Abigail. Her name means “her father’s delight” and she lives true to her name! Abigail’s stepfather has come to know the delight that she is and is richer for it… as are we as her Young Life leaders and community. But recently, as I have been getting to know her whole family and begun a friendship with Abigail’s mom, I’ve been able to share the delight that she is to her HEAVENLY FATHER.
Abigail’s mom Cindy is an incredibly strong woman. She is a post partum nurse by trade and that nurturing nature carries over into every area of her life. She has known much adversity in her life and experienced hardships that would make most of us run and hide. This woman, however, continues to stand, to serve, to care for extended family, for her own Abigail, and now more than ever, to serve God. Cindy recently shared that Abigail has brought her back to her faith in Christ.
Since Abigail camp home from an inclusive week of camp this past summer, she has carried a sense of the delight of her Heavenly Father into her home. Abigail’s love is simply expressed, usually with a pat on the head and a gentle “love you,”( if you happen to have your hair in a pony tail or a bun, she may display even more of that love). Abigail usually likes her space at club and tends to sit in the back by herself and rock and talk her way through the club talks. We’ve learned not to push her out of this space and to our surprise, that she is listening as she talks!
A couple of months ago, as Cindy dropped Abigail off for club, she mentioned a serious medical condition she was experiencing, that Abigail’s dad was being released from the hospital following surgery, and another family member hospitalized from an accident… and that she was off to care for them and would be back when club ended. As she left, my heart was heavy. I texted her and asked if we could pray for her when she returned. Cindy heartily welcomed the prayer and as another leader and I grabbed her hands to ask with her for healing in her body, Abigail joined. Abigail began to repeat our prayers, rubbing her mother’s back and reassuring her mom that Jesus heard and Jesus would heal her. “Don’t cry mom, its Ok….” Our prayer reached the ears of her Heavenly Father who was delighted, I am sure. Her assurance of His healing power was real and deep. Her comforting of her mom was straight from the Father. While we are still waiting to hear if she is cleared from the blood clots this week, we are rejoicing in all kinds of healing that has happened since we prayed as Cindy is experiencing grace, mercy, and a renewed relationship with Jesus.
Abigail’s family continues to face challenges and last week lost their home in a house fire, but they have joined my family at church for several weeks now. We worship together, Abigail sings just a little louder and a beat behind the rest of the congregation and at times will join me in using sign language in her worship. Her delight in her Father and her desire to sing to Him, is a reminder to us of His delight in her… and in us. Cindy and I chatted after church Sunday about the reminder that Abigail is of the security we have to be with God and not do for God because of His delight in us… in the midst of health challenges, relationship challenges, and even in ashes. Wow. Might we know the delight we are to our Father like Abigail does. Might we bring that delight into our homes in a way that leads others into the grace and freedom Cindy is experiencing from Abigail’s leadership.