In the morning, it's there when I awake, there like a preschooler's legs and arms spread out under the cover of thick blankets somehow finding the skin of his mother anywhere she moves about in a king-sized bed.
There's an invitation. An invitation chasing me around in my dreams turned wake to take my ordinary and from it allow the extraordinary to be born.
But like most births, nothing is born without labor pain, without surrender, without an aching to bring forth fullness and life.
I play "what if" in my mind. I pray "let me lose my life to find life" in my heart. I spill cries of my heart for courage to walk in faith rather than fear.
He finds me in the morning, pursues me relentlessly, much the way my four year old persistently runs around the house until he finds me with not only his eyes but his hands, too.
There's an invitation to take His hand, walk with Him into the unknown, to go deeper than my feet could ever wander, where my faith will be made stronger in the presence of our Savior.
And I am scared.
I fight fear with faith, and I take heart because greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.
I take heart because He told me this year to abide and to walk in the courage of faith.
I take heart because there is grace, and many days that grace comes in His pursing of my heart through the blessings He's sent to pursue my attention all day long.
They come bounding into the room where I'm lost in a mess of dinner and prayer, and the little one says, "Mom, play the song!"
I know exactly what the small one is talking about, and I oblige him.
"Mom, sing it."
"Mom, louder! Sing it!"
I sing louder: "I know who goes before me."
The small one, he persists: "Louder!"
"I know who stands behind."
"Mom, I can't hear you. Sing it louder!"
"The God of angel armies is always by my side."
"Keep singing, mom!"
"The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine. The God of angel armies is always by my side."
"Yay! Mom, that's good! Keep signing!"
"Whom shall I fear?"
and He persists.
"Whom shall I fear?"
The song ends, but the answer lingers thick in the air, following me, pursing me, like little legs chasing me around my bed at the dawn of morning
like little legs chasing me throughout the day
like little voices insisting I sing.
In the evening, it's there when I lift my voice, when I turn my eyes onto the Extender of the invitation rather than the invitation itself, and I snuggle in knowing
that when we are pregnant with hope,
when we are extended with faith,
when we are full and round and filled with the understanding of the very nature, the very sovereingty of the Invitation Extender
the invitation doesn't seem quite as daunting
courage is born out of birthing pains.