When you turn 40 years old, you’re not sure if you should be looking back or looking forward. I know in my head that it’s supposed to be both as both the past and the future are significant and meaningful
But in doing so, I’ve also learned that if I’m not wise and careful, I can be so immersed in the past or the future that I may miss out on the gift of the present.
In fact, one of my constant reminders to myself – especially as a father and husband is:
to be present…
One of my biggest fears is waking up one morning and realize that I’m on my physical death bed. And as I reflect on my life, I have regrets about my family – particularly with my children. Or simply, that it all went by so quick – and I missed it – or rather, I missed them growing up.
There are days like this week when I cannot believe how big my children are and how fast they are growing. Minhee and I feel so privileged to be the parents to our three children. And this past weekend, we celebrated our 2nd child’s birthday. TC is now into double digits as she marks 10 years.
My oldest child is now 5 years away from college.
We obviously love all of our children but TC 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 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 TC 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.
Enough of my existential ponderings and looking back. No need to live in fear but to live in joy, contentment and to enjoy God and all of life’s blessings in the here and now.
Thank you God for the gift of our children. Minhee and I want to treasure, nurture, and enjoy them.
And be fully present in their lives.
Thank you, T, for the constant reminder you are to us of God’s grace…