We pulled over to the side of the road to get a closer look. Before I could even roll down the window, Sarah jumped out to experience it more personally. We were at least five days into one of the more incredible weeks of my life. Our plan was Sedona, The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon, all taken in alongside a few of our closest friends. We set up campsite and had a couple of hours of daylight to run around and enjoy the beauty. Zion National Park. So there’s my wife, standing somewhat recklessly along the side of a winding road, staring up at one of the more majestic views she had laid her adventurous eyes upon. I was stunned. Yes, the park was incredible. They all were. But this memory is about the wonder on her face, her posture, the complete disregard of her safety as she finally beheld the beauty. We were amazed, overwhelmed, and compelled to worship.
Today my wife and I stand again in the middle of a curved road, not yet past all of the danger but far enough along in our journey of anticipation believing that a son is waiting for us just ahead. We know that in only a few weeks, we will hold a baby boy that God had written into our story long before we met each other. We could wait until we sign the papers to give thanks. We could hold off in sharing his name until we have him safely in our home. We could avoid the pain of feeling foolish and play it safe. But we refuse. We refuse to live in fear any longer. We refuse to live with a spirit of timidity when God created us to model strength. We defy the security of reason and the safety of logic to wait expectantly with open arms and a vulnerable heart. We thank our God every time we think of him even before the name has a face.
The loss that we experienced along the way is still real. The remnants of grief still show up in our conflict, and we still wrestle with God as we prepare our lives for this new role. But just as we engaged fear and anger in our sorrow, we are now able to live in the hope of our new future. We needed to grapple with the negative emotions during this journey, when we could have walked away from the pain, from the hope, from each other. We are so grateful for the wisdom of wise guides along the way, for prayerful friends and family, and a God so much bigger than our insecurities. We are thankful that hope was not lost, even when it seemed nowhere to be found. I hope that in my work, out of my heart, and through my marriage, others will be encouraged to struggle well with the story playing out in their own lives.
To my son,
May you be ever aware of the impact your presence has on your parent’s life. That you may know our anticipation of meeting you inspires the kind of hope that David wrote about in the Psalms. That the joy seen on your mother’s face in this picture falls desperately short of what was felt in her expectant heart when she held you for the first time. May you be compelled to worship the God that resides in you, and that you will experience his love and faithfulness even as we fail to love you with the perfection that we desire. I pray that you will have wisdom, compassion, and unreasonable courage for your journey through this life. All of this, Zion Alexander, until we meet you so very soon.
“People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help. As soon as he hears, he will answer you.” Isaiah 30:19
Alex’s last Blog about the journey he and his wife have been on is Here.