I’m making a new years resolution, and no, I’m not three months late. I’m right on time. My life clock hit the reset button on March 25th 2012 when Bronwyn entered our lives and changed us forever. Now, one year (plus a few weeks) later, I find myself reflecting on the nature of that change. Just the other night Bronwyn lay sleeping at an angle in the bed, leaving Jeremy and I to cozy up on the other side and gaze upon our slumbering babe. All stretched out, I saw how long she is getting and I whispered to Jeremy, “she’s huge… I remember when she was half this size.” And that’s when the tears started to fall. I do remember when she was half this size, and I remember how much I wanted her to hurry up and get big so that I could get back to work. A rolly baby without the ability to sit up on her own meant that I carried her everywhere, holding her even while she napped and talked often about how I was “stuck” with this infant and felt guilty that I wasn’t doing something more impressive, and worried that I was a truly pathetic missionary.
“Why did I ever complain?” I said to Jeremy. In the grand scheme of things, that season was a blink of an eye. I’m so ashamed that I wanted it to go faster, that I valued my freedom over the gift of beholding my ever-changing child. “I shouldn’t have been so concerned with multitasking,” I said. “I should have just sat there and stared at her. I mean look at her now! She’s gorgeous.”
Bronwyn’s first year has been full of transitions for our family, but I think I’ve changed more than anyone. I’ve learned more in the last year than ever before about dying to self, living in humility and finding my worth in Christ. I still regret the fact that I didn’t cherish every second of Bronwyn’s first year in the ways that I should have, and I’ve amended my heart’s priorities in such a way as to assure that year two is different. Bronwyn’s Bemba name, Bupe, means gift, and that she most definitely is. As we recover from her crazy birthday party and return to life as normal, we reflect on the divine nature of this gift, hand selected for us since eternity past, entrusted to us for the present, and instilling in our hearts a passion and anticipation of the future.
Thank you Lord for the gift of a child. She is first and foremost yours – but thank you for letting us shepherd her for now. May we treasure these days.