Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Letter to My Unborn Son

Dear Jonah,

From what people tell me, my life is about to be turned upside down and become messier than I can imagine. They say my days of sleep are numbered, as are these times of sitting down to write without distraction. The cup of coffee by my side is about to be replaced with a bottle, and this Mac on my lap will soon be set aside so you can occupy that space.

So while our home is still filled with sweet silence, I wanted to write you a letter—something that you can turn to years from now, in those moments when you are convinced I am the worst dad in the world, and something I can look back on when I forget that being your dad is an extravagant gift from God, something much like saving grace, completely undeserved.

You'll probably hear a lot about God in our home. Your mother and I bring His name up often. More than anything else in life, we hope that you come to know Him, that you learn to follow Jesus and recognize His voice. One of my biggest fears is that I'll fail to show you what that looks like. I don't walk with God perfectly; I stumble and trip over myself daily. In those times, I hope the lesson you'll take away is that God's grace is larger than my sin.

Speaking of grace, your mom and I want our little house to be a place of grace—a place where our relationships with you and with each other are more important than spilled milk, broken rules, and toddler meltdowns. We found out you were coming just a few weeks after your mom and I said our vows before God and some of our closest friends. We had just started figuring out what it looks like to live together as husband and wife when that plastic-popsicle pregnancy test revealed those two beautiful pink lines to announce your impending arrival. We are still learning how to love each other well, still learning how to extend each other grace, and still learning how to reflect Jesus' love to one another. And now you're joining our family. There's going to be a lot more figuring out to do, so please be patient with us. We love you more than you'll know.

Like I said, you'll probably hear lots about God in our house, but I don't want you to think that life is small, confined to Sunday mornings, VeggieTales and Narnia (although we do love those things). There's a whole, big, amazing world out there that God made for us to enjoy. I'm excited to see how He's wired you. Maybe you'll love the outdoors or sports or Legos or reading or science or music or fishing or Star Wars or helping people who can't help themselves or history or computers or a million other things.

Everything you see that is good, true, and beautiful reflects some aspect of God's character, and those are the things we should run to. When you're young, we'll point you to those things, but there will come a day—a sad day I dread—when you will discover that not everything is good, true, or beautiful. When that day comes—when you see that this world is broken and sharp—I hope you'll use the gifts God has given you to make what you see more beautiful. That too reflects God's heart.

No matter where you go or what happens to you in this life, God loves you, and so do your mom and me. As long as we're here, you'll always have a home, a safe place to return. And I'm praying that you'll find a home in Jesus' arms as well. We gave you the name "Jonah," but we hesitated at first because your biblical namesake ran from God. Then we realized that Jonah knew, in a way so many others did not, that God is good and merciful. We hope you too will come to know that truth in the deepest part of your soul.

I can't wait to meet you, son.


Your woefully unprepared but blessed beyond measure Dad


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