I’m not gonna lie friends, I am OBSESSED with Hamilton.  It’s ridiculous.  Nathan was crazy into it for the longest time and I was like “yeah, uh-huh, whatever”.  BUT NOW I GET HIM.

I’m also a bawling mess through it.  I can’t listen to most of the second act.  The other day I was driving to pick Ella up from school and the little “shuffle” button was active on my music app.  The last song, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” came on and I just instantly started crying because I remembered all the pain at the end of this poor guy’s life.  Even typing- I’m a teary mess.  It’s embarrassing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about stories lately.  I’ve even started talking about my life in “chapters” and seeing this season as mid-story instead of the end (like it can feel like sometimes). 

Yesterday I was changing Emmy’s diaper when all of a sudden I just started telling her her story.  I’m not even sure why- it was just like it erupted out of me.  Usually what erupts out of me while changing her diaper is a lot of anger and “No ma’am”’s because she’s in that stage where she flips over and grabs her poopy booty and screams during diaper changes.  It’s awesome.

But all of a sudden- instead of my normal “no”’s came:

“Emmelina, let me tell you who you are.  You are my miracle baby.  That’s right, baby girl.  You are a miracle.  Your sister… Jesus surprised us with her because we didn’t even know we needed her yet.  But Jesus said, “oh yes you do!  You need this baby girl!” So He gave us Ella.  Then Ella made us realize that we could love lots of babies, and that’s when we started to want you.  We prayed and prayed for you to come, but we had to wait a really long time.  Before you came, people told us that you would be a fighter and that you would see God’s face!  And then finally- there you were!  And we were so thankful.  You’ve had a really hard first year, baby girl.  But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t a miracle.  And it doesn’t mean that the years ahead will be terrible.  It just means that what was sewn with tears will be harvested with abounding joy.  You are a fighter.  You are an overcomer.  You are a miracle, my Emmelina Clementine.  And you will see the face of God.”

As I spoke these words over her, she grew calm and quiet.  She looked up at me, studying my mouth as I poured love on her with my words.  Do I think she knows what I said?  No.  But I think her spirit could feel it.

We need reminders of our story, friend.  Someone to tell it back to us in a more lovely way than our broken mind can.

The truth is- some days I wonder why I wanted a second baby so badly.  Don’t get me wrong here- I love that girl fiercely.  But man is my life harder now.  It’s true what they say- two kids isn’t double the work, it’s exponentially more work than you could imagine.  And while it’s exponentially more love and joy as well- my mind doesn’t always go there when I’m spiraling into a bad day.  All it takes to start down that spiral is one bad night.  Or one broken belonging.  Or a thousand of those all mashed together in what seems to be an unending mess.  Motherhood is so messy, isn’t it?  And my oh my the hormones DO NOT HELP ONE BIT.

I have enormous mom guilt.  After fighting so hard for Emmy, she has been so difficult in so many ways.  And it’s easy to believe the voice of the enemy over everything else when you haven’t slept for a year.

I’m not proud of this and I wish it never got to that point, but the trenches of motherhood can be deep, friend.  And Satan- he doesn’t play fair.  The Bible tells us that his main jobs are to steal, kill and destroy.  And yup- I’d say that too often I’ve given him the authority to do it in my life.  He has stolen so much of my joy.  He has killed off my hope time and time again.  And there are so many days when I am convinced that my life has been destroyed by the choices I’ve made and people I’ve created.

And I’m freaking sick of that guy.

What I love about Jesus is that He was and is a story teller.  Thousands of people gathered around Him to hear Him tell stories.  He knew that the human heart found stories irresistible- He made them that way.  And when I imagine Him telling the parable of the sower or talents, I picture the crowd’s eyes locked on Him and His mouth as He poured love on them with His words.

What story are you telling yourself today?  Is it one of hope, courage and perseverance?  Or is it the one I too often rehearse in my mind, “It’s not getting better”, “They don’t care about me”, “Things will never change…”  All too often I find myself agreeing with these lies without even noticing that that’s what I’m doing.  But not today.  Today I take captive my thoughts and the attitude of my heart.  Today I say no to hopelessness and ungratefulness.  And today I say yes to Jesus’ never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. 

I’m done listening to the wrong story, friend.  I’m done believing the lies over the blatant truth.  And GOOD LORD I will not allow Satan to tell my girls their story.

My girls need ME to tell them their story.  They need me to be the bridge to Jesus, reaching my hand out to them and showing them the way.  They need to hear how they are wanted, destined and so deeply loved.  And how can I do this if I am not believing the same for myself?

The buck stops with me, Satan.  You’re a puny fool and we’re done with you here.  My girls will rise up with power and fierce hope.  They will look fear in the face and laugh their heads off at it.  You’ve fought the battle in your sneaky little ways here- but the victory belongs to the Lord.  I will listen to Jesus alone.  I will tell my girls their story, especially when I’m tired and when I’d rather scream instead.  I will let the Holy Spirit reign in this house and in this heart.  And the story that has been written from the beginning of time- it will resonate in this home louder than any lie ever could.

This is our story.  The anthem we scream on the mountaintop and in the valley, the Author of OUR story: He is good.

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