Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dear Caden

Dear sweet Caden,

I can scarcely believe it has been six months since you came into our lives. No one who has encountered you, or your story, are the same since that very first moment you entered our story. And I haven't stopped breathing in the blessing of who you are ever since. Whether it's stroking a tiny patch of forehead while your chest is open and wires stream from every limb, or cuddling you close to me in the wee hours of the morning, I am thankful for each moment. And that is a gift that I didn't always grasp with your sister. I love both of you so much, more than I thought possible. But God has used you already to teach me so much about myself, about you, about being a mom. About His goodness and about grace.
Your sweet grin lights up your whole face. Not a day goes by that doesn't include comments from strangers on how happy you are, how beautiful you are, and how perfect and soulful your eyes are. And I think it's because of where you've been. Because of all the obstacles you've already faced, and overcome, all the lives you've already touched.

Every day as I nurse you, give you a bottle, force-feed you peas (not that I blame you because peas? they're nasty), I pray over you. You've taught me so much about prayer. About communing with a Father who is there, present, even in the midst of the mundane, the every day.  I pry my hands open on a daily basis as I remember what it means to surrender you. To surrender you today, tomorrow, and every day. Just as surely as I surrendered you on the day they cut open your chest. Because I am filled with certainty that you belong to a God who loves you more deeply and more recklessly than I ever could. A God who has big plans for your life, plans that have already blown me away with their beauty, terror, and hope.
And I know that your special heart, and every minute you spent in the hospital, has helped to shape you, even if you don't remember them. Because we gave you to the Lord. And anything that belongs to the Lord is precious, a treasure simply waiting to be unfurled. With you, every moment is special: a gift, a miracle, a joy. Even when you are fighting sleep endlessly, when you are crying, when you are jumping unruly in your exersaucer, or spitting out your peas.

You know, the truth is that your mom doesn't even really know how to handle such a treasure. I'm a girl. I have a daughter, and two sisters. No brothers. No other sons. Nothing to even begin to point me in the right direction. How do I raise a boy? How do I infuse you with knowledge of cars, and leadership, and rough-housing, things I know nothing about? I know that I will show you grace, live recklessly full of mercy and joy at all we've already overcome. And I will pray every day that you will watch your earthly father and seek your Heavenly Father.
 
I think to myself that perhaps I will sleep one day, maybe when you turn twelve. Because I have to believe you will turn twelve one day. And you might have had another heart surgery or two by then, but we will celebrate your twelfth birthday with fear and trembling at how close I am to having a teenage son. One who can eat his weight in hot dogs and cheese dip (some thing have to be inherited from me right?) and who can burp and smell and wear shoes that seem to big for your awkwardly adolescent self.

And on that day, my prayers will echo the ones I whisper as I gently graze your scar today. Prayers for a son who, above all else, loves and depends on Jesus. Who craves time with a Savior who saved His life, who healed His heart, and changed an entire community. I pray that even as you have suffered open-heart surgery, you will remain willing to rend your heart for the sake of those around you. That you will become a man whose heart breaks over injustice and whose bravery is unmatched. Who mends brokenness, and knit hearts together every single day.
I pray that you, my son, will one day lead just as you have always led. By example. By sharing your story and facing bravely all that lays in front of you. That people will be drawn to Jesus because of your beautiful heart. Because I have seen that heart. And I am as certain today as I was on that day that it is a unique heart. A heart that may be hurt by life, by defects, by sinfulness, by unforgiveness and anger, but a heart that always triumphs in goodness, in love, and in grace. 
I look at your sweet, beautiful scar. And I pray no one will ever convince you it's anything less than perfect. An outward symbol of your victory. A glorious sign of the way you were hurt, and how you were healed.  I pray you will never hide your hurt. That you will never be ashamed of the things that make you different, the scars that have shaped who you are. We have both been hurt, stretched, cut, wounded . . . and we are stronger.
This week is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week. The statistics say you are 1 in 100. But, my sweet boy, I know you are more like one in a million. Which sounds cheesy, but I believe it is true. You were made exactly how you were supposed to be. And I couldn't be more grateful for who you are, where you've been, and who Christ is knitting you into each and every day.

11 comments:

  1. That is beautiful, Becca. Thank you for sharing :)

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  2. Beuatiful. Gosh he is so cute Becca! Love the bow tie pics too!

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  3. Praising God for Caden with you today, friend! He is so, so adorable!!

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  4. So sweet, Becca. And such a wonderful, incredible, joy-filled boy. I thank God for your Caden and that He entrusted Caden to YOU and Adam!

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  5. Such a lovely post. Happy 6 months Caden!

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  6. Such a lovely post. Happy 6 months Caden!

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  7. Such a lovely post. Happy 6 months Caden!

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  8. Happy 6 months, Caden! You and your sister are beautiful little gifts to your mom and dad, sent straight from God. And because God is so very wise, He knew exactly which parents you needed to help your through life!

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  9. Wow. You couldn't have said this any better. I love this post/letter. This is exactly how I feel for Claire I just have never had the words. Beautiful.

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  10. Love this, Becca! And that photo of him standing up? ... PRECIOUS!

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