|Day 21 of 31 at TWT!|
Maybe it's the sight of the girls frolicking around under that sunshine, cheerfully sporting their favorite unicorn masks at the church's socially distanced Easter egg hunt, waving at church friends in person (from afar) for the first time in months.
|Meeting the Easter Bunny!|
Mostly, I think it's the way, as I tell Rainbow to hold my hand in the parking lot as she toddles beside me, I realize that's the first time I've ever done that. We've hardly been anywhere since she could walk, and I've mostly carried her through the parking lots of the few places we've been to, partly out of habit and partly because she's usually glued to me. As her tiny hand grips mine and she scampers beside me, I think of how big she must seem to the church staff who greet us. She was still such a baby the last time we went to church, and most of these people haven't seen her since then.
Now, she proudly declares, "I'm not a baby anymore! I'm a big girl!" whenever we mention a memory from when she was a baby, or whenever we talk about how big she's getting.
Yesterday, she ate bologna for the first time!
She's learning to wash her hands by herself (even though we have to splash water from the faucet onto her because her little arms don't even come close).
She talks constantly, in huge, multi-part sentences, navigating a variety of grammatical structures. (I know, I'm a language nerd.)
She decides she loves the Easter Bunny as soon as she sees him, proudly showing him her basket and asking to go say hi to him again every few minutes. "I like the Easter Bunny!" she announces, flashing her signature crinkly-eyed "happy smile".
After just a few times of us pointing out the eggs to her, she quickly learns to squat down, grab an egg, and put it in her fluffy white bunny basket.
Instead of burrowing into my shoulder and shaking her head dramatically, she actually says hi to the children's church staff that she usually sees on Zoom, excited to see them in person.
Yes, she's a big girl now. And anyone outside of our immediate family has missed this gradual-but-sudden transition from baby to small person. They didn't see it, but she has been growing and changing so much, right before our eyes.
The song "Waymaker" starts flowing through my head:
"Even when I don't see it, You're working,
Even when I can't feel it, You're working,
You never stop, You never stop working,
You never stop, You never stop working..."
Because God is here on this beautiful day, but He has also been here all this time.
He has been here through the challenges of 2020 and He will be here into whatever comes next. He has been here through the frigid winter and into this bright spring. He was with us when we thought we might not be able to give Sweetie a sibling, He was with Rainbow Girl in the NICU, He was with us as she grew stronger, He was with us as we figured out how to be a family of four, and He has been here with us as she becomes a little person.
Even when we couldn't see it, He was working. He never. stops. working.
Just when light came back into our lives from the darkness we'd been living, the world turned dark. And it has been so, so dark, in so many ways. But He is more than just a light in that darkness, He is actively working to bring us out of it. He did it for our family and He is doing it for the world.
Even when we don't see it. Even when we don't feel it.
COVID. Racism. Hatred. Xenophobia. Isolation. Loss. Burnout. Discouragement. On top of all the "usual" struggles that come with being human, the personal tragedies and struggles we all face. It's hard, sometimes, to see the light. It's hard to see Him working for good. But he is.
Just as there is sunshine and warmth after the winter, just as friendship and love outlast distance, just as tiny preemie NICU babies on breathing machines grow into little-big girls who scamper through fields... beauty will come of this broken world.
Even when we can't see it yet.