too. I am also empathetic, and your emotions might take precedence over mine. This is not valiant, it's stupid. I am forgiving and cynical and hopeful and bitter all in the same breath, and I want people to acknowledge me, but I don't want their pity.
Complex doesn't even begin to cut it.
We found light.
"Do not be afraid", I heard.
And I responded as boldly as I dared. Bold isn't rare. But expectant is. I do not pray expectantly. I do not demand.
But I did then.
"I'm telling You this once," I whispered as I walked to the car. Holding the ultrasound pictures in my hand. My unborn son, who stretches like a grown man, whose future is known and hopeful. "Once and only once."
I told Him I wanted peace. And that I wanted Him to take care of the things I could not. That I was going to trust Him, actively, by not worrying. And we were going to press forward. Me. Him. Judah. Because that's what we do.
By the time I'd gotten to the top floor of the parking garage, it had found me.
The peace I'd asked for.
I'd like to think it was because I was bold. That He answered and provided because I was brave enough to demand it of Him.
And maybe that was part of it. Maybe part of our relationship with God is believing He is real and big and, in the same breath, approachable.
My faith can be summed up in three little words.
"I dare You," I whisper.
Much like a father, He knows what I need. The dove and the lilies tattooed on my shoulder remind me of this -- and your Heavenly Father knows you need these things...
It would show up as light, you know. Light would rise, peace would come.
Pregnancy has been one of the greatest teaching tools. Teaching me to trust and to hope. Taught me about resilience and my ability to take care of myself. Teaching me humility -- which, hands down, is my least favorite, recurring lesson. And teaching me about healthy pride and confidence.
I have fought for myself and my son. I will continue to do so.
I have shut doors I previously did not have the strength to shut.
I have solved problems I did not previously have the wisdom to solve.
I have endured criticism and betrayal and abandonment I would have not been able to withstand before.
I have thought less about myself and more about those around me (most of all, the little one inside of me) -- and I have taken the necessary steps to make life happen.
Because life has not been lost.
Life has been created. It is growing.
If you could spend five minutes in my head, you might go crazy. The thoughts are wild and unruly -- illogical and hopeful all at the same time. My ideals have been questioned. My judgement has been proven. I have been tested...
And I have come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
We all make mistakes. I am learning how to forgive myself and others for them.
My goal has become to never make the same mistake twice. And although I haven't achieved that goal yet, I have become more honest with myself in this process.
When I am faced with fear and uncertainty -- about the future, or about where I am going to find my next meal -- I am more consistently able to reach deep within and find the peace I asked for.
The peace that comes with strength. The peace that comes from not relying on yourself. The peace that comes with being different than the rest of this world.
I sift through, on a daily basis. What is expected of me, what is asked of me. What I am called, what I answer to. The questions that I am asked, and the questions I choose to answer. I am learning how to choose. And choose well.
I haven't had to revisit that prayer.
The peace remains.