Saturday, August 9, 2008

a letter from your daddy=)

look sweet girl-your daddy wrote you a letter this morning=) i kept walking by his office and he would be reading it over and over-he said he loved writing it to you-when he was finished he was walking around the house making up songs for you, mainly just singing "little catherine, little catherine" and "i wrote catherine a let-ter, i wrote catherine a let-ter" was making me smile and laugh. he loves you so much. here is his letter=)

Well, little girl. This is your father, and I love being your father. In my glimpses of you, I must say you are absolutely beautiful. We have fallen in love with you. Sometimes late in the night, your mom will let me play with you. When I rest my hand on her belly and cover you, it seems like you know. You kick me or flail around.

I cried when I found out you are sick. How I wish that I could protect you. I do not know whether we will ever have the chance to know each other well in this life. I am waiting. While I wait, I pray for you. When I pray, I meditate on several verses. The first describes when God created the universe:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)

As I read this verse, I felt assured by the Spirit that He is forming order out of the chaos in your life. Still, I do not know exactly what this means. I just know that this is what he is doing. The second verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” The theme is similar for both. God is both sovereign and good.

Also, I have two stories that I remember as I am waiting. In one a baby dies, in another a baby lives. Here is the first:

After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate." David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked. "Yes," they replied, "he is dead." Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!" He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." (2 Samuel 12)

I like David’s approach to prayer. It seems counterintuitive to his friends (i.e., why are you acting this way?). They expected, based on how he acted before his child’s death, that he would become intolerably sad and angry after. I know of no rain dance or other superstition to force the hand of God. Sometimes my desires line up with his will. Who knows, he may answer my desires exactly in the way that I want. As I see it now, David’s fasting and weeping were humble acts of contrition, not acts to try to secure God’s favor. Indeed, as you have already won my heart, you will see that you have won His.

I have prepared my heart—as much as I know how—to lose you. If I do, you will know my hope more fully than I. Heaven is a wonderful place. If on your birthday you leave me, you will meet several people that I love the most: You will see my mom; you will see Mastine; you will see Jesus. How strange that my child, who has taken only a few breaths of air in this world, will experience my God face to face. You will know Him better than I. If you see us cry, we only cry for you because we miss you, not because we do not trust that you are completely safe. Daughter, bless the Lord. He has taken away the sting of death. My soul, bless Him, for he is a safe resting place for all that you love.

I also prepare my heart for you to be with me. This seems easier, but in some ways it is just as scary. This place is not as safe as heaven. Here, you will find more pain. On the other hand, his love is steadfast. Really, I prepare my heart for the same thing. You are His, my daughter. The other story I remember is that of Samuel. After many years he was given to his mother. After she weaned him, she gave him to serve the Lord as a prophet. She prayed this prayer when she left him at the temple to be trained, “For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.” (1 Samuel 1:27). O how I would love to pray this prayer. I will pray it for the rest of my life.

My dear daughter, I would love to read this letter to you many times over a long life. If I cannot, know that I love you more deeply than you could ever know, except you will, because it’s only a shadow of the love that your true Father has for you.



Erin said...

Oh, y'all make my heartache. I love you.

Abby & Pete said...

surely the most beautiful letter I've read from a father to his daughter.

Kristy said...

absolutely beautiful...

hannah and tony said...

donnie you write as beautifully as your wife does. catherine is oh so blessed to have such wonderful, God fearing parents.

Pinks and Blues said...

If ever a father loves a child, it is you. If ever a father is able to release a beloved child into the hands of our Father, it is you. I pray fervently, as you do, for the Lord to grant your petition to have Catherine in your arms for a very long time... and I pray for your continued strength and courage on your journey of fatherhood. Your faith is a faith that gives hope to all who believe... God bless you and your beautiful family.

Chavonne said...

Remarkable and beautiful.

6 of Four Creations said...

We ache for you and are also in awe of how transparent you have been through this process. I keep trying to get Chris to read your blog, but he doesn't know if his heart can take it. You are both amazing and this journey you are on has been a lesson to us. We have and will be praying.


Katie and Chris

Melissa said...

Katie & Donnie,
I don't know you personally except that I work in Chip's NICU and I've been hearing that we will be delivering your sweet baby very soon. As a christian, a mother, and a nurse in the NICU, I am constantly praying for the ones that I am caring for when I come to work. I cannot begin to imagine the grief you both have experienced but I know the God I serve and He shall supply your every need, according to His riches and glory. I am praying for you and will be praying for you the day you deliver your miracle from God. I sincerly pray that I get to meet you. All three of you. May God continue to bless you and sustain you.
Melissa Futrell

nysewanders said...

I struggle sometimes with the 'Can He/Will He' debate in my head and before the Lord. I Know full well that He can heal but I always struggle with the 'will he heal' part of it all. Sometimes its easier to not expect the great things of God to avoid disappointment but every time I pray for sweet Catherine, my heart screams for the great things. Bless you Katie and our prayers with you!

MelissaR86 said...

Hey Katie, that was the sweetest letter from a father to his daughter that I've ever read. Whatever the outcome I'm praying for yall. Love Melissa

Anonymous said...

A few nights ago I had a dream about the 3 of y'all...I don't remember the details, just that I knew that you were all together and happy. Our hearts lift y'all to the Father. Blessings and hugs and much love.

heather said...

Hey guys,
This is Heather your cousin. I only recently found out about your blog. You both are a inspiration to the christian faith. Baby Catherine is beautiful, a little angel. She has already touched so many people in her short time here and will continue to. We have been praying for all of you. My Sophie will sometimes tell me "Mom, I prayed for that sweet baby today, or Quiet please I am praying for that sweet baby" She is a blessing for everyone who knows of her. Stay strong and never lose hope! Gods plan is perfect and he is with you always. Continue to trust in him and everything will work out.

Heather, Lance, Sophie and Maddie