That wide-gapped-grin has won my heart.
She is wholly and perfectly beautiful to me in every way.
When I look at her I don’t see her cleft. I don’t see a girl born with the “wrong face” as she was called as we stood in her orphanage. I don’t see the thing that changed the trajectory of her life, that set her abandonment into motion. The thing that caused her mama to lay her down and walk away.
I just don’t see it anymore.
I see her.
I see the one I have battled for, every day since I met her. I see the one that I’ve held, and rocked, as she kicked and screamed and fought me tooth and nail. I see the one that doesn’t speak my language yet we seem to totally get each other.
I see the one that has chosen to act against what she’s hard wired to be, chosen to be kind instead of angry, chosen to be generous in place of living in survival mode. I see a tiny one that is teachable and open to learn.
I see a heart that is desperate to find her place…to find a rhythm where she fits. Because she does. She fits with us.
I see a life that is blossoming, and the frequency of that grin is proof.
I see the face that has searched mine, watching for expressions that she can understand, watching my every move and learning each day what it means to be my daughter.
I simply see her.
That wide grin is an ever present reminder that our God is the God of the impossible. He is the God of lost causes. The radical restorer of the broken.
In 6 days that cleft will be gone. Closed. Stitched. Fixed.
I will send her away as the daughter who’s face I’ve memorized every square inch of and she will come back whole…different…repaired, restored.
In my heart it marks the end of a chapter. The erasing of evidence of suffering for her. The closing of her past and the opening of the glorious future that is laid out for her, every day of her life already dictated by her Father.
He has plans, I know it deep down, to use her mouth as a megaphone of His glory to the nations. He told me so.
That the scars she bears, the story they tell, will simply be a billboard for the scars that He bore on her behalf.
One set of scars declaring to the broken that His scars make all the difference.
What an honor it has been to steward that little cleft. What a joy it has been to be the family that was chosen as the vehicle to making this girl whole.
6 days from now she will forever be changed.
I will never forget the first day I saw her, how my heart sank deep with grief over what I saw, fear of what that cleft was about to do to our lives, of what it meant.
Now, here I sit, with heart-sinking-grief as we prepare to never see it again.
We are glad. We are pumped beyond belief. We are thankful that we have access and the ability to change our spicy one’s life. We can’t wait to see the beauty that lies on the other side of that operating table.
We are bracing ourselves for that moment, the unveiling of a restored face, a new smile, a new glory.
This surgery will not change my daughter. It will not buy her more beauty in my eyes. I will not sigh a sigh of relief because she is “fixed”…as I previously thought I would.
She’ll never been more beautiful to me than she is right now.
Let’s take a moment and celebrate our scars.
The places that are evidence of our suffering. The marks of our pain. The ever present reminder that we’ve been broken.
The very things we try to cover, try to make less obvious.
Let’s put them out there for the world to see.
Let’s expose them to the light of Jesus and see what He has to say about them.
How can He use our scars? How can He heal the gaping wounds we now bear and turn those wounds into megaphones for His glory?
If your brokenness has been healed by your Creator, those scars are your very own badges of honor.
They are altars for you to bring people to, telling them of the goodness of God.
Markers of His faithfulness.
Our scars can point to His.
To the scars that changed the trajectory of our lives. The scars that closed the pain of our past and opened the glorious future He has laid out for us.
He loves us, scars and all.
You will never be more lovely to Jesus than you are today.
Esther will be having her first surgery next Tuesday, October 17th at 6:00 am.
This surgery will be correcting her lip and noes. Closing the cleft and reshaping her nose.
The surgery is supposed to last around 4 hours.
We will spend one night in the hospital and as long as she eats, poops and pees we will go home the next day. Pray for poop friends.
To follow along with our surgery head on over to my Instagram @casshamm and follow me. I will be posting updates as we go through the process.