Lately, I've been aware of just how much new life is around me this Spring.
The seeds that I planted one week ago have almost all sprouted, reaching tiny stems and leaves toward the sun and delicate, ghost-like roots into the earth.
I'm making preparations for raising a couple of chicks (one for me, and several for my uncle). I'm looking forward to watching their metamorphosis from fuzzy chick fresh from the egg, to mature hens who lay eggs.
For the last few months, I've been letting my hair grow out, and it's now longer than it has been in several years (well past my shoulders and collarbone). It's also taken on a different silhouette, one I've never had before, and it seems strangely in tune with the way my life is going lately - I don't always recognize the person in the mirror at first, and sometimes I catch a different aspect of my face that I'd never noticed before. And I'm good with that. I've been changing and growing and discovering different bits of myself that I'd either forgotten or never known about.
Lately, I've been thinking about my own new life.
For years I've been uncomfortable with my own salvation testimony because it seemed so... unremarkable. I was young (three years old), and while I remember the event vividly, I couldn't tell you the date it happened. With the awareness of my sin, there was also the immediate understanding that God had provided a way for that sin to be taken care of, and I was a child who believed that if God said that my sin was taken care of, well, then it was. End of story.
I would doubt, later on, wondering if I'd really grasped the significance of my sin, if I'd really understood the depravity of my own nature, as a small child, as well as these adult converts had.
The answer, of course, is, no, of course not. Christ didn't preach to the children the same way He did to the Pharisees, the Saduccees, or his adult disciples, but they still came, and He still accepted them. A child who is adopted as an small child will have a different experience than one who is adopted as a teenager, but both have been adopted.
Just as I've come to depend on His peace for the everyday crises of life (and the slightly larger crises of life), I have found His peace about my adoption, partly because I think I've now had a small glimpse of what life would be like without Him. I am His, He is mine. He is the Father, the Comforter, the Tower of Strength, the Hiding Place, the Shield, Redeemer and Deliverer, the God of Peace.
And - the day of adoption is important to a parent and child, but just as important are the days and years that follow, when parent and child commune and grow closer, as child learns to trust parent, as parent proves their love over, and over again.
Give me the valley any day - I'm on a walk with my Father...