Monday, May 16, 2016


We chose a name years ago. I’ve said this before, it’s the transliterated version of one of our student’s name from our time teaching in Tonga. A sweet but wild boys’ boy that I really adored.

When we heard your name and said it aloud, there was no doubt in either of us that that would be your name.
After we became pregnant we started to look more into your name- study deeper the year of Jubilee in the bible.
We knew your name would be our prayer for you and this name is such a mighty prayer. Our dear Jubilee, a loud “ram’s horn” declaring the restoration to be found in Jesus.

And when Mark and I talked about this powerful name, we always spoke of the restoration we hope takes place in your life, and the restoration we pray God uses you to bring about in other’s lives.

Overwhelmed. Dazed. Proud. Confused. Exhausted. Joyful.
I felt all of these emotions when she entered the world.
I think I thought as soon as she arrived I would have this “A-HA” moment. A sudden realization felt deep down in my bones that she’s mine and I’m a mama and all the wisdom of the centuries that comes with that.
But mostly I felt like it was this strange out of body experience (and a little bit of awe, and a whole lot of exhaustion).

On day two I finally had a minute alone with my daughter. I was up and about and scooped her in my arms and sat in a chair. She cried and I fed her. And I then, for the first time, truly bonded with her. My little girl, flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood. I wept with the joy of such a perfect blessing from a God that must be good.

We brought her home-this is a crazy time. Full of overwhelming emotions and questions and fears and hopes. We had had a hard night so we put on some music and I held her while she slept. And ever so slowly it dawned on me that the first restoration Jubilee has brought is my own. God has given her to me at such a time, and she has truly restored my soul.
I wish I could capture in words the pain in my own heart the last year or so. It has been a deep deep well of swelling sorrows. I have questioned, often, this God I claim to serve. I have wondered if he is all powerful, and even more, if he is really good. It has been a season of tears and accusations and a crying out for justice. I have silently prayed for God’s hand to move, then bitterly questioned when I have not seen it. My mind has held to the things I believe, but my heart has not.

But holding this tiny daughter of mine has given me a glimpse of my Father. I cannot help but cry out in praise (and constant prayer!). I cannot help but weep and acknowledge that He knew years ago when “we” picked this name, that it would be me that needed so much restoration. When I have so often wondered about the timing of this baby, and worried about whether or not to work, etc, God knew my heart.

I am sure I will continue to process and struggle through understanding the realities of the pain in this world. And I am sure there will be some hard times ahead as we all three continue to wade into the painful and beautiful process of bringing His Kingdom to this world… but in Faith, and Hope, and a tenderness to my heart that has been gone for such a long time, I am able to praise what must truly be a good God.

Thank you Jesus, for using my little Jubilee to begin to restore my soul. 

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