8.26.2010

to Jude, on your first birthday

Dear Jude,

It's amazing that you've only been in our lives for one short year, but on the other hand it feels like you've been with us forever. It's hard to remember what life was like without you; you bring us so much joy, so many happy tears, and a whole new perspective on how our Heavenly Father loves us. We've had to change: become less selfish, more flexible, and more loving. Oh, so much more love... it's like you opened the door to a whole new room in our hearts called "love for Jude" that we didn't even know existed... and it's a HUGE room! The moment we met you face-to-face for the first time was an amazing, life-changing, beautiful, holy moment. Daddy sang and Mama cried. Even the nurses and midwife cried. You were the only one who wasn’t crying!

Those first days in the hospital were pivotal for us as a family. There was one evening when you were struggling to regulate your blood sugar and not doing so well, that night was the point where we realized, in sharp focus, that you belong more to the Lord than to us, and just how much we, as your parents, needed to lean on our Heavenly Father to carry us through this journey of parenting you. We knew how inadequate we were- and ARE- but that we could do it... it was God's grace that poured down and met us there in the hospital room as we cried out to Him for wisdom, strength, and His power for each moment. It was at that point that we really became parents, and our family was formed.

And this lifelong journey has had an incredible beginning. This first year has gone by so fast, but it still feels like we're just getting to know you. Every night when we lay you down in your crib, we sing "Amazing Grace" because it's only by the grace of our loving Heavenly Father that you have been born to us, sweet son. You are a reminder of His past and future grace to us, Jude. We are humbled and proud to be your parents. So we look back with so much amazement and gratitude.

But we're also looking forward... no, we're especially looking forward. There are days ahead of us that will be hard, days that will end up being our sweetest memories, days that are ordinary and yet magical. As your personality begins to emerge and we get to know your likes and dislikes, preferences, and little quirks, we're hit with the reality that even now, as small as you still are, we are building a relationship with a little person. You're so much more than a "charge", like a dog or a cat. You are even now being shaped... a baby who will all too soon become a boy, who will then become a man. A man that we hope with all our hearts will have an all-consuming thirst for God, a love for his fellow men, a rich relationship with us, a love and partnership with a wife, and a loving care for his own children. It's a heavy responsibility, but an amazingly exciting one, to grow a man.

Really, it's a journey of letting go... starting from birth, to taking your first independent steps, going to school, driving a car, moving into your own place, getting married and starting your own little family, if those are things that God has for you. Our responsibility is to prepare you for these things by pointing you to your Heavenly Father so you can seek Him and hear His voice to you... and to let you go to follow Him.

Life will be hard, and there will be disappointments, loss, and heartache. We don't pretend to know all the answers, but we long to talk through the night with you as we seek the One who is weaving your story of His grace. We can't wait to tell you about the wonders found in Christ... of grace, mercy, forgiveness, justice, truth, holiness, love, and glory. Each one of these words carries much weight and meaning to us personally as they have transformed our lives and the way we love each other. We want you to see the real us, not as perfect parents who "know best", but as flawed humans in need of grace and forgiveness, even as we walk in the sin-killing power of the Holy Spirit.

If there are only two things that you learn from us, let them be that God is always working FOR you, and we will always love you no matter what. Seek righteousness, revel in forgiveness. We're in this life together, son... and we are with you at the foot of the cross, where we pray that you will always find yourself.

As you watch this video, listen carefully to the words of this song; there are many rich word pictures, and the story it tells paints a vivid picture of our heart for you as you grow into a young man fighting your way in faith through this world.


Jude: Year One from Rob Hulson on Vimeo.




"Lesson one - do not hide
Lesson two - there are right ways to fight
And if you have questions
We can talk through the night


So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I've been where you're going
And it's not that far
it's too far to walk
But you don't have to run
you'll get there in time

Lesson three - you're not alone
Not since I saw you start breathing on your own
You can leave, you can run, this
will still be your home


So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I've been where you're going
And it's not that far
it's too far to walk
But you don't have to run
you'll get there in time
Get there in time

In time, to wonder where the days have gone
In time, to be old enough to
wish that you were young
When good things are unraveling,
bad things come undone

You weather love and lose your innocence

There will be liars and
thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence
But you are not what you do
And when you need it most
I have a hundred reasons why I love you


If you weather love and lose your innocence
Just remember - lesson one
"


And lastly, never forget the words that end your namesake book of the Bible:

"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 24-25)


We love you, Son.

~ Daddy and Mama

8 comments:

sethswifeforlife said...

So precious. You're so blessed.

Christy said...

I have never read anything so amazing and sweet. Jude is blessed to have parents like you and Rob. I have tears in my eyes as I read the love that pours out of this letter. :) You guys are great parents!!!

Stephanie said...

Wow, Rosanna - I love your way with words - I haven't been nearby to witness it, but you and Rob must be awesome parents! Keep up the diligent work!

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