Naomi turned 9 last week. Or maybe it was last month. Or it might have even been last year. We don’t know exactly when Naomi turned 9.
Somewhere along the way, an unknown employee in an orphanage in Ethiopia assigned her a birthdate. And so, according to her official birth certificate, Naomi turned 9 on July 18, 2013.
We may not have been celebrating the actual day of her birth, but we were celebrating the life of this beautiful girl.
We threw a big party. We had cupcakes and streamers. We had friends and family. We made memories. Naomi felt special.
Naomi has such a tender heart. She is very much a pleaser. She doesn’t like to see people upset. And so, she tends to stuff her feelings down inside so that she doesn’t stir up problems. And, probably because Leah is so much more vocal about her hurt, it is easy for me to overlook the pain that Naomi keeps hidden inside.
Tonight, as we were getting ready for bed, Leah started expressing her hurt and pain. She was crying. She was yelling. Scott was kneeling down at eye-level with her, trying to fight his way past the lies to speak into her heart.
And I looked over and saw Naomi, standing in the corner, with silent tears rolling down her cheeks.
I gathered Naomi up and took her into her bedroom. I hugged her. I tried to talk to her. But she did not want to talk. All that she wanted was a mother to hold her while she cried.
And so I did. And I prayed. And I tucked her into bed and kissed her forehead.
You know, we might not know the exact date or time of Naomi’s birth, but God does.
We might not know the exact history of the hurt that she keeps hidden inside her heart, but God does.
Wanted by Dara MacLean
From the day you were born
And took your first breath
You opened your eyes and in came the light
He was watching you
But all of your life you couldn’t shake the lies in your head
Saying you’re a mistake
Oh, but you were made
By a God who knows your name
He doesn’t make mistakes
You are wanted
To every broken heart, He stands with open arms
You are wanted
To every searching soul, look to the rising sun
If you’re lonely, hurting, gone too far
To the outcast you come as you are
For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted
You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted
Let this be the day that joy takes the place
Of all of the years that shame tried to steal away
He is calling you
Lift your eyes to see His face
Come run into the arms of grace
You, you have been marked
You’re set apart
And He calls you His
So you don’t have to search
Don’t have to look for where you belong
You are wanted
Naomi, you are wanted.
By a God who loves you with a jealous love.
By a family who prayed for you before they even knew you.
By a mother who never knew that half-way around the world she would find missing pieces of her heart.
You, Naomi. You were a missing piece of my heart. Happy Birthday, dear girl.