Roughly two weeks before my 21st birthday, the Lord sent me a gift.  She came into the world with barely a sound, and I remember the first words I said were “Thank God, thank God.”  Strangers cleaned her and wrapped her in blankets as the doctor continued to work on me.  She had her fist shoved into her mouth and I got to see one precious pink finger before she was whisked away to the nursery.  Five hours and many grandparents, aunts and uncles later, I finally got to hold her for the first time.

That night as she lay sleeping beside my bed in her crib, I remember how stunned I was.  The pregnancy (thank You Lord) and birthing had been easy.  But now, her whole life lay stretched before me.  How exactly, was I supposed to be a mom?  I remember wondering, will I have enough love for her?  Will I be able to love her above and beyond myself? 

As I lay there wondering and worrying, she made a sound in her sleep.  It was a tiny whimper, as though she could sense my doubts.  The sound literally went straight to my heart. A feeling of fierce protectiveness came over me so strongly that I was taken by surprise.  I bent over her and softly whispered, “It’s ok…mommy’s here.”  After that, I had no doubt that I would give my life for her.

It’s funny thinking back now, eighteen years later, on the doubts I had.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to love her enough…and possibly, that’s true.  Because now I’m faced with how to love her enough to let her go. 

There was another woman, long ago and far away faced with my same dilemma.  Unfortunately, her time with her child was much, much shorter than mine.  She had her precious baby boy with her for three perfect months.   She and her family were slaves in Egypt and a vicious king had ordered the deaths of all male children born to her race.  She had hidden her son as long as she could, but the time had come to let him go.  Perhaps you’ve heard of her.  Her name was Jochebed and the son she loved was Moses.

Her story can be found in the first 10 verses of the second chapter of Exodus, and a few small footnotes to the story can be found scattered in Exodus, Numbers and Hebrews.  A short story, but a big lesson. 

Hebrews 11:23 tells us that Jochebed acted on faith.  I remember my first night in the hospital with my daughter, and I can imagine how desperate Jochebed must have been.  Her actions show that she loved this boy very much, but to keep him would have meant certain death for him and possibly for her whole family.  So she had to love him enough to let him go, and entrust him to the hands of the Lord. When she placed her precious boy in the basket and set it among the reeds on the Nile…she had no angelic herald giving her assurance that he would survive.   I think she simply believed that if God was big enough to deliver her people out of the hands of Pharaoh, then He was big enough to care for one small baby. 

And that is the promise that I am holding to.  This woman-girl that I am releasing to the unknown, has a Father watching over her every step.  To keep her, would be to kill the promise and the purpose that God has for her.  That’s far more dangerous to me than any unknown dangers lurking in the shallows.   And didn’t we all face those same dangers ourselves?  And wasn’t God big enough to deliver us?

He was/is/and will be big enough to save me.  He was/is/and will be big enough to save her.

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