Friday, June 25, 2010

Seeing the Earth from the Moon

Sixteen years ago, my newborn daughter lay in the arms of a fledgling Mother emerging prematurely from adolescence by choices made and chances taken. The morning before my daughter was born, my Mother kissed my forehead wishing me a Happy 16th Birthday, and promised me the dinner of my choice upon her return from work later that evening. Hours later, I found myself in the same hospital my own Mother had given birth to me in.  Despite the circumstances, and the obvious difficulties welcoming a baby born of one so young our families anticipated her arrival with a sobered love that one can only know through adversity.
            On the day she was born, a light entered our world, her blue eyes and red hair would blaze through our lives with an incomparable spirit that changed us all. Like every expectant Mother, I had rifled through baby name books seeking the one that fit just right, exploring their sounds and meanings before finally settling on Kayla Celeste. Her name would mean pure, from the heavens, though I would not know the one who created her until much later in my life, there was an understanding even then that her purpose in this world was not one of my choosing, nor one defined by the circumstances of her birth.
            She began growing faster than I could keep up, and soon, her Daddy and I decided to marry and give her as stable a family as we could being so young. And so the challenge began. I watched friends graduate while I prepared for a wedding, they celebrated academic accolades and I, developmental milestones, rolling over and sitting up, she smiled and said “mama” today. And I loved her with unfettered devotion.
We then prepared to move to San Diego after Eric joined the military. I remember cradling her in my arms one of our last night in Colorado. She was unsettled and unable to sleep. Children are sensitive, and perhaps she could anticipate the coming change. That night a song came to me, and as I cradled her in my arms and I began to sing these words;
“Black bird singing in the dead of night,
take these broken wings and learn to fly,
all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise,
black bird fly, into the light of the dark black night…

            We’ve come a long way baby, she and I, her father and I. Many moves and changes to our family, welcoming a brother and sister, jobs and schools and through it all Kayla has thrived. Watching her twirl like a princess at her Sweet 16 Birthday Party, I couldn’t help thank God for this gift of life.  I can look back on those days, some of the most precious of my life and be thankful. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit speaking over her life even then, the reason I sang that song to her, the reason I still do. What I knew then and what I understand now is that forging a new path, in the face of adverse circumstances won’t be easy, and I know the tasks we’ve faced, and those she’ll continue to face, and how many of them were placed there by me. How great the measure of grace given to those who forge onward, ever available, every ready to be received. How great the cost, and humbled that one so willing has paid it all.
I know that Jesus drew us to himself, and from the life we could have easily lived apart from him, and I see the evidence of his words, whispering to us along our journeys is evident to me now. He had designed her, and knew her environment would help her become who he has called her to become. Watching those developments have been one of the greatest blessings of my life.
            Kayla is a vibrant young woman today, full of life and a drive to succeed. She’s a loving friend, a talented musician and shows kindness to those around her. She’d help anyone, if she saw a need. And she desires to please God more than anyone. Her beauty carved with divine hands, and etched into my heart. We walk forward now, thankfully, and prayerfully into the next stage of our lives and relationships.
            These words on my heart, watching her grow, loving her relentlessly, serve as a reminder just how much grace can allow you to do:

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see,
all your life, you were only waiting
 for this moment to be free”