Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Letters To Baby | Post 14 | 13 Weeks

Dear Baby,

There are so many things I can't wait to tell you about - how dad and I became "us", how to build forts, how to burn desserts in the oven (maybe you can teach me how not to do that), how English is a ridiculous language with lots of hard rules... but it still matters to know them, how it's fun to wear socks that don't match, how to get dad to stop tickling you (he's a softie... it's not too hard), how we come from some incredible families who have lots and lots of stories, how to shoot a lay-up, how much we love you.

But right now I want to tell you about your Parent In Heaven.  I'm learning a lot about Him lately.  Mostly because of you.  Parenthood was very important to your Father.  He wanted a Family, a Home, a Lineage, Inheritance and Heir to His riches.  He wanted children in His house.  He wanted a bride for His Son.  He wanted to deliver, adopt, name, raise and keep His own.  Don't be confused with "want" and "need."  He didn't need a family.  He didn't need to go through the effort of making, providing for, having, feeding, caring, helping, sustaining, teaching, suffering for, bailing, holding, planning for, giving to and loving a motley crew of kids.  But He has this crazy, large, good heart that wanted that.  Children and family weren't a burden or problem, they were the goal and the prize.  Being their Father was what He decided would celebrate and display and express His Goodness the best.  
our favorite picture of you ;)
"He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world... In love He predestined us for adoption as sons."  "You shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you." "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. I taught them to walk; I took them up by their arms, I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I bent down to them and fed them." "We cry, 'Abba! Father!'  We are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God." "I am jealous for them with great jealousy... the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. It is marvelous." "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." "In my Father's house are many rooms... I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you, that where I am you may be also.""The Father's name is written on their foreheads."  "He will delight in prospering you." "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' it shall be said to them, 'Children of the living God.'" 

It's not something that can be escaped when you read His Story.  This Father wanted to be known for His grace, and He wanted to be generous to and love us.  The people.  You're a person, little one.  You're alive.  Before there was a physical world and even time, The Father decided that He was going to make you and give you a soul, a body and life.  He decided that you would start life inside my body, through the life of your dad and I, and that of all the people who ever lived, you would be dearest to our souls.  He made these arrangements well before dad or I were alive.   We were "visions in His mind" and He knew us, and our parents, and grandparents, and entire family history way back at the very beginning.  He chose to make us because He wanted us.  He wanted to make you.

it's brilliant fun to "research" and think about getting ready for you.
I don't know how long your life on earth will be, but because you are a person with a soul, you will live forever.  Souls don't die.  I don't have a promise that I'll get to hold you in my arms (I pray everyday that I will be able to, however.)  I don't get to know if you'll live on earth for one day, or six days, or six years or 106 years.  But I do know this: you are God's joy and He has decide to give you to us.  So humanly speaking, you are ours.  You are a part of our family, our home and our heritage.  Dad and I are preparing a place for you. We are getting ready to provide for your needs.  We love to dream about bouncing, comforting and feeding you.  We try to imagine what you'll sound like when you call to us.  We wonder how soon you'll walk, if you'll be able to walk?  It is marvelous to picture a world where you can play in the city streets safely - because all the "dangers" of this place make me want to protect you forever and always.  We can't wait to do good for you and to prosper you.  You are "our people," or rather "our person."  And we will name you, keep you and love you.  We want you, and you are not a burden or problem to us.

Though, in order to have you, my body has to go through significant pain.  Your tiny body inside me causes my body to hurt, struggle and grow exhausted.  I've never spent so much time physically hurting like I have being pregnant with you.  Food, water, and vitamins are my daily "enemy."  I'm afraid of them, and afraid of what they might do to me.  Being hungry is also an "enemy" - a more predictable one, however.  I KNOW I will hurt - badly - if I don't eat.  So I have to try.  Nausea and throwing-up and a host of other special treats are common to me.  I hardly remember what it feels like to not "feel sick" or "feel queasy."  The physical toll directly impacts the emotional and mental part of me.  Discouragement, comparison to other newlyweds or mothers, fear, weariness and complaining come easily.  "God, I can't take this anymore.  Please make it stop.  I hurt so bad.  And I'm tired of having a sour stomach.  I'm tired of being able to do so little.  I'm tired of throwing-up my entire meal, out of my mouth and nose, and wetting my pants in the process - every time - because I'm so out of control of my body.  I'm tired of smelling throw-up for hours after the whole process because I can't figure out how to clean my nose out.  I'm tired of feeling SO fat.  I'm tired of canceling plans because I just can't do it.  I'm tired of being afraid of cars, sitting up straight and night.  I'm tired of feeling so boring.  And useless."  Oh, it comes so easily, little baby.  But here is where you are changing my life, for always and ever.  You are making this sink in: The Father's Son, Jesus, spent His life and body on me.  

He left beautiful bliss and came to hurt for me.  His body was destroyed.  He hurt, He cried tears of pain, He bled, He tasted sour vile, He was hungry, He felt sick, He was exhausted, He ached, He even asked The Father to remove the weight of the pain - if there was anyway possible, and yet, "like a lamb led to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth."  He didn't complain.  He didn't turn back.  He didn't lose sight of the goal: life for The Children of The Father, a way for them to come Home.   For the joy set before Him, He endured.  For me, He endured.  And after He championed the deepest pain of all - the sting of death - He proved His victory by rising from death, never to die again.  He did it because He loved us.  Because He loved me.  Because He loved you.  He was thinking of you - the joy of you, the worth of you, the jealousy He had for you - when He suffered.

And, sweet baby, I don't know if I could relate my heart to you.  I don't know if I can give accurate account of how I feel when I think of you.  You'll never understand, unless you one day experience it yourself, why I had to cry when I saw you on a screen in a doctor's office - with arms, legs, a torso, a head (with eyes, nose and mouth) and a large beating heart.  I can't explain to you why I started to cry again when I typed that last sentence.  Watching you for less than a minute move your body, bat your arms, kick your legs and frantically "swim" and spin and dance away gave me joy I have never known.  Dad and I have that image of you emblazoned on our minds.  We were undone and loved you in that moment more than we knew we could ever love anyone.  The Father knew I needed to see you that cold morning.  He knew how it would capture my heart forever.  He know how the pain I've felt and the extra work your dad has taken-up absolutely pale in comparison to the bliss of being your mom and dad.  

It is so worth it.  I would endure anything for you.  I would die to give you life.  Dad would too.  I love you. I love you.  I love you.  I would hurt and be nauseous for the rest of my life, if it meant I got to have you.  We wanted you before you existed, but now that you are here and "with us" and growing, our hearts race as we look forward to knowing and loving you face-to-face.  I wouldn't - I couldn't! - give up on you.  And what absolutely hurts my head and makes these eyes of mine dampen all over again is the realization that what I feel towards you is only a sparkle of the way The Father feels about me.  I was worth it to Him. He would endure anything for me - He would die for me.  He loves me.  He wants me and His pulse quickens when He thinks about me.  He longs for me.  He runs to me like a wealthy Jewish father who was snubbed and disrespected by his offensive son, who considered his father as good as dead and wasted his good inheritance on filth and misery.  The father ran to him!  He hugged and rejoiced and blessed him!  He celebrated, gave that naughty boy even more good and beauty, and announced a day of feasting! He reminded him "All that I have is yours!" His heart was full because His child was home.

Becoming a parent is not right we have or a decision we made, but it's a gift we've been given.  We get to share in the character of God by experiencing parenthood.  We get to understand in new colorful layers the sweet adoration a parent has for a child.   We are learning that our Father genuinely and happily enjoys us, that we bless His heart when He gets to bless us.  Not everyone gets to experience this.  We consider ourselves supremely blessed by the Gift-Giver and the Gift.  

I'll end with the scripture that is most-prized to me these days:

"When a woman has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish
for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, 
and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you

Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. 
Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."

Thank you for giving us the joy of giving ourselves to you.  We wait with baited breath and ever-growing love as we anticipate sharing with you the Story of Our God, and our very lives (I'm also excited about dressing you up in tiny, precious clothes.  You have NO idea.) You are very dear to us, tiny dancer.  And we long to bring you home.
With all our hearts and souls,
Dad and Mamma