Like every little girl, there's something about sitting in my Father's lap that my heart just can't let go of. I dream of it. I long for it. I imagine myself climbing up into His big arms, Him wrapping those arms around me, and the two of us sharing a quiet moment.
If only I could actually be quiet.
I have a tendency to be a little excitable sometimes. It's because I'm so captivated by story. My story, your story, God's story. And when these stories start to be told, my imagination sweeps me away. My hopes, my dreams, my best intentions, my faith, my fallenness, all the memories I have of being a character in one of these fantastical stories - it just all takes over and I can't seem to help myself. The minute my Father starts speaking, I start thinking of all of these stories, and I want to tell them all.
I want to tell them all even though I know He already knows them. I want to hash out all the details again and again, as if I couldn't possibly get enough of all the moments we've had together. I tell them like they're old family stories; these are the moments that have made us who we are.
And I've got some good stories. Oh, have I got some good stories.
The trouble is that I don't think God wants me to tell my stories all the time. I don't think He even wants me to tell our stories all the time. I know that He knows the way He knit me together. I know He smiles a little when I get so excited that I can't control myself. I know He has everlasting patience when He starts to say, Do you remember that time... and I burst out in excited laughter. Do I remember that time?!?!?! OF COURSE I REMEMBER THAT TIME! and break into the stories all over again.
I know that He knows this about me, so I try not to be too hard on myself about it. After all, it's this love of story that He's using to use me. But often, and particularly lately, I sense that sometimes, He wishes I wasn't so this way.
Sometimes, I wish I wasn't so this way.
Because for all the stories we have, for all the stories we share, He and I both know that these aren't the whole story. It's true that when He starts to tell my stories, I usually get all excited. He talks about my gifts. About my victories. About my opportunities. About the countless sacred moments I've shared with others in His family. I know all these stories by heart, and I'm eager to tell them.
But what about when He starts talking about my tenderness? About my brokenness? About my ache? What about when He starts to say, Do you remember that time... and I turn my head away. Do I remember that time? ...I've spent my whole life trying to forget.
It's at these moments, I feel Him wrapping His arms just a little bit tighter around me, trying to get me to hear the words He's actually saying. Trying to get me to embrace the stories He wants to tell, rather than spin them off into the ones that I know so well. He strokes my hair and hums softly to my pounding heart until I can almost settle down into His presence.
Then He whispers the truths that only my broken heart knows.
And for a girl who loves story as much as I do, as easy as it is for me to bubble over with the excitement of a good tale , I find that it's so incredibly difficult to simply sit still in the presence of my Father and let my story be told.
It brings me to tears, these simple truths. The way He weaves together truth and tenderness, rejection and redemption, the good, the bad, the ugly...and the beautiful.... I don't really know what to do with it.
So I sit there in my Father's lap, the way every daughter dreams of, and I'm torn between wanting Him to stop, wanting these not to be my stories, and begging Him to finish, longing to know how things are going to turn out. At once, I am both perfectly okay, resting in my Father's embrace, and not at all okay, wracked by the grief of my own story. His voice breaks in the same places that my heart does, and I don't know what to do with that. Because...because He's my Daddy and I'm His little girl and I hate that He knows all these broken little things about me but in the very same breath, I love that He knows them.
I'm in one of these quiet seasons right now, one of these seasons blessed by time spent in my Father's lap, His big arms wrapped around me. His voice, telling my stories. And as much as I'm a girl who loves story, these little whispers of truth are hard sometimes. I have to remind myself to sit and listen. Hard as it may be, these are my stories, too.
And I'm torn.
Because I hate that He knows all these broken little things about me.
...but He makes them sound so beautiful.