REV. ANN MANN
For months I have been waiting. Waiting for the birth of our first grandchild. My daughter and her partner in life told me the happy news just weeks after I lost my husband to a massive brain bleed. My husband knew before I did. You see, our daughter had whispered the news in his ear before he took his last breath.
The promise of a child has helped us all as we navigate this loss. A woman whose poetry I admire explains it well. She says we are often pulled between loss and love, grief and gratitude, pain and purpose. This is where I find myself as I wait for this precious child.
While I wait, I think about everything I want this sweet child to know. What better way to share some of what is on my heart than with a letter. My daughter loved her letter, I pray this child will read this letter one day and understand the depth of my love.
Dear sweet child of God, You are a dream come true for my daughter (your Mom) and her husband. They have planned for you. They have prepared for you. And I have prayed for you. I will always pray for you, and for your Mom and Dad, and your entire family. I am so proud of your Mom and Dad, the way they love and care for each other. They will be wonderful parents to you.
I pray for the moment I can hold you in my arms and tell you about the grandfather you will know only from our stories. We will wrap you in the quilt my friend made from his shirts. And we will raise you with a lifetime of lessons we learned during our life together.
I pray you know your family will always be there for you. We will always love you. There is nothing you can ever do that will change that. This is the kind of love our heavenly Father has for us. Romans 8:39 says, “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (New Living Translation.)
I pray we speak to you with words of love and encouragement. There have been times in my life when I have been very hurt by the words of others. Sometimes those words came from family. It is my prayer for you that we use our words to build you up, and never to tear you down.
I pray that we teach you to look at each new day as an opportunity to learn and grow. To greet the day with a smile and kind words. Even before you are born, I believe in you. I know God has a plan for you. And so, I promise to be there. To hold your hand. To encourage you. To care for you.
I look forward to praying with you the prayers my parents taught me, teaching you to be grateful for every good gift from God. I look forward to singing you lullabies as you drift off to sleep, tucking you in, and praying for the gift of one more day.
So sweet child of God, know that you are loved, today and always. And one day, I will tell you what your Mom was like when she was your age. I will tell you how your uncle loved playing with Power Ranger toys, and your grandfather loved watching the Golden Girls. Oh, the stories we will share. We will treasure old memories, while making new ones. I can’t wait to meet you!
Ann Mann is an Emmy Award winning journalist, now serving as pastor to Barnesville First United Methodist Church. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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