My Dear Little One,
You’ve been on my mind a lot recently. Over the past year I have been preparing for you to join our family, but I could not have foreseen how much of that preparation I’d be using before you came. You see, our country is in the middle of some great turmoil and unrest. This year has been a year of ‘Chaos!’ – That’s the word that God gave to your daddy for this year. We didn’t know that it would be so true and so turbulent.
The things that seemed like chaos in January and February have faded to the background as the more recent chaotic events of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and the untimely and unjust deaths of African-Americans, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd at the hands of white people/police officers. These deaths sparked a lot of non-violent, peaceful protests as well as violent rioting and looting. I have never seen this in my time. I’ve heard about these types of things from history, but I never actually think that history will repeat itself. What’s done in the past, stays in the past, right? Well, not always, and certainly not in these cases. True, they are not exact replicas of past physical diseases and racial clashes, but they certainly carry some of the same elements with them.
My heart is feeling so many things right now. I feel angry, scared, confused, misunderstood, sad, worried, uncertain, and other feelings too. I also have so many other voices and opinions going through my head. I have the media, the Church, my black friends, my white friends, my not black/white friends, the voices of ‘leaders’ – both in the Christian sector and not, and so many more. When I’ve felt tugged to choose between these voices, it’s created a lot of chaos within me. It seems so easy to just make a social media post that echoes what others are saying, but God is showing me MY voice as He teaches me. He’s been showing me how I can be true to the voice that He’s given me.
God has been teaching me to wait. As I wait for you, I’ve learned patience and listening. Now in this current chaotic season, I am using this skill of waiting to check my heart, mind, and spirit before I speak. It’s something I highly recommend, little one. A big part of what God has been teaching me even before the waiting was how to respond instead of reacting. It’s so easy to get filled with strong emotions and want to fire out a rapid reaction to a social media post or something I’ve heard on the news or even a video from someone I trust. But, I’ve already been cultivating how to feel when my emotions are taking over and then I stop and take a break. This really empowers me to feel secure in what I say publicly and not have regret a hurried retort.
To create a true response, I’ve found I must wait. I must hear the voices around me. Then, I must listen for God’s voice and allow my own voice to come out. The waiting might seem like a lack of action, but God is working on something within me. If I wait, then when I respond, it will be in love and not from pain.
Oh child, I so hope you only know love in your life, but I know the reality of humanity. There will be pain too. I’m so sorry. I realize that because of the color of your skin, history predicts that you will be mistreated, misrepresented, undervalued, disrespected, and more. I wish I could protect you from all the pain. I wish it would be as easy as kissing your boo-boo and then having you run back out to play. I wish I could fix it for you, but I won’t be able to. I will be with you though. I will be on your side. I will keep loving you no matter what. I’m sorry it’s like this. It makes me sad for you and for so many of our friends ‘like you’. I’d like to see injustice and disease wiped off this earth! But, I wait.
You know what God’s been doing in me as I wait? I hope it’ll help you too, little one, as you grow and learn and wait and respond. God has shown me that I can enter in more fully to someone’s pain by speaking with them directly – whether face-to-face, on the phone, or in a direct message. The back and forth of a conversation is so much more meaningful and helpful in working through my thoughts and feelings on tough topics and events. I’ve allowed God to lead me to speak with those He puts on my heart and mind. It’s been fruitful and I’m so thankful for my many brothers and sisters of all colors who have been willing to enter into personal dialogue with me.
In doing this we have been able to share what’s helping and hurting us through these situations. We can show love and understanding to one another. We can humbly ask for forgiveness for where we’ve been wrong and we can courageously give forgiveness to those who have hurt us. I’ve had to do both! And I can say, it’s been so freeing to my heart. I only wish our society could truly understand that power of asking for and receiving forgiveness. There’s a reason why God calls us to do this. It’s another piece in freedom and justice for all!
As for a public response, God has shown me that the best way I can respond publicly is through music. Would you believe it? I didn’t know about this until a very sweet cousin of mine lost her husband to death and all I could do was sing for her! Now, in the moments of disease and death, I have found that singing helps to calm and clear my mind. I found that as God led me to practice and sing songs, I actually entered more fully into the emotions of the moment. I wouldn’t call myself an activist, but I am a person who will journey with someone (or even a group of people) through pain and joy. God wrote a song in my heart and I had the honor to create this video with my friend Amber.
Sweet child, your journey is your own! It won’t be mine, it won’t be Daddy’s, it won’t be your brothers’ or sisters’. You will discover your own journey and while you’re making that discovery, I will be with you. I will be in the pain, grief, joy and excitement. I will cheer with you and cry with you. I will help you find your voice and together we will grow into all that God made us to be.
I have so much hope for you and your future. Even in the painful, chaotic times that you might be born into, I choose you! You have been my dream since I was a child, and I wait with hopeful expectation for you. I love you with a deep love that words cannot express, but I’m so excited for when I get to SHOW you that love!
So, while we wait to meet… I love you.