For years, I have prayed Isaiah 61 over my family, asking the Lord to give beauty for ashes, asking Him to indeed grow these daughters of mine into oaks of righteousness, a planting for the display of His splendor. I have cried tears straight into the words “freedom for captives” as I begged this promise for a certain few of my little ladies specifically. I have rested in the promise of the oil of joy instead of mourning and I have rejoiced with the prophet Isaiah as each one has come to her own understanding that He has clothed her with garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness. My eyes stuck right there on Isaiah 61 praying in hope those words of verse 11, that the Lord would cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all nations.
Only on Saturday morning, the morning after I married the very most Christ-like man I have ever met, did my eyes wander down past verse 11, down the page to Isaiah, Chapter 62. As if, now that I was beginning this new chapter of life, maybe God would give me a new chapter to pray over my family. My breath caught in my throat as I read these words that I somehow had never read before.
“The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory. You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or your name Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah (my delight is in her) and your land will be Beulah (married). For the Lord will take delight in you and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
Right there on the thin, gilded page, was his heart for me, for Benji, for each of my girls, for our family – that we would know His delight in us, the way He rejoices over us.
The last two years have been a different season. A season of quiet, of dark and sadness, of joys that felt too personal to share with anyone other than my Heavenly Father. I have tried to write many times, but I have been learning the beauty of the secret place, just Him and me. The Lord who knows my heart has been whispering to me of a new season for a long time, and my flesh has worried that this new season might take me out of my secret hiding place with Him, that somehow a physical, tangible relationship with another might take away from my relationship with my Builder, My Lover, My Life-Giver.
Little did I know that this new relationship would only enhance the other.
I became Mrs. Majors on January 2nd of this year. Benji is a discipler of men and a faithful maker of breakfast. Long before we shared a home we shared a hometown with only a few hilltops to keep our adolescent lives from ever intersecting. As the Lord would have it, we would only meet on the other side of an ocean after He had captured our hearts with a love for the Ugandan people and a desire for The Word to go forth in this place. At first I was hesitant, but while Benji was patient, God was faithfully working on my heart. I watched him teach Bible studies and disciple men and fix my kids’ bikes. We laughed over coffee and all the crazy things that are life here. He taught me more and more about the love of Jesus, in his words, and in his example. He captured my heart. And on the night he washed my feet and asked me to be his forever, the yes jumped off my lips as if it had always been waiting there just for him.
I imagined marriage would be good. Wonderful even. But I did not even begin to understand that it would be this holy. I didn’t know that I would melt under this man’s gaze that is so full of the love of the Father for me. I didn’t imagine the way his delight in me would be my daily reminder of the way my Father delights in me. My husband’s love is just another way God has chosen to pour our His extravagant love on me, another constant reminder that He rejoices over me, and over each one of our daughters.
I watch them come alive under the loving gaze of their new father, I hear the delight and the certainty in their voices as they call “Dad.” And without me even having to ask, God who knows my heart has given me my new prayer over them: that in knowing the delight of their earthly father, they would begin to grasp the delight of their Heavenly Father all the more. That they would be a crown of splendor in His hand, that they would embrace this new name: “my delight is in her.”
God gives good gifts. His delight is in me, in us, in them. May our delight be evermore in Him.