Dear Little One -
In just five short weeks, we will get to see you for real. Not on an ultrasound, or through feet stuck hard in my side, but in an actual little bundle that cries and eats and has a certain color of eyes and hair. This feels unbelievable, both because I cannot imagine keeping you contained inside of me for five more weeks, and because I cannot fathom how quickly these nine months have passed. You certainly haven’t made things easy on me this pregnancy, buddy. Not that I blame you; after all, you had to do something to get my attention in the busy chaos of life around here. But these months of nausea and contractions and not-sleeping have made me focus more on resting when I need to rest. On taking care of myself and your big brother and sister, even if it means shutting our front door and asking the neighborhood kiddos to come back later.
Speaking of your big brother and sister, I am so excited for you to meet them. Caden will make you laugh, for sure. Our little minion, he loves bananas and jokes, along with every single sport. He’s silly and funny and quite crazy, while still remaining astonishingly shy around everyone besides family. Jayci cannot wait to take care of you, and not just because she adores being in charge of people (she does). Every night she whispers how much she loves you to my belly, and prays that you will grow big and strong and come out soon. Caden also leans in for a kiss, only to exclaim that you kicked him in the head, which I dont doubt.
We settled on a name for you a few weeks ago, and thought to keep it a secret until your arrival; except we told your big brother and sister, forgetting that nothing stays secret with them. And so now people know, and we can start calling you by name: Isaiah Andrew.
Isaiah has long been a favorite for me, the book of the Bible that inspires and changes me on every reading. Remind me when you get bigger, and I’ll tell you the story of how I claimed Isaiah 58:11 as my life verse in high school. And then how I learned about context, and about the rest of Isaiah 58 as God expanded our hearts for the neighborhood and folks we live and love these days.
I think of your namesake, of Isaiah the prophet. And I cant help but think that maybe we need more prophetic and poetic voices in today’s world. Ones that neither fear rebuke nor seek fame, but who faithfully proclaim the Truth and point people to Jesus in creative and imaginative ways. I pray you will always find yourself able to resist the simple narrative. That you will find yourself able to push past the noise of social media and headlines and even the religious chatter of the day, in order to find the still small voice that speaks Truth and whispers in your ear: this is the way, walk in it.
In Hebrew the meaning of the name Isaiah is: The Lord is generous; Salvation of the Lord; God's helper. I pray whispered prayers over you every day that you will remember the Truths of your namesake. That the Lord's generosity will always be on your lips and knit into your heart. That His salvation will cover you, and that you might live your life poured out to Him.
My instinct is to shield you from the hard stuff, to make sure you never get hurt, that you never fall or tumble. But the places we live and love in have taught us that the hard stuff often means the best stuff. That beauty snakes through even the darkest corners, and that we cant quite separate joy from pain. So instead I pray that you might be the kind of man who gets hurt and then lets God heal. Who chooses to follow a Jesus who does not lead you down the easy path or up the ladder of success. That instead you will move towards the hurting and the margins, and find there the surprising beauty of life unexpected: the adventure of following Jesus even, or especially, when it’s not easy.
You daddy and I aren’t perfect, you should go ahead and know that up front. Although honestly it probably wont take you long to figure that out. Just yesterday, I found myself in tears because I just needed to be alone and your brother and sister apparently have no intentions of ever allowing that. And then once they were finally both asleep, you started your nightly workout routine, tumbling and kicking and lodging yourself under my ribs while simultaneously pressing on my bladder. I’m learning that motherhood often means choosing the harder things in ways that stretch and mold me. But it also means recognizing the ways I fall short, and the places I cannot fill. And I pray that my frailty will point you to His strength. That you will come to recognize the face of the Father as one who loves you more completely and deeply than Adam and I ever can. That we will do the very best that we can, but that ultimately the greatest gift we can give you lies in surrendering you to His care.
I love you my sweet little Isaiah Andrew, and I cannot wait to meet you. For now, keep resting and growing and kicking and squirming. The Lord knits you together in Christ and for Christ, and I am merely blessed to be a part of the process.