Azaelas (Instagram re-post)

Last year the azaleas were a sign of stability and beauty as I walked to call a taxi to the NICU every afternoon. They were one of the only colorful things in a world that felt black and white with uncertainty. They were a path to grace and mercy.

This year when I noticed the first signs of growth in the shrubs, I felt triggered. I felt panicky and nervous. I wanted to shove the tiny buds back into the sticks or pluck them off and put them in my pocket. Sometimes it seems safer not to feel.

But I’m learning it’s ok to remember. It’s ok to enter back into the darkness to see where Jesus was in the middle of it.
Yesterday afternoon Jase stood distracted on my lap. His chubby feet balanced on my chubby thighs.
I started singing a song I have whispered in his ear since visiting him in the hospital for the first time. As soon as he heard my voice switch to these familiar words, he froze. His eyes looked directly into mine. He pulled my face close and kissed me with his precious mouth gaping open.
These moments are the answers to prayers prayed in a dark season–pleas for healing in a time of distress. They are hope and assurance that the power of Christ transcends circumstances.
I stand on God’s lap and when He finally gets my attention, there is no greater thank you than to show my affection.
The flowers bloom and it’s ok. Each one ushers in another whisper from above: “I love you”, “I’m with you.” This presence is more precious than healing, more hopeful than the promise of defeating death because it’s all wrapped together–in Him we live and move and have our being.
In Christ we are deeply loved. And even the hard paths we walk are flowering because the gaze we fix our eyes on is fixed on us.

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