I walked away from that sacred space in Atlanta and back home to my loves with a heart full of gratitude and peace.
This year, my time at Created for Care was different than in years past mainly because this was my first year attending when not in a season of waiting. This year, I was in need of rest and community. I needed to step away from life and into a safe place to reflect on how far we’ve come these past seven months. Because, honestly, some days feel like we haven’t come very far at all. I needed to step back in order to see how much healing has occurred. I needed to talk through emotions and reactions and behaviors with other mommas in the same season to understand why these things were occurring.
All I can say is that perspective is a beautiful gift.
I have to share the moment where time stood still and tears filled my eyes. It occurred Sunday morning as Beth Guckengerger was wrapping up her last talk of the weekend. Because she had received so many requests to revisit her words from last year regarding Miriam’s song, she decided to end our last session with the same message: Place Yourself In a Position to Praise.
My journaled words from this same reference last year:
“Take a lead from Miriam’s song in Exodus 15:20. Although she was being led away from everything she had ever known. Although she didn’t know where she was going or how long the journey would last. Although she had to pack up all of her belongings to leave and follow Moses out of Egypt. Amidst the unknowns, the uncertainty, and likely, the fear; she took the time to pack a tambourine.
I can only imagine that I would have thrown some clothes, shoes, extra food and water into a sack … but a tambourine? I’m not so sure that would have made the cut.
Yet, she had placed herself in a position to praise God, full of confidence that He would lead them and save them. After the Red Sea parted and made a miraculous way for the Israelites to escape, Miriam was prepared to sing a song of praise.
In Beth’s words, this is reckless faith: when you don’t know the when, the where, the why or the how … only the Who.
Oh, how I clung to those words as we waited. I was so very ready to praise, I was weary and tired of the wait. I was exhausted from the unknowns.
Something Beth said that made my hairs stand on end this year: they were ready at a moment’s notice. How that was true in our own story. We received word that Sylvie’s exit permit was granted on Monday morning and she was home Wednesday evening. After years of waiting, we had what felt like a moment’s notice as we scrambled to prepare for her homecoming.
As Beth spoke, I decided to grab my phone to snap a photo to remember this moment. It felt significant. As I pulled my phone from my bag, I saw a text message come through from Dave. A simple moment captured, along with these words, “Thank you Lord for rare moments of siblings playing and having the time of their lives together”… he had no idea how monumental and perfectly on-time this photo update was to my heart.
She’s home. They’re all tucked safely under my roof. The Lord triumphed gloriously in our family’s story.
And, that, my friends, is my beautiful full circle moment.