I sit here on the eve of your baptism and write you this letter knowing full well you could never fully understand the depths of these words right now, but my hope is that someday you will look back on this note and treasure it.
Today carries a heavy weight, you see, your sister, whom you will never know, passed away the night before her own baptism. Ever since, baptisms have been so hard for your mommy and daddy. For years since her death we have begged, pleaded, and wrestled with God asking Him for another chance, another blessing, never fully knowing if our prayers would be answered. Those were the darkest of days where the very things I am about to pronounce in front of the church for you were questioned. I questioned God's love for me, whether her was good, and even His existence.
Jerry Sittser once said, "The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and light of day is not to run west chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise." So I did. I plunged into my darkness of grief and questioning. Those were the hardest of days, but after 3 years, I feel like my journey has finally brought me to the point at which that metaphorical sun is rising again. The things I learned through it all are my prayer for you today, the day I dedicate you to the LORD. So here is my prayer over you and your spiritual life:
I pray you will walk by faith and not by sight. Cale, there will be a day when God doesn't seem good to you and you will question everything you believed and my heartfelt prayer is that you will wake up the next day, put your feet to the floor and make the decision to trust His promises, because this world deceives us into believing that God is only good when we have favorable circumstances. But the problem with that viewpoint is that YOU are the only factor in that equation. It is when you come to the end of your self that you realize that you are not God, so how could you possibly know what is good and best for your life? I truly believe that when we don't understand, when our heart is breaking, when we don't feel loved by God, when God doesn't seem good, and yet, we rise and make a CHOICE to still praise the LORD for His goodness, we have the power to shake the very gates of Hell. It is then that you have risen above circumstance, the temporary, and rely more on the depth of your soul- Faith. And if you make that choice each day or moment, when you are questioning, soon it isn't a choice, but a way of life, a way of truly living. When you choose God, in the choosing, you learn that He has already chosen you and has been drawing you near to Him.
That is my prayer for you today. Your dad and I vow to instill those promises in you so when the floods of life come, you will have your feet on a firm foundation. I love you with all my heart and I am so proud of you, my miracle, my son.