“And instead of the briar the myrtle blooms with a thousand flowers
And it will make a name
Make a name for our God
A sign everlasting that will never be cut off
As the earth brings forth sprouts from the seed
What is sown in the garden grows into a mighty tree
So the Lord plants justice, justice and praise
To rise before the nations till the end of days”
– The Sower’s Song by Andrew Peterson (taken from Isaiah 55)
Dasah’s name comes from the Hebrew name “Hadassah” which means myrtle tree. Isaiah 55 speaks of the myrtle tree blossoming where a briar has been and making a name for our God, a memorial to Him. This has been one of my prayers for Dasah, that her life would make a name for our God. That God would turn what has been broken and full of thorns into something sweet. For her birthday we have asked people to help us make a memorial to the Lord, that we would be a people who remember what God has done, who He has been in the valley of the shadow of death. On her birthday yesterday, these words flowed out of my heart and onto the pages of my journal…
- How Great is our God
- Worthy of Praise
- My King
- My Comforter in times of sorrow
- My sustainer in times of breathlessness
- My hope. My only hope, the one true hope.
- The One whose ways are higher
- The One whose power is stronger
- The One who makes what is dead come alive, who brings beauty in ashes
- King of Kings
- Lord of Lords
- My Savior
- The One who paid the ultimate price that I may live, that my daughters may live
- The One who is God
- Sovereign over all
- Safety IN the pain, not from it
- My friend and King and Lord
- Good in ALL your ways
- Forever faithful
- Near to the brokenhearted
- The One whose peace transcends my circumstances
Lord, as I listen to “How Great is Our God” I remember. I remember how I declared as I walked down the aisle to Kevin on our wedding day and we sang “ How great is our God… and ALL will see how Great is our God”. I remember how I prayed people would see your goodness, your greatness through our lives, our marriage. The adventure before us, the unknowns seemed sweet, exciting and hopeful.
And I remember as I held Sophie’s lifeless body in my arms, the church steeple where we were married just over a year before peeking through the trees outside the hospital window, our family and friends surrounding us as we said goodbye to Sophie and sang through whispers, tear stained eyes and wrenching sobs “And age to age He stands, and time is in His hands, beginning and the end… How great is our God, sing with me how Great is our God, and all will see how great, how great is our God.” And I looked at the shell, the beautiful shell of my firstborn daughter and mouthed the words as my heart cried “Yes Lord, let all see how Great you are still in this pain and sorrow.”
I remember how 14 months later, there we were again, with those same family and friends surrounding us, holding the shell, the beautiful shell of my 2nd daughter and again we sang through tear stained eyes, this time a far deeper groan in my heart “Oh Lord, let ME see it, let ME believe with deeper conviction “How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God, and all will see how Great, how great is our God.” I clung to those words as a lifeline to my soul and begged that God would help me believe that those words were still true. When we thought it could not get darker and we found ourselves further in the depths then we even knew was possible, was He still great? Did I even care who saw how great our God is? Yes, in the deepest recesses of my soul its what I longed for, but deeper still (a place I had yet to discover) I needed to know His greatness, I needed to see it in a way I never had before.
And today as I listen to the words of those songs, as Kevin and I sang them at the girls’ gravesite, and the sun shone on our faces as it set… I’m realizing it is I who have seen how Great my God is over these last 3 years. Yes, so many around us have seen His greatness, His worthiness of our lives, but no one more so then her daddy and I. As I listened to The Sower’s Song this week, spent time in Isaiah 55, I prayed “Oh Lord I anticipated that this week would be one of pain… but could it be one of ‘a thousand flowers’ too?” So this is the way, “that instead of a briar, shall come up a myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord. An everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Dasah has been my myrtle. And her life has made a name for our Lord. And the thousand flowers are the ones whose seeds were planted years ago in the midst of the pain, now beginning ever so slowly to bloom. And the flowers of the myrtle blossoming in my heart are the ever-increasing joy and wonder at the greatness of my King. His greatness discovered IN the valley of the shadow of death. For truly in two and a half years of walking through the valley of the shadow of death, feeling as if this would be the place we were permanently exiled to live, God has revealed more of Himself then I have ever known, ever seen. I’ve never wrestled so deeply and found Him so present in my pain. I’ve never cried out to Him with such brutal rawness and found Him so faithful. I’ve never experienced such physical, emotional and spiritual weakness and seen His great strength. A thousand flowers wouldn’t be enough to declare and describe the greatness of who God has been to us, of who He has revealed Himself to be.
As I prayed that this week would be a week of not just pain but perhaps “a thousand flowers”… I’m only now realizing that the thousand flowers of His great name are the seeds that were planted in my heart long ago. And are now beginning to bloom.
So Happy Birthday Dasah Brielle Dennis, you have given me the greatest gift you could give a mother. A deeper love, a deeper knowledge, a deeper reverence for our Savior and King.
Oh how Great is our God, and I have seen How Great, How Great is our God.