Yesterday, four weeks ago to the day, I sat near the back of our church's sanctuary, crying through every praise song, every prayer. The sermon entitled, "The Valley" was appropriate and so perfectly timed that I knew it was God. It had to be God. I sat and twisted my fingers and took huge gulps of air, blinking away tears as I stared at the ceiling lights. I couldn't keep the salt in. The day before I had suspected a miscarriage while at a friend's wedding and this morning, this Sunday on the 26th of June: I was certain. Once life, but now...
The message focused heavily on Ezekial 37 and the talk and explanation of the valley of dry bones made my heart ache and pound. And it gave me hope at the same time as only God's Word can do. It is God who gives life. Who pumps the heart, pushes the blood,... blows the breath
The Greek word, Pneuma, was presented by our Pastor and I felt the ears of my heart stir, perk, hang on for dear life. The word meaning, "breath ~ air ~ spirit" was the same one used in Genesis when God first created the human form and blew breath, His own breath, into a man and a woman in a garden. And for whatever reason, my thoughts turned from the baby that would never be to the babies that are. The ones that are born all over this big world. There is death, yes... but there is life.
My mind drifted to my close friend, Ashley, who would be leaving soon for Africa with her church. And I thought... what a beautiful name "Pneuma" would be for a little girl. (Except, I later told Ashley, without the "P" because that makes it look strange. Ha.) And the more I thought of it, the more peaceful I felt in my loss, because there is always, always hope... because there is always God. And the more I pondered whether or not to tell Ashley of my crazy thought process, the more I felt that Neuma existed. She was real. She just had to be out there.
I debated whether to even tell Ashley. Maybe I was just being emotional and (a little) crazy. Making up stories and ideas in my head. But I couldn't shake it... didn't want to. I waited three days and finally messaged her, explaining about the service and the weight of "Neuma" on my heart and why.
Ashley has been gone nearly her full two weeks and I hadn't seen any Facebook updates so I thought well, maybe this was just one of those things. One of those things that give us hope and brighten our eyes but is just that. Just a thought. Plus, since I am a writer, I pretty much live in a dialogue. I'm always writing. I'm always living my writing, ready to put pen to paper or fingers to keys. And as the days have passed, I think, okay, I'm just a really obsessed romantic. A dreamer. An author.
And here is where I smile and pause.
But you know Who else is an amazing storyteller? Who else has more experience, more stories to tell, the number one bestseller? He is referred to as Omega, the end... but also, beautifully, Alpha, the beginning. He romances us with words that we read over and over, paint onto walls, stuff into picture frames. His Words... His imagery, His stories... I mean, man, He is a good, good writer.
I'm not the only one who hopes for a good story.
My eyes swell with tears as I remember the phone call I received mid-day yesterday. My caller ID said it was Ashley and I marveled. What? Wasn't she supposed to be in Africa until Saturday? She wasn't home. I knew she couldn't be home. I hesitatingly answered - perhaps it was a fluke. But her voice was warm and true on the other end. Clear. She explained that the phone call would have to be quick and that the day had been crazy and she had stories to tell, but there was something she felt I needed to know right then. Right now.
"I just had to call you,.. Laura... she's real."
My left had clutched the phone and my right hand reached to catch sobs. Fresh, relieved tears, pouring from my eyes, flushed from my soul. And I cry tears again just as I did when I first heard those words. She... is? She's... real? A little girl, seven months old, was brought to them yesterday. And while she already has a name, Kirabo (meaning "Gift"... how utterly perfect!) Ashley told the pastor there my story and they have decided that she will have two names. "Neuma" being added to the name already given.
"I have made,
and I will bear;
I will carry
a n d
I will save."
~ Isaiah 46:4b
God is a God of details. I am in awe of this. I'm one of those people who love dates and timelines. I love looking back and seeing patterns, answered prayers, messages on a wall. I am surprised, but I shouldn't be, that four weeks to the day following my miscarriage, four weeks to the day from when I sat in that sanctuary and felt the weight of an unknown life, a need-to-be-given name.... that God had it all planned out. We think sometimes He's not paying attention... but He is. When He says He knows the numbers of hair on our heads, He's not kidding around. I may not know the number of freckles that dance across the bridge of my nose, but He does.
And something that I think is just a really good story, a fairy tale in real time, He breathes life over and makes it all come true; alive. And you realize very quickly that the best stories you could ever tell, ever live, are His from the very start.
"... since he himself gives to
life and breath
~ A c t s 1 7 : 2 5
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EDIT: More about this sweet baby can be found here: