Friday, November 27, 2009

In My Arms

Thanksgiving is over, and it was wonderful; but I haven't yet downloaded my pictures from our celebration so writing about it will have to wait.

Tonight I sit here in my rocking chair, more aware than normal of the many dangers that surround us. I was thinking to myself today that I used to be brave. The second trip I ever took on an airplane was by myself to Israel (the rest of my college group had gone ahead of me because I stayed in the States to be in a friend's wedding; to catch up with them, I had to fly alone, and the trip required three different airplanes, as well as finding my way from the airport in Tel Aviv to the place outside Jerusalem where they were staying)--even though I was really nervous at the last minute about doing that since I wasn't an experienced traveler at all, I still did it and didn't chicken out. I also showed bravery when I was willing to move to Israel with a 7 month-old baby, at precisely the same time as the war with Iraq started and Israel expected to be bombed. I used to be brave.

Somewhere along the way, I've lost my courage; and I think I know what stole it: the four precious little souls whose pictures appear in the sidebar. It is one thing to put yourself in danger. It is something entirely different to expose your children to danger. And like it or not (and I don't), the reality is that there is always danger around us.

Tonight I listen to the song "In My Arms" by Plumb. I think how beautiful it is. I also think about how utterly helpless I feel, knowing that my children won't always be "safe in my arms," as she sings. I can accurately say to my children that "you are never all alone because I will always, always love you" - beyond a shadow of a doubt, that is true. But my arms are too weak to hold them safely, too short to reach them everywhere they will go, too limited to protect them from every danger they will face. I want desperately to croon--and to believe--that yes, all it takes is to hold them, and that will protect them from danger. But it's just not so.

And so, as I listen to it again, I hear the voice of God singing it to me and to my children. He is the one, the only one, who can keep me--and my children--safe in His arms.

His huge outstretched arms protect you--
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
~ Psalm 91:4 in The Message


Christin said...

Yup. You sound like me...becoming a parent has changed me in that way too. Now, it's to find my way BACK to bravery, so that my girls can feel comfortable with taking chances. Easier said than done, huh?

Julie said...

Sorry to say this...but just wait until they are driving. I have had to learn so much about how "not in control" I am and how no matter how hard I am hanging on, it's not enough.

I've had some heart to hearts with God about this, and I still don't get it, but I'm trying to learn. I am growing braver and more courageous. Slowly. Every so s-l-o-w-l-y. Much love to you, dear friend!

Misty said...

Oh my..I've lost my courage as well in some respects (but also have gained it in others) when I had kids.

Annie said...

Hi Davene:

I stumbled upon your blog several days ago, and have read nearly all its contents since then! I was raised in a Christian household that wasn't very, by parents who lived together but whose marriage was non-existent, and I've struggled to create for my kids what I never had. I didn't really have an example to look up to, which is why reading your blog has been so wonderfully enlightening. I now have a picture of what a happy, God-loving family looks like. There are so many other things I could add--God bless you for your ministry through a blog, of all things. :)

Davene said...

Hi, Annie!

Wow, thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm humbled and very grateful!

Kristen said...

I cry every time I hear that song. Words so true. Even though we want our arms to be strong, it is comforting to know they don't have to be! :)