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Birds or Butterflies: A Poem

The numbers, they all vary
based on who you hear it from.
Precious cargo, hard to carry
into the forest girls have come.

They have names, stories
and people, hearts aching
to hold them once again.
To some they are daughers;
to others, they are friends.

Do we hear them? In the jungles at night?
Or have they learned to stay silent,
paralyzed in fright,
having children with men they do not love–
praying with fervency to a God above.

Jesus, when will I see them free?
I want to say it’s not about me.
But You have done a work in my heart,
since 2014, the very start,
and now I am back once more.
Praying for the girls,
pressing into the core.

Lord, set them free as birds or butterflies.
(I say this with tears in my eyes)
I trust You, I trust Your Plan,
But there are just some things–
horrible things, wretched things–
that I still don’t understand.

(c) 2023 Annalee Hoover


God has convicted me about how I used to love and have my heart knit with the Chibok girls. My heart has left that love. I wrote this, struggling with believing that Jesus, through pain, does not want us to give up hope. He is, surely, in control.

Do you know Jesus?

Even when we can’t understand why things are the way they are, we can trust that God still has a plan. Learn more about Jesus here.

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