Monday, June 4, 2012

At Peace - Hannah's Story Part 9

Hannah's Redemption Story

At Peace
Part 9

Years have passed since the day I found Jesus there at my kitchen table.
My, how life has changed.
I’ll never forget the look in Thomas’ eyes as I walked down the aisle to marry him that beautiful June day.  My heart melted with love for him, and I thanked God for blessing me with a man who would love and cherish me... just as I am.  Thomas truly is my gift from God.
Funny how life can take you full circle at times.  It was only recently when I once again found myself in a beautiful garden.  The grass beneath my feet was cold and soggy from yet another Indiana winter and the tall trees beyond where I stood hung their branches overhead, biding their time until they would yet again clap their leaves in the summertime breezes.
Sorrow squeezed at my heart, and I brushed at the tears that threatened to spill from my eyes.
He was gone.  Daddy. 

This time, his disappearance from my life would not be heralded by tail lights in the night, but rather the white of rose petals on a coffin and the gray of a tombstone.  
He was gone.
The little girl in the garden stood with me.  Her hand in mine and together we grieved.  Still, there was a tranquility in her eyes, for though she had suffered much pain and disappointment, she and Daddy had made their peace and somehow constructed a relationship out of the fragments of the broken past.  I knew she would be ok.
And so would I.
That night after the children had been tucked into bed, I stepped outside to watch the night sky.  Thinking of Daddy, of gardens, and goodbyes.  And as I stood there, I realized how much like the Hannah of the Bible my life had been.
That Hannah had spent years pursuing the one thing she wanted most - a child.  She had begged, pleaded, fought and cried, yet her desires were not granted.  Then one day, she’d promised God to give her child back to him in service to him, if only he would bless her with a son.
God’s answer was yes, and in response, Hannah worshipped.
I considered how quickly the time must have been before Hannah was placing her much-loved son into the care of those at the Temple.  
Didn’t her mother-heart break?  But again, she worshipped.  Her heart rejoiced and she declared to all who listened that God rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope!
I laughed with delight!  That was it!
I, like Hannah, had held a longing in the core of my being for so long.  I had pursued the love and acceptance I hadn’t found in my father’s care as a child.  And, like Hannah, I had found the fulfillment of my dreams through the promises of my Abba Father.  He would never leave me or forsake me.
But now?  The letting go?  It hurt.  Goodbyes always carry some measure of pain.  But I saw in Hannah an abundant joy from knowing she was complete - with or without the fulfillment of her earthly desires held tightly in her arms. 
Complete because of the One Who kept her in His care.
I wrapped my arms tightly around myself, hoping to ward off the chilly winter air.   And I smiled.
My journey had brought me to this very moment.  This moment alone with my Father.  I lifted my hands in praise to Him, for He had pulled me out of the depths of my despair and given me a life worth living.  His love for me had filled the gaping hole in my heart that no other one or no other thing could fill.
He had become my everything!
In Him I had discovered that which my heart desired.  
It was real.
It was perfect.
Perfect love.
So like Hannah, I worshipped.

WHO IS HANNAH?    Hannah's story will conclude next Sunday, June 10th at 10:00AM at Firm Foundation Ministries - my home church. Hannah will be coming to reveal her true identity as well as testify to the grace of God in her life.

I invite you to come, as I know you will be able to appreciate the life that Hannah now lives. She is an amazing person who inspires me daily! Hannah's story conclusion will be posted here as well.

Please feel free to share this link with others. As I've listened to Hannah tell me her story... as I write these words, I am struck over and over again at the importance of father/daughter relationships. I began this series, praying it would encourage young women - teenage women... that it would help them find their value in Christ alone. But the more I listen, the more I write, the more I realize the lesson in here for fathers as well.

If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Walking on Water (top right corner), and plan to join us each Monday as Hannah's story continues to unfold.

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