Family Joy

When I married you, Christie, I experienced a joy I never knew was possible. I found my soulmate, a love that has deepened and grown between us. I know marriage isn’t for everyone, but I can’t imagine my life without you.

You’ve challenged me to grow as a person; namely, to be loving. I’ve found after five years how much marriage exposes who I am, for better or worse. I wish I could say that I’ve never done anything that hurt you, but that isn’t true.

I am flawed and have discovered only how much I can grow to bless you. I am up to the challenge. Christie, you stun me by your beauty. You are worth the cost. I guess this is my public letter to you, to reflect on our marriage and on our ten-month-old son.

We have a strange world, don’t we? The whole world is in upheaval. By all rights we should be scared. I suppose I am. I worry about David’s safety. What friends he’ll make. What interests he’ll pursue. His choices, good or bad. Too many bad things happen every day.

But my hope is that David will find joy. I believe this is possible. Because it is possible. By the grace of God, I believe He’ll find his joyous Savior. Just hold on with me, Christie. It feels like we’re on the cusp of something. That the good things are just around the corner. That somehow we will discover our revival, and more.

I know we want the best for our son. Today he is ten months old. He’s changed, hasn’t he, since his birth? We’re starting to see his personality, and how wonderful he is in how he laughs and smiles at us and with us. How little he still is, but the great large joy he brings.

God will protect him, Love. We hope to not make too many mistakes as parents, but even when we do, and when the hard winter world caves in, David will be safe. That imminent success I am thinking about ultimately has its fulfillment in heaven—Jesus’s kingdom, which is what I’m giving my heart to. But I believe David will be safe in this world, too. I’m sure he’ll experience his share of bumps and bruises, but God loves him, and cares for him, and will use every little scrape to remind him that He is with him, drawing him near, drawing him home.

But it’s scary, isn’t it, Love? Uncertainty. Change. The unknown. What world is David waking up to? What will his future be like? We hope for the best. We hope that America will be stronger and safer than it is now, or even after we depart from this world.

There is no reason to think it will not, and no true certainty that it will. That fear I give to God. As for me, as for us and David, my one true hope is that we all rest in His arms.

God may seem distant and hard to understand at times, but that is only because I’ve failed to realize how close He truly is. He’s close, Christie. God is close. He’s close to you. And me. And David. And to all our friends and family. To the people around us. To our neighbors. God is unimaginably close. I think the one true joy in life is in discovering how close God is to each of us. I also believe that of all the joys we experience, this one is the most certain to happen.

I think of those times now since David’s been born how sweetly savory it is to hold him in my arms. My throat latches. My heart thumps. Our son, who is of us, created by God, using our flesh. Truly birth is a miracle.

And I think of how great a thing it will be to raise him, to teach him that God has His hands, and His arms, wrapped so tightly around him that it alters David—that David becomes warm, and his heart loosens. And his grand smile shines.

God is close, Love. He’s close to David. You don’t have to fear, nor I. That is our family joy.

“Always be full of joy in the LORD. I say it again—rejoice!” ~ Philippians 4:4

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