So I need to tell you something…something that if we’ve seen each other in person in the last four years you probably already know. We haven’t kept it a secret, in fact our family talks about it openly and honestly. At the same time we’ve made the intentional choice to not use this thing called the internet to tell you. We believe that relationship is best done IRL, we really dig you like that. We like seeing your face and we like it when you see our facial expressions and hear our tone of voice. We like having the conversations that really matter over a table or with a cocktail or clutching a hot cup of coffee. Especially if it’s something really important, which this one really is important.
We also know the internet is used for a lot of really beautiful connection but it can also be a space for misunderstanding. And then there’s this little thing that’s actually a big thing to us…our story is not just OURS (Tim and mine), this story belongs to our children too. And we’ve always thought that they deserved the right to choose their digital inheritance, to choose what is Google-able about them and so we’ve been mindful that only part of this story is our story. We are temporary stewards and we want to steward well.
But here’s the other thing…Our family’s story is a story shared by lots of families and yet…and yet we’ve found very few resources to help us. So I applied for a grant to research and write with the hope of creating resources for families like ours. The grant seemed like a long shot—who would support this minister/mother/writer as she explored the questions she had about trauma and grief and healing and how the church could minister better? But someone did. Someone thought that a family like ours might need more resources than the meager ones in existence.
So what is a family like ours? It’s a family that laughs at the dinner table and yells for shoes to be picked up when they are left to clutter the kitchen floor. It’s a family that loves hiking in warm weather and Thai food on a Friday night. And it’s a family who’s experienced what it’s like to have a child with a congenital heart defect. That knows the well worn phrase “we’ll wait and keep monitoring it.” We’re a family that has prayed for healing that did not come and a family for whom healing is a part of our story…just not the way we hoped. We’re a family that knows the ins and outs of a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and has a cardiac thoracic surgeon with whom we are on a first name basis. We have known sleepless nights cradling a restless child in pain, lines connecting their small body to large beeping machines and we have known the joy of bringing our baby home from the hospital (again…and again).
We are a family for whom grief and fear have been close companions and we are a family who has known the depth of love when family and friends have set aside their own lives to care for us. We are a family that knows the sting of poor care from community and the resurrection and beauty of care from unexpected places. We know what it means down to our bones that we are not promised one single day on this earth. Not one. And we have allowed that urgency to shape our living in ways we could have never anticipated.
We still believe in IRL relationship, in fact we believe more than ever about showing up in our bodies to care for one another. But we also think that it is time to share a little more of that story and how it has challenged us in ways that felt like breaking, shaped the urgency of our living and the depth of our faith.
If you want to learn a bit about my grant and what I am working on you can check that out here. And if you want to hear how its going, I will be sharing updates from time to time in my bi-monthly newsletter.
Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for my twice a month newsletter (because we’re not spammy) and get original content you can’t find here on the blog. Reflections on faith and living, book recommendations and other good, nerdy fun. Sign up HERE.