Yesterday, we were helping out in the 4/5 year old classroom at church. We're new to the room, as we just moved, this summer, from 3s, when Ty turned 4. We like moving through the kids ministry with the boys. We want to know their friends, the girls they'll likely want to date, the parents in both scenarios, etc.
We only serve once a month, so this was just our second time in the "red" room. It has been such a blessing to see the depth of study and worship that our kids are experiencing at such a young age.
As we were settling in for lesson time, I took my perch about midway through the rows. Getting 40 4/5 year olds to sit quiet and engage is a feat! The Bible lesson was on Hannah.
My heart flipped when I heard her name. I know her story inside and out. Though separated by centuries, our cry was the same. I know her and love her and prayed her prayer more times than I can count. I shifted my weight to my toes as I listened to my friend's testimony, re-told by the teacher.
"Hannah was barren. She couldn't have children of her own. She cried out to God; God heard her cry and she became pregnant with Samuel!" The lead teacher went on to talk about the great man Samuel was...I stood aghast. I wanted to throw my hands in the air and shout, "STOP!!!!"
YOU'RE NOT TELLING IT RIGHT.
You can't sum the reality of this woman's heart...this life...in one sentence! The moments of complete desperation between "She cried out to God" and "God heard her prayer" are so weighted in pain, I can feel them in the back of my throat. "Year after year" Hannah cried and begged; pleading with God. Barren is so much more than not being able to have children...it's emptier; darker; lonelier. It's not just an empty womb...it's an empty life.
Hannah is heroic in her vulnerability and ultimate sacrifice.
I couldn't believe her story was being promoted without passion. I wrestled with whether or not to interrupt when Ty looked at me from across the room. His eyes twinkled and he gave me his just-for-mom smile. I knew he knew. He knew that I prayed for him...just like Hannah prayed for her Samuel.
I held my tongue and wiped my tears.
I know her story because it's my story.
And it's okay that a classroom of kids hears "miracle" before moving on with their day. My family doesn't just hear...we experience the miracle. Every day. And that's what makes us special.
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life...