My Davy girl,
Happy second birthday beautiful. I so wish I could be there with you to give you a big squeeze, get a million Davy kisses and tell you how much I love you. Due to your last minute admission at Our Children’s House we are unfortunately apart today from one another because of prior commitments, but know that was not the intention. I’m at a youth camp, that you and mom were supposed to be at with me, getting to preach the best news in the world – the gospel – to a group of students. Your mom and I collectively decided though that it would be best for me to honor my commitment to preach and for you to get the benefit of therapy at OCH.
So know that I’m so sorry that I’m not there today, but I promise I will make it up to you in snuggles, ice cream and daddy-daughter dates! However, I will say this, I’m looking forward to preaching camps in the future and bringing you on these crazy adventures with me. You’re going to love it and we’re going to have a lot of fun together.
What can I say about the last year?
I mean you’re two years old! Two years ago I wasn’t even sure I was going to get the gift of being your daddy, and now I have the most precious little girl (yes, I’m talking about you!) who is not so little any more.
So much has happened this past year. Eventful would be an accurate description.
Shortly after your first birthday your “Immy”, my mom, passed away from her battle with cancer. Or more accurately, as your Immy would probably say, God took her home to heaven before she had time to beat it herself. Davy girl you have to know that your Immy adored you to no end. After talking with Papa Randy, we have both come to the conclusion that her love for Jesus and her love for you were her driving motivations near the end.
I know it’s sad not having her right here in the flesh cheering you on, I’m sad too, but don’t worry because we’ll make sure her memory stays alive. We’ll tell you stories, share her wisdom with you and you can ask Papa all the questions you want. Also, you don’t know it yet, but you’ve got a lot of Molly Frazier in your personality. I’m excited, and a little terrified, to see how that turns out!
One thing about your Immy is that she loved motivational quotes. She used to put them all over my room! A quote she would tell you is to, “fight for joy, make a statement, and live intently.” She would tell you that in Christ you can find joy (John 15:11), but you’ll have to fight for it because the world will pull you in a million directions. So fight for joy. She would tell you to make a statement with your life and not just settle for mediocrity. Christ came so that you may have life and life abundantly (John 10:10). So make a statement. Lastly, she would say live intently every single day. We have no idea when our last day on earth will be, so we must live with gospel intentionality and not waste any moments. So live intently Davy girl.
This year you also had gtube surgery, went back to the hospital for at least another 60 days collectively (we finally stopped counting!), including a trip on New Years and your mom’s birthday, you got RSV, got off the feeding pump and got admitted to OCH where you are right now with your mom. Davy, there is never a dull moment with you and we wouldn’t change it for the world. Like I said, it was an eventful second year of life.
As I reflected on this past year of your life there are three overarching themes that engraved themselves into my mind.
The first, is the concept of waiting on the Lord.
I wrote these words earlier this year:
To wait on the Lord means to fight to be content with the season of life he has you in through His strength (Phil. 4:11-13), to find joy in the midst of His presence instead of your circumstances (Ps. 16:11), and to trust His wisdom (Rom. 11:33).
We can be absolutely certain that whatever season of life we are in, we are there with divine purpose. God is writing our story – even the chapters of affliction, trial and challenges – for our good, our growth and his glory.
The writer of Lamentations shows us the way to wait on the Lord – “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.” (Lam. 3:25).
To wait we must seek.
Davy girl your life has gone so differently than we would have ever scripted for you. In life you’re going to have to learn that God’s timing is not our timing. His ways are higher than our ways. Yet, you can always, always, always trust that God is writing a better story than you could ever write for yourself. You just have to remember in the midst of waiting to head the wisdom of Lamentations – to wait we must seek. Even when life is going the way you thought it should go, or the timing is different than the timing you want, always remember to seek the Lord with all heart, mind and soul knowing that he is for you.
The second theme is the theme of perseverance.
Davy, you have done so much this year. You have been in and out of the hospital. You have been battling between sickness and health. You have also been in physical, speech and occupational therapy to overcome some of your setbacks.
What I have seen in you and your mom has been something incredible – perseverance. The ability to get back up even when you’ve been knocked down. The strength to say, “I will try again tomorrow”. James writes in the Scripture that when our faith gets tested in this life it’s so that perseverance is produced (James 1:3).
Perseverance is a beautiful quality to possess. Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil right activist said this about perseverance. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Davy, I have loved watching what has risen from within your mom and you. It’s a strength that is deeper than the physical, it’s a spiritual strength. I have watched your mom become someone incredible. You must know this about her. She is an incredible woman of God worthy of being respected, honored and spoken of highly at the city gates.
I have also loved what I see rising from within you little one. A feisty, fiery personality that is theatrical, curious and fun. I can not wait to see more of this side of you as the years continue onward.
Lastly, you just have to know that I absolutely love being your dad and I am so proud of you.
Davy, your life hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been easy watching you endure many moments of it from my perspective. At times it has been overwhelmingly heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking having to hold you in my arms as you cried and screamed while the doctors were poking you with needles. It was devastating to my soul to have to readmit you into the hospital over and over again. It’s been tough watching you have to battle in therapy to do most kids do naturally.
At the same time, I have been blown away by you as a person. Your ability to bounce back after being stuck 6 times as the medical team attempted an IV in your scar tissued hands. After that you stopped crying, looked at me directly in the eyes smiled and then laid your head on my shoulder. In the hospital you used your charming personality to win over ever person who came in contact with you and brighten their day. In therapy I witness you conquer mountains that only you can conquer…and you do it. You are amazing Davy and I’m beyond proud of you and so proud to be called your dad.
Lastly, sweet girl, I want to end with a verse that has been my support this past year.
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. – Psalm 112:6-8
In Christ, we will never be moved and will be remembered forever. We don’t have to be afraid of bad news, our hearts remain firm while trusting in the Lord and they will beat steady. This is good news.
Davy girl, I love you and I’m so proud of you. Remember to fight for joy, make a statement and live intently every day. Love you sweet girl and keep living DavyStrong.