Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Joy - A Reflection on Psalm 55

Dear Lucy,

I can't believe my baby is two. You entered the world my love on a a laugh and you have been full of joy ever since. Your eyes sparkle and tell stories that your words aren't able to yet. There has not been a day gone by in your time with us where you have not serenaded us with your laughter. 

Lucy, I pray the joy that brought you into this world, the joy that came into our lives with you, never leaves. Your birth, your arrival was a tangible reminder that joy is possible. That joy should be sought after and tended to with care. You made me believe that I could feel joy again.

But someday. Someday someone might do something to you and the pain you feel will seem unbearable. They may seek to take your joy. Hang on. Don't let them. Your joy is a gift given by your Creator when you were formed.

When I crack open my Bible to Psalm 55,  I can see where my tears fell on the page and instantly I am transported to a different time, a different place. And the emotion comes back almost as strong as it was all those years ago and I struggle to catch my breath.

I would curl up in a ball crying, holding my Bible close, praying for the madness of the situation to stop. I'd read David's words and I knew he was the closest person around to understanding how I felt. 

Listen to my prayer, O God,

do not ignore my plea;
hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.

Your arrival, my dear, is a reminder that those days are over. That the time of being under the weight of other peoples' words and opinions are at an end. 

I'd love to think that you will never have to go through all of that. But the world.....well.....

If and when it happens baby, don't do what I did. Don't find solace in David's cries. I don't want you to let your heart be soothed by his words of anguish and requests for "justice." I want you to be so rooted in Him, your Creator, that when you read Psalm 55 all you do is cast your cares on Him, for He will sustain you, not allowing you to be shaken (v. 22).

The world is full of hurt people. And in their hurt and pain they may hurt you. All I can say, is grace. You will need all the energy you can muster to give it, but it's better to spend it parceling out in small measure the grace that has been given to you extravagantly  than to focus on the hurt.

So Lucy dear, read these words and tattoo them to your heart. They will carry you through.

But as for me, I trust in You.

Happy Birthday, dear child.

Love, Mommy


  1. What a beautiful gift to little Lucy! sending love and joy to you both!

  2. Tears. What a beautiful post. I wish you were my mom. Well, those words would be what the mother I long for now would speak to me. What a glorious perspective. What a beautiful girl. What an incredibly blessed family you all are. I ache for that my friend.

  3. Beautiful. I wrote about how I was recently hurt by people. By a pastor and by a clapping congregation. It was awful and I was angry.

    When we fall straight down by the words and actions of others, we choose where we turn, and there is so much grace in whichever direction we go. I was angry, all day long, but then I decided to go to another church. It was like the first time I met God.

    Thank you for this Brenna!

  4. What an unexpected connection and reflection on this Psalm, Brenna! When I saw that you titled it, "joy," I was confused about where it would come from. How powerful to write to your daughter in this way! About her joy, but also about the way she might be hurt, and how to handle that hurt. What a powerful thing for us to pass on to our children.

  5. "But someday. Someday someone might do something to you and the pain you feel will seem unbearable. They may seek to take your joy. Hang on. Don't let them. Your joy is a gift given by your Creator when you were formed." Hi Brenna. This is a beautiful prayer for your daughter. I thought I'd let you know, it's not just for her. Thank you for sharing your hurt and your joy. I am in that place right now. My tears on the pages of psalm 55 are still fresh. I still sometimes rage at the injustice of so many lies and so much hurtfulness trying to steal my joy. Grace. You're right. And big deep breaths. Otherwise, they've achieved what they set out to do. Thank you.