You crossed the finish line of another year, but I’m the one who’s out of breath, heart racing, and legs about to give way. It’s been a rough one, hasn’t it? But we made it with God’s help.
You keep this mama on her toes occasionally, but more often on her heels, struggling to catch up.
It’s not lost on me that you are the first baby we really waited for, begged God for, and didn’t take for granted. You are the baby whose first cry helped dry my tears of the previous two years of losses and longing. And the one who has since brought me to tears of desperation as we seek to shape you and lead you to Jesus.
You. The baby I cradled with grateful awe. The baby I’d risk waking up at night to pick up and snuggle, just because you were actually there.
You. The baby God would use to bring us to our knees in humble submission. And keep us there ever since.
You. The baby whose eye lashes I watched unfold and whose eyes I can read like a book. And it’s always a complex action adventure, full of unexpected and eventful twists.
You. The baby who has shown me my lack of patience, selflessness, love, wisdom, and understanding of the gospel, and my abundance of pride, selfish ambition, fear, and weakness.
You are our answer to prayer. The gift of our longing. The tester of our faith. The reminder of God’s faithfulness and care even when darkness seemed to hide his face.
God knew we would need this visual testimony of your life through the years as we parent you. He knew we would need to remember in all of our teaching you, correcting you, loving you, and training you in righteousness, that what we really need is to glance at you but gaze at him. And as we glance and see all the nuances of fallenness surface from your heart, they should serve to help our faith rise and our eyes linger over the reminders of his power to bring life from death, abundance from emptiness, joy from pain, and answers after silence.
We need this witness of your life, Ruby Jean, and so do others. It’s my prayer today that I wouldn’t waste it…and that you wouldn’t either. So even though I’m still catching my breath, I guess we’re off again, racing into another year!
“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Happy 6th Birthday to the baby who is the substance of what we hoped for and the evidence that what we see definitely isn’t all there is.
Wish I could go back and document my daughter's life…I love reading about your children. You are a beautiful writer!
So beautifully expressed, Erica. May we all have the eyes to see ourselves in hearts of children, and then turn our eyes and theirs upon Jesus.