Today has been a great day, yet again. To state it briefly, I was blessed with many hours of playing, holding, and simply loving on my baby-boy. As I was leaning over Beckett’s crib this evening a few inches from his face, the room was dark…and I began to cry. Beckett was reaching out with both hands rubbing my beard, gentling giggling, and probably curious as to why his hands were getting so wet (from my tears). I was being reminded of a day back in January (what seems like forever ago)…….let me explain:
We all process things differently, maybe similarly…yet each are unique. I naturally guard myself from probable pain…many of us do. I have a confession to make that I cannot recall if I’ve ever posted about. Back in January I came to a humbling realization that I began to guard myself from potential (and what seemed probable) pain…deep and destructive pain. As things were touch-n-go for many days in a row with Beckett, I found myself secretly withdrawing emotionally from the situation. It’s a simple game of expectations; if I foresee something panning out a certain way, I will align my expectations to not be disappointed. Naturally, I began to prepare myself (however I could think of) for the disappointment of loosing my son. It wasn’t necessarily completely selfish, as I can remember thinking of ways to best support Leah if that day ever came. However, I can distinctively remember being smacked in the face one evening with the thought, “What are you doing, Jonny? See that boy there, your son…is he not worth the extra pain of going ‘all-in’…even if it doesn’t pan out how you desire?!” Humbling, e.h? Needless to say, I broke down pretty hard. What did Beckett ever do to not deserve his father’s unconditional, unwavering, relentless love…never “holding back” for fear of pain. The fear of loosing him has yet to go away, but my love has not softened…I have chosen to go “all-in”, I want to go “all-in”…my son is worth it! He’s worth the extra pain that may come, but you know what (?) we are blessed with deeper love and deeper joy than I could have ever imagined in having a son. I’ve seen too many families loose children over the past few months, yet I have been blessed to celebrate a day that announces my fatherhood to that precious little boy laying right there in the crib next to me. Today is a day that “I” can celebrate life, through my son, with another non-guarenteed day. As I’ve mentioned before, none of us are exempt from this reality…my “reality” is just a little more fragile and transparent than most. Keep in mind, this is not unparalleled to the love of our FATHER. I won’t get too much on a “soap box” here, but hear me when I say, the relentless love you’ve ever felt towards someone else is merely a glimpse of the love our God has for each of us. Do not ever forget that. And if you’ve yet to experience that, please talk with us. I promise, I’m not crazy. I’ve seen the truth, and it has set me free (John 8:32).
So fathers, I hope you’ve enjoyed today. I hope you’ve taken this opportunity to celebrate the gift it is to be a “Dad”. You are not guaranteed another day with any of your children (or family, or friends); so soak it up, live hard, love hard…however that may flesh itself out in your life. I am proud to say that since that embarrassing day in January, my relationship with my son is never something I guard against. I have chosen to go “all-in”………….have you?
— with Leah ‘Whiteley’ Rupp at Riley’s Children’s Hospital.
Jon, you are a man after God”s own heart….and Beckett is blessed to call you Daddy. I continually lift the three of you up in prayer and am excited to hear the good reports and saddened at the small setbacks. God Is Good all the time. All the time our God is Awesome!