No Guarantees, But One

There are no guarantees in ministry.

But one....He is faithful.

It was late last summer when I cried through the night, every night.

It's the anticipation that sometimes kills you slowly.

I knew the time was coming for him to leave, and I had loved this boy with my whole heart.

I wanted a guarantee.

So I bartered with God into the early morning.

And I laid my cards on the table, offering fair trades.

As is with many who claim Christ as their righteousness and pick up their cross in this world, I know the response and the appropriate answers.

But knowing doesn't always equal honesty.

And in the morning light, my Father pried the fisted clutch of my fingers open and invited me to lay the son we loved with our lives on the altar.

And I wrote this post...

Dear Baby J,

You're one.

You'll never know the way you looked at us when they dropped off all five and a half pounds of you, a year ago. You may never be told we were your third home in a week.

You may never know the first one who held you, the one whose body gave you life, who chose hard, when everyone else told her no.

You may never know the one who has held you through this year. They told us three days, maybe a couple of weeks, but a month at most. And here we are a year later.

Papa Jamie said I was crazy.

Now, you own his heart.

You'll never know the way you curl your fist around my fingers to rise, or the shrill you give when I come in the room.

You may never know the first one you called Mama, and you won't remember the feeling of my tears that fell when I knew you meant it.

You won't remember the stampede that comes when you scream, Baba, as a herd of brothers fight to be the one you are crying for.

You won't remember your sisters who have fed you, rocked you and cuddled with you on the floor.

They tell me you will always remember you were safe this first year. They tell me you will remember how to attach.

I know there is One who promises that His words will never be forgotten. . .

So, you have heard that Jesus loves you one million times in the last 365 days. I whisper His name from the moment I lift you from the crib, to the second I lay you down at night. Because I know His name cannot be forgotten.

So, you have cradled my face with your little hand as I've sang "Come thou fount of every blessing," to you in the dark of each night. Because I know His song cannot be forgotten.

So, He has grafted you into this Mother's heart, because He will not let me forget. And, if after a few short weeks I never have the grace of holding you, my son, again, He will not let a day pass that your name is not uttered from my lips, intertwined with hope of your Creator. If my only role from this day forward is to only lift you before His throne, then that is a high calling I cannot forget.

For, you were never mine, just as your Babas are not mine. You, they, we, were made for a high calling. And, if this year was only so that your soul could have whispers of all eternity written on your heart, then I am humbled to have been your mother in that purpose.

My son, you have my heart, and every prayer I could utter through my hope-filled grief cries to the Father not that you would be safe and protected, but that you would know always that you were made for more. You were made for Jesus.

I love you more than you will ever remember or know.

Be still my soul.

All for Jesus,

Mama Catie

And from the ashes of my tears, the Father bloomed a relationship with his family, that is beauty.

I surrendered him without certainty of what the outcome would be.

It didn't change the blaring whispers of the Evil One or the doubting faces of the world. 

It didn't alter that my heart shattered into so many pieces it wouldn't never look the same.

And it didn't change that the One who grafted that boy, that family into my heart, is the same One who bids me come and die for His glory to be made known.

He knew Grandma would call me late in the night for us to pray together. He knew we would hold that boy in our arms every other week for months to come.

When I didn't know, He did.

And, there are no guarantees in what tomorrow will look like, but I'm learning to leave my palms open, even when my heart wrenches in pain, because I know with each wrench, He's chiseling me a little more into the image of my Savior, His son.

So today a chapter closed as his case was closed permanently. With that (and their permission), I can show you the face that still holds our hearts. But more than than that, it's the face that took us to the cross of our Savior, the One who left His palms open for me.

Because of the One who bids us come and die,

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