I am the mother to three sons. I was, but am no longer, Jeremy’s bride. I have known myself as a daughter of the King since I was seven, and it’s the most important role of my life.
I love digging deep into Scripture, or digging my feet into sand. I enjoy the process of fleshing out thoughts and truth with others, yet I am restored by solitude. I love the sky–especially at dawn, dusk and when a storm is rolling through. I think I’d be content living in either the city or the country, as long as both were available to me at any given time. Waves crashing onto the shore are one of my favorite sounds. And the cello. And piano. (And I should probably say acoustic guitar, but particularly the sound of Jeremy playing the acoustic guitar). The thought of how deep the ocean is both excites me and terrifies me, and the depths of my own inner workings (or another’s) makes me feel the same way. I love to read. I hate to run. I’ve yet to acquire a taste for coffee. I’d much rather follow than lead (as long as I’m following a good leader). I appreciate the differing seasons; it does my heart good. If there’s clutter around me I feel cluttered inside. I enjoy architecture and design. I love to learn. I don’t mind waiting, as long as there’s good reason to be waiting. I’ve attempted to become a nurse twice, but for various reasons have had to shelf this effort for now. I’m not easily angered (but my boys might tell you differently). I tend to see the gray when it comes to my opinions about other people’s opinions and this world that we live in; my response to many things ends up being “well, I think it’s a little bit of both…”. I’m not all that intellectual (though I appreciate people who are). I’d prefer to get my work done and then play, but I’m realizing that if that’s true, I never play; so I’m still learning how to have fun, even in my 30’s. I am a recovering introvert–realizing that it is good to be known and it is good to know others. And I am deeply, deeply grateful that God calls me His own.
As a baby, he was our most challenging (or maybe we just didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into). He developed into a quiet, observant and semi-sensitive toddler. Back then he loved planes and Pixar cars. Now he dreams himself into the world of Link (a little boy dressed in green who carries a sword and fights all things bad in search of all things good, including a princess). His heart is an adventurous one, but it’s slightly hidden by that level of caution (or responsibility?) that many firstborns carry. He loves Jesus, and the wisdom with which he contemplates and communicates some things has surprised me many times. He understands sin, has experienced redemption, and is often frustrated by the reality that he does the things he doesn’t want to do, and doesn’t do the things he wants to (Romans 7). He seems to be a natural born leader (or boss, from his brothers’ perspectives). I’ve learned that he’d much prefer to initiate helpful actions on his own rather than being asked or told to do something (and the more often that happens, the happier we all are). He’s a really good kid. He loves deeply and he feels deeply. When he shines, he couldn’t possibly shine any brighter. And when he’s dim, the darkness tries to reach out to us all to some extent. I guess his name fits; a fire can both light up the darkness or a fire can ruin (don’t we all have the same capability?). But I am confident that God’s hand in his life has brought about the former, and will most definitely continue to do so.
I found out I was expecting Eli just 8 weeks before Jeremy was diagnosed with an acute and aggressive form of lymphoma, so his beginnings were wrapped up in that story. He was a testament of hope for us–life in the midst of the possibility of death (the first time around)–a testament of God’s involvement and timing. By the time of Eli’s birth, Jeremy and I had been worn deeply by the chemo and the darkness. We thought it fitting that this son carry Jeremy’s name. We also found the two truths that we were pressing hard into during this season were: God is God (He is Sovereign) and God is good (He will uplift). Eli’s life was a healing balm of love and light, which continues to this day. His favorite pastime is building with LEGO’s, in which he would much rather come up with his own creations than follow the boxed instructions (his mind works wonders in that way). He’s got a “groove” going in his head most of the time (and sometimes a jig to go along with it). It seems I may have an engineer and an artist squeezed into one little man (a happy and easygoing one at that). His prayers to God sometimes astound me, telling me more is going on in his head and heart than he lets on. And when it unravels, it’s quite a sight to behold.
Do you remember the laughter that came when God told Sarah she would bear a son (Genesis 18)? Well, our response was a bit the same when I realized I was pregnant again. Like her, it wasn’t the joy-filled kind of laughter. It was slightly panicked, with a touch of “this is absurd–this is not great timing”. It wasn’t that we didn’t want more children. We did. But not yet. Jeremy had just finished his two-year chemo treatment. We were tired. Jeremy said his body, though not 100 years old, felt like it was 80 some days. We were barely surviving with the two boys we had, with our broken and weary bodies and hearts. Besides, we had been told by his oncologist that it was unlikely we’d ever conceive again. So it took us a while to wrap our minds around the reality of a third child (and then we found out, a third son). Jeremy’s quiver was full (Psalm 127:3-5). We named him Joseph (“may the Lord add” or “the Lord has added”) Isaac (“laughter” or “son of laughter”). We needed this little one more than we imagined. From day one he was a pure gift. And we call him Jo Isaac because every time we say his name, we are praying a prayer, “May the Lord add laughter”. That prayer has been necessary for our hearts over the past four years. God does the unimaginable; He can bring life out of broken bodies, He can bring light out of darkness, He can bring joy out of sorrow. He has, He is, and He will. Again and again. So, maybe it’s fitting that Jo Isaac loves the world of superheroes; he’s rarely found to be without costume. On the surface, it’s fun and games. In his heart, he really believes he is one, and that they do exist. And you know, it’s true. There is a Superhero and He really was all of those things wrapped into One. And Jo Isaac, though a novice now, has an amazing storehouse of powers and wealth of knowledge at his disposal for the good of those around him. I love who he is. And I’m so glad that God saw fit to add.
And this was Jeremy John (“the LORD will uplift; the LORD is gracious”). I loved my man and my marriage and I miss him just as much. I could never attempt to write in a paragraph who Jeremy was. He taught me how to see beauty, how to appreciate good music (and a variety of it). He so kindly and slowly exposed some of my weaknesses and insecurities, loving me all the while. He uncovered strength and beauty in me that I didn’t even know existed. And he taught me more about God in these past 10 years than I ever would have discovered myself. His insightful teaching is one of the losses that is most evident to me. I don’t know why I got to be his, but I’m so glad to have been. And I’m so grateful for the three boys he left in my care, as well as these lyrics he wrote that serve as a reminder…
“This box for now will be my bed, the ground a pillow for my head; our God says we will live again, before beginning comes the end; when threefold come, the trumpet call, and life is new for each and all; whom He calls his will rise to say, ‘our God, through night, has saved the day…'”.