Fresh words still evade me today. How about some old words?
In perusing a journal I've been keeping off and on for years, I found this entry which sparked a warm memory of a time in my life when something magical transpired.
This written record is unedited, unpolished, and unsophisticated. Copy and Paste. But it means the world to me.
August 17, 2001
At bedtime tonight, Cassie, referring to my prayers where I implore God to teach us to listen to Him asked, "How do you know what He's saying, Mommy? Can you HEAR a voice?"
Ah, I answered to her, God talks to me in many many ways. Sometimes through the Bible, or through other things I'm reading. Sometimes through memories or impressions or the behavior of other people. Through nature. And often, God speaks to me through the words and love of other people. "For example, Cassie, for years and years I've been lonely. I prayed to God for someone who would understand me. When I was a kid there was no one who really understood, who would let me lay my head on their shoulder and would just sit there, knowing how I felt, comforting me by their understanding."
I'd had a rough time with Tom earlier that day, and Cassie was very in tune with my struggle to sort it all out, as I sat on the big stump outside and just pondered and prayed. Tom tried to get me to "snap out of it," which is NOT what I needed. Joe asked what was wrong and was uncomfortable. No one likes it when Mom is quiet and thoughtful and unsettled.
But Cassie, after Tom went to work, came over and looked at me and sat down next to me.....right next to me. I just instinctively laid my head on her shoulder, and there was enormous comfort in that. She just sat there, knowing it was what I needed, and she offered it to me for as long as I needed. She's nine.
For decades I've prayed for someone to know me. All this time I've found my comfort in the invisible God. But I've still longed for a human's physical understanding. No, Tom doesn't do it for me. He tries. He loves me. But his efforts are often clumsy and forced. He, like a lot of men, doesn't know how to just be there and to listen, how to express himself. He just wants me well and back in control. Sometimes I just need to be a mess. And for the first time in my life, someone, Cassie, let me be a mess, without words, and I drew strength from her.
Well, as I continued answering her question about God's voice, I told her how God used her that day to speak His love and comfort to me. You should have seen her precious face! She appeared surprised, and honored, and it was as if she knew she'd entered into the holy, on God's behalf. We hugged and I tucked her in and we kissed, and I turned out the light. Caroline had fallen asleep already, breathing peacefully and heavily.
I went in to get dressed for bed myself, feeling really warm and loved and I was praying, thanking God for those little girls, and for the boys and for Tom and for how we all fit together and how we all are part of the plan for each other and for God. Cassie came in, softly, after knocking.
"Mommy, I was just thinking about what you said. Mommy, I was thinking how the thing that you never had when you were a girl, is the thing you have the most of now, and the thing that you give to all of us."
Her face didn't look like the face of a nine year old at that moment. It was the face of a messenger of God. We hugged. We transcended time and space, in that moment. We were kindred spirits, not a mother and daughter, a 45 year old and a 9 year old. We were creatures of God, meant for each other and for God, and it was beautiful. I told her that perhaps because I had a hole in my heart it made me a better Mommy, because I sure didn't want MY kids to ever have to feel that awful empty feeling. I told her I remember vividly how it feels to be a kid. I told her how I'd prayed for decades for someone to understand, and that I realize now, that she, my little Cassie, is the answer to that oft-repeated prayer!
At last, I have someone who understands! Someone who thinks as I do. I am nine again, and I can start all over, this time without the emptiness.
Never ever believe that God doesn't hear your prayers. He listens, and His timing is perfect. And the answers you await for your whole life appear quietly, on a summer's day, in the midst of the world's busyness, during the separate struggles of a mother and a daughter. Those answers appear, as we listen and make room.
Thank God for your struggles! They are the means for your heart to open up and listen and search intently, and they are the bearers of great blessing. Give them time.