dear june: when it has been 18 weeks

Dear June,

Hey girl. I have been writing this in my head for a while – these days go by so much faster than they should. Your brother – have you felt him poke you yet? – keeps us moving, sun up to sun down, and there is little time for writing. But God makes enough time for us to be just where we are before we go somewhere new. There is enough time in forty weeks of waiting for you to be in this togetherness.

Let’s just come right out with it: when we went in for your ultrasound, in the same octagon-shaped room where we learned a few things about Jack, it had a heaviness to it that is hard to explain. I want you to know right away that it is not wrong for our lives to be changed by what happens in them. Heaviness is not always bad – for me and your dad, the heaviness was a heaviness of remembering what a gift it is to see you before you are born. And it was a heaviness of remembering that Jesus first walked us back to that room two years ago and when we walked out we were made new. How do I explain this? We became something in that room. We became the us that we are now –

or, I should say, the us that we were when we walked in to see you.

It will be easy to think that your brother changed our life because of some details about his ultrasound (details about eyes and chin and cleft lip and palate). It will be easy even for us to think that those details are what made everything different. We had a different kind of pregnancy than we had expected; we had a different journey through hospital hallways, in broom closets turned conference rooms, waiting by the phone for surgeons to give us updates.

But you changed us on Friday just as much as your brother changed us two years ago. You changed us with your kicks and squirms, with your chin and eyes and tiny hands waving on the screen.

We are always being made new by each of you. We are always encountering the heaviness and the goodness of becoming parents to you, because you and your brother make us the mom and dad we are. By your faces and hands, by your laughs and kicks, by your willful determination and your very living.

You are our first daughter, and we could not be more excited, more anxious to meet you. I used to imagine how it would feel to learn I would have a daughter. But this is far beyond what I imagined; you’ve brought me somewhere my imagination couldn’t ever reach. I love you to the moon and beyond it; I sit in this chair, where we will sit in some handfuls of weeks together, and I realize that I am not the same as I was when we walked in to your ultrasound on Friday. You’ve already started making us new.

We named you Junia, after the apostle that’s just mentioned – the smallest glimpse in the Bible – of someone whose life was radiant with light. I pray that your life, June, is radiant too. I pray that it defies and surprises. I pray that it is heavy with the goodness of walking next to Jesus. That goodness is not always pretty or easy; becoming your mom and Jack’s mom has not always been pretty or easy. But it is and always has been radiant.

Here we go, June – as one of my favorite songs says, “into the dark and wonderful unknown.” May Jesus illuminate our going with his radiance.

All my love,


4 thoughts on “dear june: when it has been 18 weeks

  1. When I saw the email in my inbox saying that you had posted something new (having seen Preston’s announcement the other day), I said, “Oh goody, Hilary’s written something for Junia!” What a beautiful letter for your baby girl.

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