Her First Prayer
Her blonde pigtails curl up at the ends and she reaches her hand up to brush her bangs out of her face. It’s one of my favorite things she does these days. I ask her if she wants a clip to keep her hair back and she refuses, pushing it out of her eyes again.
She’s started doing this prancy-walk when she’s happy, her arms flapping out at her sides like she’s about to take flight. She’s so much steadier on her feet these days, this two-year old daughter of mine. I wish I could bottle up this time in her life and keep it in a jar, able to revisit it in the future. Instead, I take a lot of pictures and videos, wanting so much to preserve the memories.
Some day she will have lost that baby cuteness, the sweet little dimples in her elbows and the unrestrained way she loves to run around naked after her bath. Some day she may even look at me with fierce anger and tell me she hates me, mad that I won’t let her do some destructive thing she thinks will be fun.
I want to remember these days when she runs to me with her arms out, so happy to see me again. The days when she giggles with her hand in front of her mouth and her head back, the days when she hugs her brother tightly and helps him stop crying when I have to walk away for a minute – these days are sweet, sweet, sweet.
Today she prayed out loud for the first time. Her daddy spontaneously asked her at lunch if she’d like to pray for the meal. She did. He got her started, and with her head bowed very low, she seriously and reverently prayed for the people she loves. Her little hands were folded, chubby fingers intertwined on the edge of the table, and I thought my heart my burst with joy.
Her sweetness overwhelms me, makes me think this growing up thing might not be so bad.
Tears sprang to my eyes at the holiness of that moment. I felt God sitting at the table with us. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
Oh, how I pray that my children will grow up to love and revere Jehovah. Every day of their lives I pray over them, calling forth the gifts of the Holy Spirit in them. I sing over them, prayers and testimonies of God’s faithfulness. We take them to church, praising Jesus together. We try to model faithful living, planting seeds deep inside them in the hopes that they will grow and become a harvest of godliness.
To see the very first shoot spring up from the ground – that beautiful prayer – has overshadowed my day with thankfulness.
I had a dream about her before she was born. I dreamed she was in heaven, playing happily and peacefully with other children. God sat on His throne close by and called her over to Him, called her by name.
He whispered in her ear, letting her know that her parents were very eager to meet her. He told her it was earlier than He’d planned to send her to us, but we had prayed for her so earnestly that He was inclined to answer our prayers sooner than expected. He told her it was up to her. She could stay there in heaven with Him a little while longer if she wanted.
She told Him she was ready to go and would be happy to be sent to us early.
In my dream, I was aware of the sacrifice she was making – leaving perfection and joy to come to earth to be with us, to agree to allow the pain of living on earth to come to her early so that she could do what her Father wanted.
And so He released her to us, four short months after we said, “I do.”
It was a beautiful dream. I was newly pregnant and thought I was having a boy. When she was born, the dream came back to me fresh and I wept with joy.
Eliana Rose, my God has answered with a beautiful flower.
Such sweetness is almost too much to bear. Before I go overboard with my idealization, she’s sure to look at me defiantly and tell me to “stop it”. My little sweet one has an independent, stubborn streak that goes beyond normal 2-year old shenanigans.
But that stubborn little girl is learning to love Jesus. My heart is full.