One recent morning, a post from Ann appeared in my inbox just at the right moment of pause, and I actually opened it and read. I say “actually” because in the months since we have arrived home, I have put off or even avoided some of the very things that have historically sustained me. Writers of hope, music to compel, conversations to renew… Why do we do that? Avoid the life-giving when the life-living becomes treacherous? Ahhhh, so I stray from my original point, but perhaps the confession of my wayward heart will somehow produce a turn toward home.
As I read “Because Hard Days are White Horse Days,” my mind drifted to one white horse day in particular. A hard day, exactly one year in the past. The kids and I had gone to the beach with one of my oldest and dearest friends for a few days while her husband was there for work. It was a trip in part to distract us from the wait for a referral of our baby girl. In the weeks prior there had been a sudden rash of children referred by our agency and we knew our name had to be nearing the top of the list. In fact, based of the timelines and waits for some of those families receiving referrals, I even started to grow concerned we had somehow been skipped. Paranoid, anyone? So to put my impatient mind at ease, I shot off an email to our caseworker as I packed for the beach. Our first morning at the ocean, my friend and I having managed to schlep ourselves and our four small kids along with all our beach-going-gear, settled on a spot along the crowded shoreline. As she went off to handle something with the resort, I absent-mindedly checked my email on my phone. There it was- a response from our caseworker – but one I was not at all prepared for. Instead of the reassuring reminder to “hang in there” I was fully expecting to read, I soon learned my hunch we had been skipped was in fact very accurate. Without going into too many details, along the way there had been a misunderstanding, a miscommunication, and our names had been passed over in last set of referrals that had been given. Standing there in the hot Florida sun with sand toys, snacks and kiddos at my feet, I started to cry. We had missed her, missed our daughter, missed our turn to put an end to the wondering after face and name. It didn’t make sense, and in that moment I could not see, nor did I want to hear what my head was saying, what I’m sure my sweet friend said upon her return. I could not see how this could be used for good, or that those precious children simply were not who God had chosen as our precious child. No, that day the “white horse” stung much more of curse than of any sort of blessing.
For now we see in a mirror dimly…
Here I sit, one full year since that morning on hot sand and a wave of crushing news. Here I sit, with one full year of perspective and privilege to see the promises of God were not missed because of man’s misunderstanding. Here I sit with our daughter, the one divinely chosen to be our family, asleep in the next room. In countless details and rows of provision, we have watched faithful God redeem that specific white horse day. Layer by layer has been peeled back to reveal that hard day was full of protection and purpose and His honest-to-goodness, goodness. So many details, ones we couldn’t see or have anyway of knowing existed from where we stood there in the sand. Ones we will some day be able to share with Lulu as part of her story, part of God’s plan for her life. In hopes she may grow to live in the full understanding that while the glass is dim, nothing is wasted, all will work together for good in Christ Jesus.
So today, what is your white horse? Blessing or curse? Or quite possibly both? Whatever your heart’s answer, my hope is you may take heart and embrace the hard days until all that is left standing is the blessing.
xo – Sarah