You’re 3!

September 15, 2015

I’ve been relatively silent over the past 2 years.

We wanted your story told. We needed our world to know about you. We wanted to chronicle each moment of your brief life – from the first heartbeat to the last.

But that is such a small part of your story Keller. Your story is still being told. You are still doing mighty and incredible things 3 years later. So much more of your story needs to be told.

I think I’m finally ready to tell part 2 of your amazing life Keller Norman.

Last year I couldn’t even bring myself to write on your 2nd birthday.

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I’ve mentioned the mental health demons I battled head on during Keller’s pregnancy. After our Zoe was born the demons returned with fury. I sank. Depression, OCD, Panic, & Anxiety nearly buried me.

I do NOT say this lightly when I say, it was the darkest time in my life.

I groped for a light I couldn’t find. I clenched my fists and held on as tight as I knew how while being bloodied and beaten by demons. I searched for an ounce of hope that eventually the day wouldn’t end with me begging, broken, and desperate. Most days I couldn’t find the hope. I cried openly and often. My mom lived with us for nearly 3 months. I lived in constant panic. I wanted to hide. For months there was not a moment that I did want to sprint as quickly as I could and hide under something dark, heavy, and secure. Nothing felt safe. Nothing felt the same. Nothing felt good. I only held on so tirelessly because those who had found their way out of the darkness assured me deliverance would come. I only held on because I had seen God’s love break through the black of death first hand. I couldn’t see the light then. Sometimes I waivered in believing the dawn would come. Slowly the sky faded from black to blue. The blue melted into reds and purples and oranges and yellows. The sun rose. It always does. It always will. It’s ok if you can’t see the sunrise right now. It’s a tunnel – not a cave.

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This year – I can write. Happy 3rd birthday baby boy! The sun has risen!

God has worked through the hands of so many to bring me to this place of rich, deep, genuine joy. Your big sister Mary just started Kindergarten and is absolutely thriving. Praise God! We continue to cover each school day in prayer and I am just so confident His light will shine through the darkness. Your little sister Zoe is starting to walk and talk, and I just KNOW you would love, love, love playing with her. I miss you. We all miss you. Mary talks about you the most. She never forgets you in family drawings. She always draws you and Jesus together in the sky. I like that she always draws Jesus in our family too. She is excited about you turning 3, and maybe starting preschool in Heaven? We think it would be AMAZING if Jesus was your preschool teacher. I mean – I’ve known Him for a while – maybe I can pray in a request ;).

Your Dad and I miss you all the time.

We have met so many new people in the past 3 years. We miss you most when people ask how many children we have. That question never gets easier. I never don’t stumble over my answer. Your Dad and I both wish we could boldly and confidently say “We have got a boy in Heaven, and his name is Keller, and we REALLY love and miss him”. But that’s hard. Sometimes it’s easier than other times. Sometimes it’s just a perfunctory response to the cashier, “Yup, these are our two girls.” It hurts every time because it means you aren’t here. It means for a short time you were, and now you are not. The question always puts a sort of burden on my heart. We are selfish. We really want you. We want our son. We want a 3 year old boy running around with his goofball 5 & 1 year old sisters.

But the really cool thing is that while our arms ache to scoop you up, hug you tight, and read you bedtime stories in your monster footed jammies – in so many ways – you ARE here. You are still living. You are with Jesus. You are doing incredible work here. It blows our minds how much goodness God has created through your tiny and perfect life.

We love you so much and we want the world to know that you are our son – but we are so thrilled that you are and forever will be His son.

We can’t wait to see you both in full glory. The day we are all born again to the fullness this world desperately lacks. The best birthday.

Happy 3rd Birthday Keller!

September 15, 2015

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Two Days.

In two days, we will be going to the hospital to be induced with our third child.

Two days.

In two days, little sister will begin making her entrance into this world. A world that shouts his majesty from the mountaintops, and whispers His glory through the cracks.

In two days, my pregnancy with this thriving, wiggling, chubby-cheeked little girl will be replaced with a crying, sleepy-eyed, trusting infant in my arms.

This pregnancy has been a screaming-from-the-rooftops testimony of the love, peace, and power of our Abba Father.

He has gently, but firmly held my hand with each step. He has surrounded me with a host of His children. Children that are filled with His Spirit, and love, and unflinching dedication. My name, my husband’s name, and my children’s names have been laid at the feet of our Lord by souls across the country.

Until recently, I have trusted, nearly effortlessly, because as I walked out towards Jesus on these unknown waters, the waves gently and almost kindly lapped around my feet.

In two days, we will be going to the hospital to meet our third child.

In the past month, my heart and mind have begun to register the reality and weight of this truth. The waves have grown and the fear has mounted, as I work to balance the terror alongside growing joy and excitement. My eyes keep flickering away from Jesus. My eyes keep darting towards to rolling waves and my unsteady feet.

Anxiety and panic have inched their way in, and honestly –

I’m just scared.

My obsessive compulsive brain registers this fear and morphs it into intrusive, unrelenting, unreasonable, and absurd fears. I keep looking at these fears. Meditating on the “what-if” scenario. Panicking over panic.

The waves.

Truthfully, most moments I’m looking directly down at stormy waters. I find my heart begin to trust – not only in the senseless, constant fears – but simply in the fact that these waves exist, and navigating through the waters will be full of hazards, panic, and disorder. And I’m scared. I’m scared about everything. EVERYTHING.

And then, for a moment, I look up.

Jesus is still there. Still reaching out with a soft reassuring smile and a gentle, but firm hand.

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

Mark 4:39

“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

Matthew 7:25

“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:27-32

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” “

Exodus 14:13-14

“You need only be still”. Fix my eyes Jesus. Set my eyes. Make me to stare deeply into your eyes and see.  May I be soul-assured of just how deep the Father’s love for us. Make me to trust “without borders”. Gift me an even greater trust in your divine, undeniable might. May the whispers of your love drown out the deafening roar of the thundering waves.

In two days, I will be literal inches and moments away from meeting our daughter.

I love her with such a fierce, protective, all encompassing love that any threat – no matter how minute or unrealistic – causes me to instinctively and completely dive headlong into any possible answer or solution to keep her safe, sheltered, and secure.

HOW MUCH MORE Abba Father do you love me – your daughter? My love is imperfect and partial. Your love is perfect, complete, and fathomless. You love me more deeply than I have ever loved Mary, Keller, or baby sister. This is more than I can reach my mind around. You love me bigger, more fiercely, and more perfectly than the most powerful love I have ever known.

I am your child and you are begging me, “Peace, be still.”

You will carry me.

You won’t stop now.

In two days, we will step into a hospital, preparing our hearts, minds, and bodies to meet our little girl.

She will come into this world, and I will scoop our daughter tightly into my arms, with tears of joy and gratitude in my eyes, and whisper, “I will never stop loving you. I will never stop protecting you. I will give all of myself for all of you.”

Abba will also scoop me up into His tender and magnificent arms and whisper, “I will never stop loving you. I will never stop protecting you. I have given all of myself for all of you.”