Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl

Twenty-eight years ago – can I possibly be old enough to have a 28-year old daughter? – very shortly after midnight, I gave birth to the answer of so many prayers and longings. Christian Joy – and her name was more fitting than her father or I could have possibly have anticipated during those waiting months of my pregnancy. She was exquisitely beautiful with dark and brilliant eyes and an intense gaze, even in the moments immediately after her birth when she was wrapped in the hideous green hospital blankets and placed into her father’s arms because I was violently trembling from head to foot after the effort of pushing her into the world. The bonding connection between them was electric, visible. I was never able to share it.

She grew up sweet, intense – We took her to church the Sunday after her birth on Tuesday morning, and as Ruth began the opening notes on a full-bodied organ prelude, her eyes flew open with, we thought, alarm – but it wasn’t alarm, she seemed to be taking in the very vibrations of the notes, she seemed even in her neonatal limitations to take pure joy in the sounds. She early demonstrated a sweet and lilting voice and a passionate love for music which has never been usurped – she is currently majoring in music, in fact.

In the third grade she was diagnosed with a learning difficulty, and she applied herself to overcoming it with quiet diligence.

When she was four years old, we hosted a Backyard Bible Club in our home, and the children made little cloth books to help them remember the essentials of the Gospel. She was sitting in my lap one evening, she wanted me to help her remember the order of the story so she could tell her grandparents, who were coming to visit the next day. We went through the story a couple of times, she was really very good at telling it –

On impulse, I said, “Some day, Christy, you will want to give your heart to Jesus, too, just like it talks about in the little book story you’ve learned.” Her little face, always so expressive, told me everything. “You want to do it now?” and she nodded. And there in my lap, she made a simple, direct offering of herself to God.

May God honor that offering, and my dedication of her and her sister from the womb, to His service, His glory, and bring her to the Fullness of His Kingdom and the Joy of His service. May her life become a living epistle, bringing many to the Kingdom.

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