this is what I’m waiting for.

Dear Jackson,

Your godmother asks what I’m looking forward to about you. She asked as she was holding your soon-to-be friend, her sweet daughter. I was staring, lost for words, worrying, making those lists in my head with big words like NICU and surgery and MRI and cranio-facial team – all those words that if I am honest, just mean the people and the tools that are in place to help you and me and Dad as we begin our life together. They’re just words for the friends and things that Jesus is bringing with Him in this wonderful season of your arrival.

But I was running short on words, a little scared, and right then, you kicked me. You have such a personality, little man. Mom, I’m here. I’m okay. Every day when I start to worry, and I stop and put my hand over you, you kick back. Mom, I’m here. I’m okay. 

We have read a lot of the stories of Jesus’ healing power these last few months. You know about Jairus’s daughter and about the son who Jesus raised from the dead. You know about the woman who reached out in the crowd, just to touch the hem of his robe, and she was healed. And all those crowds, after Jesus walked on water, who just touched him, and were healed.

But one of my very favorite stories to tell you is the one about Zacchaeus. Remember him? He was so curious about Jesus – like most of us are – that he climbed up a tree to get a better look. The Bible says Zacchaeus was a tax collector and very rich. This tells us that Zacchaeus was probably not a very just man, who was unfair to others in the city, who did not treat them well. He doesn’t really seem like someone that Jesus would hang out with.

But Jesus sees him and comes to the tree where he is sitting. And guess what, Jack? Jesus says, “Zacchaeus, hurry and climb down, for I must stay at your house today.” What do you think about that? He sees Zacchaeus, hiding up in the tree and he tells him to hurry, climb down, because I’m coming to your house. Jesus isn’t just able to see where Zacchaeus is hiding, but Jesus wants to be with him. Jesus is going to stay at his house.

Zacchaeus is so overwhelmed and excited that he scampers down the tree and is happy to welcome Jesus. And he says to Jesus that he will make right the things he had done wrong – he will pay back people he had treated unfairly. He will give half of everything he owns to the poor. And Jesus tells everyone there, “Today, salvation has come to this house… For the Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost.”

There is so much I want to tell you about this story. But right now what matters, Jack, is that sometimes I have been a little like Zacchaeus hiding in the tree. I have been scared to come down from my worrying to welcome you because I have been so scared that I won’t be able to be the mom that you need me to be. I have been scared that maybe I won’t be good at this or ready, that I will do things wrong.

But then I see Jesus standing at the foot of that tree holding you, and Jesus tells me to hurry, climb down, because you two are coming to stay at my house. You are coming to be with me. And when I hear that, and I see you and Jesus standing there, I climb down and realize that I am so happy. I am so excited for you, just like Zacchaeus was so excited about Jesus.

Jack, my little man so fully alive:

I can’t wait to hold you. To sit with you and reading you the books our friends have been sending you – Ping and James Herriott’s Treasury and The Going to Bed Book and The Mitten. 

To sing and dance around the kitchen for so many years that even when you’re 22 and you come home after college and you think I’m ridiculous, you’ll still join in.

To put you in the wrap or the carrier or the stroller or the whatever-baby-gadget-we-get and showing you the world. I’ll show you the leaves and their greenness, the water and the ducks that swim along the Brazos in spring. I’ll show you the big sky on our drive down 7. I’ll show you the cows, the wild orange and blue and purple flowers in April. I’ll show you the lilacs in Boston outside Grammy and Granddad’s house.

To introduce you to your aunt and uncles and cousins – they’ll show you the paddling pool and how to toss a football back and forth and probably how to get into mischief, too. I hope they teach you that.

To hold you. I already said that. But I’m so excited for that. Just to hold you.

Hurry, climb down, for I am coming to stay with you today. Jesus is bringing you with Him, Jack. He is bringing you to me and Dad. I can’t believe that we get to hold you, laugh with you, rock you to sleep, teach you about leaves and ducks and cows and the good things Jesus made.

I’m not hiding in the tree anymore. You and Jesus, you are waiting for me. You make me too happy, too overjoyed, too excited, not to scamper down.

Love,
mom

6 thoughts on “this is what I’m waiting for.

  1. tears in my eyes, love this post!
    saw your piece on howerton’s blog and had to stop by.
    as a mama to a child with special abilities🙂, i am so grateful for your heart. praying for your family! XO

  2. I do not share your faith — but I wanted to share my sons story. We did not know early, as you do, that he would have extra challenges. Short version, the internal structure & drainage within his brain did not form as it should, and kids with this diagnosis generally have complicated cognitive & physical impairments. But no one told him that, and although the road was long & there were many Drs & therapists on the way, at 9 he plays soccer, climbs trees & confounds his neurosurgeon with an iq over 150. We really know so little about what anyone can do. Congratulations!

  3. Girl! I found you through Kristen, loved your post about everything going on with planned parenthood. Good, wise, insightful words. I just wanted to comment and tell you I have two little ones who have Down syndrome. Both are adopted and both of their birthmothers were given a strong “suggestion” to terminate. Today I was reading your post on Rage Against The Minivan with tears thinking about the “what if!?” Oh, my babes with Ds, the ones the doctors suggested are not worth life, are my life. They have changed me (and thousands of others) in the very very VERY best ways. I love your letter to your son. Our eldest required lots of surgeries and specialists and, and, and (you get the point I’m sure) and with her sick little life came a front row seat to a miracle, to God’s goodness, to His faithfulness and perfect will (even if it so far from what we thought/think we wanted/want). (PS, she is 7 and doing great. No more health issues, no more specialists, just a healthy, sassy girl!) And you are in it, or about to be, it sounds like. And friend, it is going to be messy and scary and all consuming and full to the brim of grace and beauty and love and opportunity and Jesus..full to the brim of Jesus. Enjoy your sweet baby Jackson. Sending love your way #theluckyfew

  4. Praying for you. My little man hasn’t kicked me from within for nearly 20 years. Looking from the other side of the journey. God is faithful and my son of promise continues in his daily struggles. Putting my son in the hands of God was the best gift I could give him. In all things pray and the shalom will fill you.

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