Last June, my daughter turned 1-year old. With having two older brothers, this was the first time I had the task of throwing a girl party. When thinking of a theme and only a year of raising a girl in this world, I reflected on a verse that has made an impact on me.
She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.
So I invited my mom, mother-in-law, sister and my niece, and my closest friends and their daughters, to a party reminding us all of our worth. I wanted my daughter and each of those girls to know that they were clothed with strength and dignity and could laugh without fear of the future. As I filled the picture frames for each girl, inserting a picture of each of them, their beautiful young faces were surrounded with my penmanship of the verse that I desired for each of them to hide in their hearts. I also reflected that these sweet girls had women in their lives that needed to believe this and asked myself if I was modeling to my daughter what it was like to laugh without fear of the future.
And only God knew that three weeks later, my mom, who I remind you, was at that party, got the call we all do not want. It was confirmed, she had liver cancer. And everything changed. Not only did she get this new diagnosis, she just had lost her brother to liver cancer three weeks after he was diagnosed. Our world stopped.
So here I am driving 3 ½ hours to my parent’s home. With no kids in the car, no reaching back to give a snack, drink, or random item to try and distract a crying child, just me, worship music, and the road. Driving home not in the role of mom, but as a daughter in desperate desire to be with my mom and dad as she would meet with the doctor the following morning. One hand on the wheel and one in the air singing,
"Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today
Faithful You have been and faithful you will be
You pledge yourself to me and it's why I sing
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips”
-Ever Be by Bethel Music
This was my opportunity to be a woman clothed with strength and dignity, and to laugh without fear of the future, not knowing what the prognosis would be as we had no information at that point, just that it was confirmed that she had liver cancer.
She laughs without fear of the future.
That morning as we were preparing for the appointment, I played my oh so favorite (and overplayed) song in our family, No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music. Sometimes I play this song just for the sake of singing it to remind myself to declare it, to claim it, to believe it, that I no longer am a slave to fear. I can admit that the year previous to this diagnosis, I was a self-proclaimed crazy woman, having just had my third child (yet four pregnancies, one resulting in a miscarriage) in a 4-year span and really felt like I was losing my footing. I was allowing the four lettered F word to creep in, FEAR. But for some reason this morning, when searching for the song, I went onto YouTube and watched the video and clicked the lyric video. I stopped in that moment of putting makeup on and curling my hair, and actually watched the video. Here it is…
This beautiful path. I kind of wondered why I kept watching this video knowing I knew each word by heart, but never had I seen this path…where would it end?
She laughs without fear of the future.
We finished getting ready and I talked my parents into going for breakfast instead of nervously waiting at home for the 11 o’clock hour to finally come.
Then the time had arrived. The appointment to not only confirm that she did indeed have cancer, but what the future would look like. The liver specialist came in, sat down, and said, “This is what we know, we found it in your liver, it started there, and that is wonderful. We will have surgery on August 15th to have it removed and you will be cancer free.” I sat in that moment, not only realizing that we were at the liver specialist, not the oncologist, but I looked above my parents, and recognized this path.
“Do you trust Me? Do you see that I am working in all of this, no matter the outcome? I am here with you always and you do not have to do this alone. Do you laugh without fear of the future?”
So I ask you, do you have the eyes to see God moving in your circumstances good or bad, or are you paralyzed by the fear that so easily entangles us. Do you proclaim that YOU are a child of God, and no longer have to be a slave to fear? That you are clothed with strength and dignity, and can laugh without fear of the future.
As we go through life, some events expected and some unexpected, may we be an example to those around us that we can trust Him in all circumstances and not let fear distract us from walking down the path. We love you, Mom.