Today, my niece Kira turns 3. She and her family are living with me in my apartment right now, and she and her siblings are sharing my room with me, so I got to see her on her birthday morning. After I'd gotten ready for work, I went over to the bed and put her in my lap and gave her a big squeeze. Her eyes fluttered open for a second and she gave me a sweet, still sleepy smile and snuggled back down to sleep. I held her for a while and then sang:
Happy Birthday to you
May the Lo - ord bless you
Happy Birthday Dear Kira
Your TiTi loves you.
Then I squeezed her again and planted a kiss on her forehead. As I laid her back down on the bed with tears streaming down my cheeks, she gave me another sleepy smile, then snuggled into my pillow and began to snore.
On the way to work, I couldn't help but think about this precious girl and what a true gift from God she is to me...and to my entire family. I also couldn't help but think about her future and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. As the lone Christian in my family, my fear is that she will follow suit and never know Christ. That her choices will be those of compromise, sin and selfishness. That she will not know the value of purity and holiness or the comfort of the presence of God.
In response to those fears, the Lord is always faithful to remind me that He is equally sovereign over her life and mine. He is also faithful to show me flickers of His calling on her life. Many times when we are together, she asks me to sing "Jesus" or "Whole World" or "Na Na" or "Beautiful One" (she asks for this one by signing "beautiful" something she still remembers from VBS!). At night when we hunker down in bed, she will sometimes ask me to pray if I haven't already done so and whenever I mention Jesus, she is quick to take interest or ask questions.
I am well aware that the smallest desire for God is planted by Him and not natural to man, and though i can't know for certain, I am praying in faith that He would make His calling on her sure and save her. That was my prayer this morning, with tears still streaming down my face as I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot.
And, right now as I look at the many pictures of us I have on my desk, I think about her at 15...and fear grips my heart. I see the world around me. I see what 15 year olds are like now. I worry about the influences in her life and the choices she might make. But, again, I am reminded that God is sovereign...and all I can know is who she is and who I need to be for her (and for His glory) today...tomorrow is safe in His care.
Kira's tomorrow is infinitely safe in His care.
Thank you Lord for the gift of Kira...the gift of my first niece...of a precious, loving, funny, very girly girl. Thank you that you have touched her heart already and for the special relationship you have given us. Bless her and keep her until such a time as she can choose you. Protect her from what is around her, things that seek to beat the sweetness out of her, take her innocence away, and lead her to hate you. Thank you that no matter what may come, no matter what she may walk through or choose or suffer, you can and will redeem the time and restore anything the locusts destroy. More than that, you will make what is restored better than what was, and what I can imagine or hope for her. Thank you that you love her and that you gave her to us...plant in her heart a desire to know and love you that she might grow to be a godly woman who brings you glory all the days of her life.