Jabez.

She named you Jabez.
When wave after wave of the searing heat that had ripped through her belly and skin, had finally cooled and she, exhausted, could finally hold you in her arms, she looked at you and said,
I gave birth to him in pain.
Call him, Jabez.
He makes sorrowful. 
He causes pain.’
I often wonder, ‘
Why?
A mother forgets the pain of birth.
Usually.
But you, born in misery, a maker of sorrow,
 you carried that with you.
Through the years.
Every time your name was called.
A reminder.
Pain.
Sorrow.
Did you ever wonder, why?
Did you silently long for the every-day names of your playmates?
Yes.
I see you.
I see your heart determine not to fail.
I see a young man steadfastly refuse to give in to that which crushed his mother’s heart.
That, which also longed to crush his.
I see you fight not to settle for the destiny that you were named for.
Knowing there’s more.
Knowing that words have power, great power, but never as much power as the One who could breathe hope into a tired spirit.
The One Who longs to speak life into the dry bones of the heart.
Jabez.
Honourable man.
Thousands of years after your name was written on a scroll.
I see you.
I hear what the bible does not say.
Man of great honour.
Defiant one.
You taught me that I too could shrug off a hand-me-down cloak too ill-fitting for my shoulders.
You showed me the way to say, ‘
No.’
No.
I shall not settle for sorrow, though I might be named for it.
And there are many ways to name a child.
I shall not be satisfied with misery, though it might have been a companion for the generations before.
I shall not, forever, carry the bitter disappointments of another.
It is not my load to carry.
It will never be enough, and it will always be too heavy.
And this life has more.
Always, more.
Because He is enough, I can go with outstretched hands and ask for more.
Jabez.
The broken dreams of our mothers were never meant to guide us home.
And there is hope.
There is so much more.
Stand up.
Lift up your head.
Shake off that cloak.
It was never yours, to begin with.

‘Jabez was more honourable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.’

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

© 2017. Liezel Graham. All rights reserved.

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Liezel Graham

Wife. Mum. Lover of words. Lover of the Word. Writer of stories. I drink too much coffee and dream improbably big dreams. The quintessentially weird kid, all grown up and (still) finding refuge in books and words.

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