relentless journey

CREW CATHERINE CANNON

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December 1st will forever be a special date in the hearts of our family. It’s the day Chad and I found out we would be parents to a beautiful baby girl who had been born a few days prior. Hours after finding out, we hopped on a plane and headed for Phoenix with suitcases full of clothes and hearts full of every emotion you could possibly imagine. The days following have been surreal, and for a girl who loves to put words to her emotions, I still can’t seem to piece together adequate sentences.

What I can say is this. I had no idea I could love like this. This sweet soul has transformed my heart in massive ways in the shortest period of time. She is beauty out of ashes, streams in the desert. For Chad and I, Crew represents quite literally, the newness of life. For a season longer than either of us would have liked to endure, we waited and hoped for a child. Many of those days were painful, lonely and without hope, yet laced with truth that God had a plan for our family.

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon graceJohn 1:14-16

The fullness of grace.

Since the day we found out about Crew, this phrase has come to me daily. It’s the only way I can describe what has happened to our lives the past few weeks. Out of HIS fullness, grace upon grace.

As we sit in the midst of Advent, a season of hopeful waiting and anticipation, these metaphors seem especially powerful. Out of His fullness, Jesus entered the world in the most humble fashion, born of a virgin, in a stable cold and rejected, yet in His fullness lay the hope of the world. Out of His fullness, He walked that Calvary road innocent, despised and rejected to bear the weight of humanity. Out of His fullness, we are given newness of life. Grace upon grace upon grace, because of Jesus, given never earned.

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There are moments in life where grace is more evident, tangible, and so powerful that you can feel it to your very core. Sweet Crew, you are one of those moments defined for our family. I love being your mom, and though I know I will fumble through raising you with the best of them, sweet girl, I promise to protect you, uplift you, encourage you and love you with every piece of me that I can give.

As you lay in my arms as I type, I commit these sweet moments to memory and etch them on my heart. I think of how well your daddy already loves you, and how much I love watching him care for you. The times he whispers in your ear how beautiful you are. How he looks at you and how he rocks sweetly back and forth. My eyes, though at times tired, have been wide open to see the fullness of grace in these passing moments.

Though I could happily freeze time, I can’t help but dream of the ways you will grow. Precious girl, I hope and pray we will share a special bond like I do with my mom. I can see now your daddy escorting you out the door on a date or to your first dance. I can see him showing you each day how a father loves with the delicate balance of tenderness and toughness. We will surely stumble, but this I can promise you. We have waited a long time for you and we feel the unmistakable yet powerful weight of raising you in a world that is often uncertain.

Sweet girl, I hope you grow to know that as much as your daddy and I love you, that there is a man named Jesus who loves you more than we could ever ask, hope or imagine. He is the author of your life and I pray we steward it with the utmost care. I pray we raise you with a compassionate heart, an eye tuned to wonder and heart that is filled with a peace beyond understanding. I pray that in times of struggle, Jesus will give them meaning. I pray that when you fail, you experience forgiveness and mercy. I pray those things over your daddy and I when we fail, and we already have. I pray “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” flow freely. I pray you grow to be strong and courageous. I pray the truth is not far from your lips, but that you speak it with grace and love. I pray you come to know how beautiful you are. Beauty that shines on the outside because it is cultivated from deep within. Most of all, I pray that in times big and small, with each passing day you experience the fullness of His grace.

We love you, sweet girl, and we are so very thrilled to call you our daughter.

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