April 25, 2015

He Knew You

From the very second you were created, in that moment when they came together in the darkness in the place where they thought no one would see them, when they were madly in love with one another – from that very first moment of your life when you were just the size of a poppy seed, He knew you.

He knew you when they found out that you were growing inside that most secret place, when you were just the size of an apple seed.  He knew how they would react when they found out.  It may have been an unplanned surprising shock to them, but it was never a surprise to Him.  Even then He was the One who was writing your story.  His timing, His Hand forming your heart and stomach and intricate digestive system, crafted every detail with perfect precision.

When you were about the size of a green olive, He was sculpting your facial features, shaping those tiny ears and that little nose that are uniquely yours.  Your heartbeat was strong enough to be heard on the doctor’s machines. 

Even in those earliest months, when you lacked the vitamins and nutrients and minerals that your fragile, developing body so desperately needed, deficiencies that would have life-long consequences, He was there, protecting you and sustaining you.  And when your little pre-formed nervous system and growing brain were exposed to substances and chemicals and toxins that no baby should ever have to experience, never once were you out of His sight, out of His tender care for you. 

As you continued to grow and mature in the darkness, when you were the size of a plum and then an orange and then a cantaloupe, when your hair and eyelashes and fingernails were growing and you looked more and more like a newborn, you couldn’t have known what was happening all around you.  But He knew.  He was shielding you and insulating you from the grown-up problems that would affect you after your birth.

And on that most special of days, the day when you appeared on the scene, the day that should have been full of celebration and rejoicing, balloons and flowers and announcements, there was, instead, a team of doctors surrounding you.  From your first breath they went to work, immediately using all of their skill and training and experience to make sure that you would be protected from the viruses and diseases that you had been inadvertently exposed to.  They wanted to give you every opportunity to be healthy.

Even then God knew you.  He knew that you were a survivor.  A warrior.  An overcomer.  He knew that you would fight with everything in you to beat the odds that were against you before you were born.  He knew the awful, unspeakable pain that you experienced as your body did its job, ridding itself of all the poisons that never should have been there.  He was right there with you when you were screaming inconsolably and shaking violently during the cleansing process.  Even then He knew you.

And He knew, too, that in spite of your innocence, in spite of circumstances over which you had absolutely no control, you would become a part of the foster care system, a system that truly strives to protect children, but a flawed system nonetheless.  A system that doesn’t always make it easy for a child to find permanency in a family.    He knew that lots of adults would be making decisions about your future.   You can be assured, however, that though they plan your course, He is the One who determines your steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Every day in your current foster home, He sees you.  He knows that you are slowly learning about the world around you.  That, even though your early exposure to awful substances has made you irritable and disregulated; even though you require assessments and therapists to make sure you are developing on track; even though you are at risk for viruses and diseases that will unfairly stigmatize you throughout your life  – even now He knows that you are loved and treasured.  That your foster mama loves you more than life itself!  When you smile and coo, the innocence and sweetness nearly brings her to tears.  When you stare into her face with your scrunched up eyebrows, it’s as if you are saying to her, “Please love me.  Please don’t give up on me.”  As if you are memorizing every detail of her face, because already you know that the world is full of uncertainties, and you do not know what tomorrow will hold.  But He knows.

And His promises, the ones He makes to little ones all over the world, are for you, dear one.  His promises are true and real and steadfast and sure . . .

Even though it doesn’t look like it from here, He knows the plans He has for you, plans for good, plans to give you a future and a hope  (Jeremiah 29:11).

He is able to take your circumstances, even the difficult, painful ones, and use them for good (Romans 8:28).

You do not ever need to fear.  He promises to be with you, because He is your God.  No matter where you go or who is walking beside you, He will strengthen you and help you.  He will uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

He promises to be your Father (2 Corinthians 6:18)

Your future may indeed be unknown and uncertain.  No one can predict how the chapters of your life will be written, who the characters will be or which details will shape your destiny.  It is impossible to foresee how the difficult circumstances of your earliest days will affect the adult you will become.  But He knows.  He is the One writing each and every word of your story. 

In the uncertain, unpredictable days ahead, you can be sure of one thing:  The same One who knew you from the very beginning is the same One who is sustaining you today and will be carrying you into tomorrow.  All along His hands have been holding you.  All along He has been protecting you and keeping you and caring for you.  All along, He knew you.

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body. 
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
 before one of them came to be.
 How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them, 
they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
When I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:13-18

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