Grateful. Deeply grateful.
This past week, at our church’s “Day Retreat”, marked another of those memorable “one of the greatest days of my life.”
Life has been busy and hectic and there are days when Minhee and I feel exhausted but it feels good to be investing in the things we deeply care about. It’s not an empty tiredness but a gratifying tiredness. Does that make sense?
An example of this is the joy, privilege, and burden of parenting, nurturing, raising, and empowering our three children.
We obviously love all of our children but our second child, Trinity, has a special place in our hearts because she was born at one of the lowest points of my life. We had left our previous church months ago (before her birth in 2000) with the conviction and call to plant a church but we had no idea how difficult the new year would be:
- I was unemployed and had been looking for work for several months
- We were financially broke
- The kids were on foods stamps and the WIC program
- I felt like a failure for letting down my wife and kids since I felt like I couldn’t provide for them
- The job I eventually got was working as a custodian at a retail store
- I had grown increasingly angry and frustrated about not being able to get Quest Church off the ground
Mostly, I was angry because I had “lost” control over my life.
When Trinity was born, it was like a “miraculous” birth. She was born in about 4 minutes after Minhee laid on the hospital bed. There were no drugs, no epidural, and no doctor. She experienced sharp pain, pushed several times, and the next thing you know, the nurse and I – in panic and frenzy – saw the crown, then the body, and then Minhee and I cried like we’ve never cried before. We sensed God speaking to us so intimately:
“I love you. I am with you. I have not forgotten you.”
This past week, we experienced another new and miraculous birth in Trinity.
While faith and formation has been a part of her young life thus far, she had becoming increasingly growing in her ownership over her faith in Jesus and at the age of 11 chose to be baptized.
And so, I again – with Minhee, her sibilings, and in the fellowship of her former children’s ministry pastor, and her church community – we collectively experienced this amazing moment. Trinity shared her faith story, confessed her sins, professed her love for Jesus, and was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
What an amazing day.
One of the greatest days of my lives.
As parents, Minhee and I, obviously want the best for our children. We do our best – even as broken and imperfect parents – to provide for our children in many ways: food, shelter, clothing, education, etc. Those things matter – no doubt.
But we’ve learned that nothing is more important than pointing them to Jesus – with words, with affection, and with actions.
Thank you, Jesus, for your amazing grace.
Thank you, Jesus, for Trinity and our children.
Thank you, Jesus, for the joy of our family and our church.
[baptism photos courtesy of Joseph Lee]