I had wished to journal a little more frequently than this, but instead I am finding out that life with a very young child leaves hardly any room to wash my face, much less sit down and write. Every parent talks about this, and every budding parent knows it in his head. The experience of it is something else entirely though. It is double sided in a way for me. On one side I cannot get over my gratitude to the Lord for giving me Gina and Judah. The life I have with them is better than I could have ever dreamed for myself. The wonders of bringing up this little boy together are phenomenal.
On the other side I am exhausted every day and have succumbed to the reality that the many things that I used to do for myself are on long term hold now. I have God-given gifts and responsibilities that I simply do not and cannot have time for. All priority has been redirected to Judah. And rightly so. It’s just… how things are… for now.
Once my family has been cared for, my next responsibility, as regards non-working hours, is my seminary work. That has slowed down significantly and I don’t want it to get left behind. I envy the guys that can somehow manage to sleep two hours a night and get their studies done in the latest and earliest hours of the day. It just does not work for me like that. I’ll start failing my family if I am lacking too much sleep.
My point is that life has utterly and completely changed. There is a wondrously joyful side of life now and a desperately difficult side of life. The combination of those two experiences are driving me to be a better man than I’ve ever been before. The discipline required to keep up with this life is very, very good for me. I’ve always lacked discipline and long-term drive. I have left many projects or ideas 80% done. That’s not an option though for Judah. I could imagine no more despicable sin (at this stage of life) than for me to fail my son through my selfishness. Putting myself ahead of him is unacceptable. It is severely damaging to him – especially in his young years. Sacrificing myself for his sake though, will yield unimaginable fruit in his life for many decades to come.
He is a wonder to me. There are many beautiful sounds in this world, but none that compare to the sound of Judah’s laugh. His laugh melts my heart and satisfies my soul. When he laughs, I can hear the ancient heavens laughing with him. When he laughs, I see the face of God in his face. His innocence and dependance are astounding. How I wish to have that back in my walk with God. How I wish to experience such a relationship in such a profound way. While Judah is helping me see myself more accurately through the eyes of God, I know that I am no where close to experiencing God’s love for me, the way Judah experiences my love for him.
Also I have grown to love my wife in a more profound way through Judah. She has very quickly become a mother of mothers. Her natural bend and proclivity to self-sacrifice have always been imbedded in her soul, but now they are flourishing to the surface on a day by day basis. It is never a thought in her mind to care for herself before Judah. Like a clock only ticks forward, Gina only thinks of her son first. Many days she does not feel like she is measuring up to the standard of motherhood that she would wish for, but from my perspective she is setting the standard to live up to. All of this under the banner of God’s grace over her life. She is slowly but surely depending on Him and learning from Him and loving Him more. No doubt she has never had to depend on God so much before. Seeing her in this new way – seeing this new side of her – has ravished my heart and brought a newer, higher level of trust and confidence and pride in her.
God has richly blessed me with this family. It is a blessing that I am not worthy of. I watched again this morning Piper’s visually expressed version of his poem “The Calvinist” and wept at the lines about a man’s child and wife. To have a child and wife is good. To have a child and wife swimming in the perfect will and lavish grace of God is unexplainable. With each passing day I grow more and more confident in the purposeful sovereignty and reign of God over every detail of my life and this world. God’s promises are true and sure. His faithfulness is unending.