I keep waiting to write, hoping time will somehow condense my thoughts into something more easily put into words. But now I’ve turned on some contemplative music (future of forestry has a new album today!) and I am out of excuses. Here’s my update:
God has blessed my family. I’ve no other way to introduce the fray of this year. Yet my heart sees and still fears. The blessings come as answers leading to more questions. God has doubled the size of my family… twice. Last May, I married an incredible and beautiful bearer of God’s image. My wife, Diana, is a sweet reminder of God’s grace, and my heart melts every time I see her smile. She challenges the whole of me and invites me to be whole, and I feel her commitment and love as a Viking shield laid over all the fears and insecurities I hide; her love feels like freedom to be myself, and bravery to become who I’m not. Soon, on the one-year anniversary of our vows, my wife and I will stand in a courtroom and make another set of vows, establishing yet another unconditional covenant of love, as we adopt Kalli into our family. Kalli is a 7-year-old girl who’s ready to take the world by storm. She’s an extrovert the size of Everest packed into a 52 pound blond frame. She’s got a heart of silk, and faith like dry kindling—the forest should fear. She’ll make an incredible evangelist… she is honestly confused why anyone would not love God, and she tells her friends about him like He’s the most obvious choice in the world, like He’s her Rescuer. She is his daughter and she knows it with a quiet confidence that I celebrate as a miracle. Soon she’ll be my daughter too. She will also be a big sister: Our little baby will be born in late July, or perhaps early August. Baby has a mesmerizing profile, and I’ve felt his or her little kicks in the palm of my hand, and watched an ultrasound prophesy about the beautiful little life contained inside the harbor of my loving wife. I’ve seen little hands wave around in silent circles, and read about how this baby can already hear Diana’s voice, recognize songs, sense Diana’s fear, and learn patterns of resting and waking. A little mind is already absorbing patterns and synthesizing stimuli into meaning. This little miracle, knit together, will soon listen for two long days as the whirring engine of a giant truck carries Diana and I to a new home in Orlando, Florida. I will start a new job and a new life, with my little twice-doubled family, and together we will forge ahead into a vast unknown. But the unknown, fearful as it is, has been hemmed in by the promise that God is with us. He will not leave or forsake us, because we are his children. That promise has carried us through recent tragedy, which struck our hearts like whips, when two of my precious nephews were ripped away from their incredible, loving home last month by a dismissive judge who did not fear God or man enough to gather facts. Diana and I have wept with Aurlyn and Brad, and searched for meaning in what seems like meaningless tragedy. But while we lack meaning we have the promise, and so we cling to that instead. The promise of God’s undying love is sometimes seen as a sunrise and sometimes held as a guiding tightrope in the midnight, but it leads ever on toward the undying land, where God lives. And that undying land is our home, even amidst the rises and falls of this life—and there have been many. So we continue on, with a tight grip, and the hope that God, who has led us safe thus far, will surely lead us home.