“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Your children hasten back to you. Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you…. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:15-18, 23
“You were wearied with the length of your way, but you did not say, ‘It is hopeless;’ you found new life for your strength and so you were not faint. Isaiah 57:10
I am so hesitant to believe, to have hope, to accept any promise. But I have to. And however long it takes, I have to. There were few promises of God that were fulfilled speedily. Almost always they involved long waits. Abraham’s wife Sarah was barren, but God had promised Abraham a son, and eventually that promise was fulfilled — 25 years after the promise, I believe, and after Sarah’s childbearing years had passed. In other words, the promise was not fulfilled until it had become impossible for it to be anything but the hand of God. And that long, impossible wait took its toll on their faith, just as it does on ours. In fact, they tried to take matters into their own hands … God had promised Abraham a son and Sarah hadn’t been able to get pregnant, so she suggested that Abraham use her handmaid as a surrogate. Wars are still fought today as a result of this faithlessness, as the various descendants of Abraham claim their birthrights. Jacob also waited long years, believing his son Joseph was dead for 20 years until he was reunited with him in Egypt.
Why, why the waiting, the hoping, the fearing, the grief? Well, for myself I can tell you. For me it has been, and is a refining process, and one which I needed. I can see this, acknowledge and accept it. My difficulty is not understanding Michaela’s part in this. But I just have to acknowledge that I do not know; I do not understand. There is absolutely no point in making judgments and being angry about something I don’t even know. One day the answers will be revealed. Until then, I just have to have faith.
My heart won’t let me give up, Michaela. Over the years when it has become too difficult to hold on, there has always been a chorus of voices saying, “Don’t give up! Have hope!” Lately God seems to have been chiming in with that chorus as well. Be well, my baby girl. Be strong. May you be filled with hope and faith and know that my love for you is as strong as it was the day you were born, and the day you left. God’s love also is stronger than whatever chains bind you.
I love you forever, Michaela.