It was on Mother's Day two years ago that I stood watching the baby dedications at church as tears poured down my face. I will never forget practically running out of the sanctuary to escape the pain. I eventually found respite in the bathroom of all places, and the locked stall served as a barrier to the rest of the world for a few moments. I prayed and raged and bargained, and in the end, I went back to my seat, utterly defeated. I'm pretty sure I cried silently through that entire sermon. I allowed myself very few breakdowns over the years, but that one is seared into my memory.
They offer those same dedications twice a year, and I knew without a doubt that I wanted to do Addison's on Mother's Day weekend. This year, our families were in the sanctuary praying for our family of 3 as we were promising before God and the church that we commit to raising her intentionally in Christ. We dedicated our gift back to Him, asked Him to guide our decisions as parents, give us wisdom, and bless our little girl as she grows. This year, when the tears began to flow, it was an outpouring of joy and thankfulness that I cannot possibly express in words.
They asked in our dedication class that we write a letter to our child affirming her, outlining our hopes, dreams, and prayers for her, and telling her about the importance of Christ. I can't imagine an easier assignment...
Our Precious Addison,
Today is my first Mother's Day as a mom. I want you to know how much and how long I have looked forward to this day. This is the day I get to celebrate my favorite thing in the world...taking care of YOU. From your sleepy grin first thing in the morning to your crazy antics right before you crash for the night...you make me smile and laugh more than anyone in this world ever has.
Last night, on Mother's Day Eve, Daddy (or Dada as you like to say) and I took part in your Baby Dedication. We stood in front of the church and committed to raising you in the Lord, to setting an example for you in our faith, and to being the best parents we can be. Then our Campus Pastor, Chris Beall, came and prayed over our little family. He has prayed over us numerous times throughout the years, and recognizes what a little miracle you truly are. His prayer was powerful and moving. In it, we thanked God over and over for our greatest gift... YOU.
After he prayed for us, your daddy and I had some time to pray on our own. I have so many, many hopes and prayers for you, my child. These are just a few of the things, big and small, that ran through my mind in those moments: I hope that you aren't as serious as I was; that you'll have an easy smile and an unapologetic laugh. I hope that you always feel safe and secure in your home, and within yourself. I hope that reading brings you as much joy as it does me. I hope that you love school, and that academics are very important to you. I hope that you have lots of true Christian friends who love you for who you are and never try to change you. I pray that today's selfish and secular culture will be mere background noise as you stand firm in your convictions. I pray that you will graduate from college to do something you love, and not just get a job you can tolerate. I pray that someday, when the time is right, you will meet a Godly man who cherishes you, respects you, and draws you closer to Christ. I pray that if and when you decide to have a baby with your husband, that you will have the easiest pregnancy possible. But most of all, more than any of those things, I pray that someday you will make the most important decision of your life: to become a fully devoted follower of Christ. There is no choice in this world more significant.
We also prayed for certain qualities and gifts to be exemplified in you. We asked for you to display integrity in every facet of your life. We prayed that you will be given a discerning heart when it comes to making all choices, including choosing those you surround yourself with. We also asked that on top of your already noticeable intelligence, that you be blessed with wisdom. There are so many spiritual gifts that you may be given, but these are some that we prayed specifically for, so that others may see Him in you.
I have no doubt that you are going to be a candle in the darkness of this world, Addison. You can already light up a room with your infectious laughter and contagious smile. You have changed me, my beautiful daughter, and in the very best way. I know that last night was just the beginning of my pride as your mom.
With all my love,
|Addison's Baby Dedication ~ May 11, 2013|
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6