i just wrote at least 3-4 paragraphs centered around the fact that i’ve begun the process of realizing that there is a baby coming very soon. but i’m just not able to “go there” publicly quite yet (though there are definately thoughts and a post on the verge of emerging). so i’ll go with a secondary thought i had earlier today.

one of H’s favorite people is Mr. Ron, the retired gentleman who plays bass in the praise band at church (also on the list are aaron, the high school basketball star who helps in the nursery once a month and his regular babysitter, CW). now, i’m sure Mr. Ron is a favorite for many. he was one of the first things i really loved about the church. because of my complete musical inept-ness, i love watching musicians do their thing and really enjoy it. Mr. Ron has a way of grooving to his bass that just gives me a feeling of joy. i love it. (i also have a slight fetish with watching the piano player-turned-guitarist. did you know he does it all WITHOUT MUSIC? simply amazing).

back to Mr. Ron. about a year ago we found out that he was battling cancer. i actually spoke of this when the church asked me to preach last summer, but one of the things that really got to me was watching Mr. Ron play his bass and sing his heart out to a song with the chorus “oh, no you never let go, through the calm and through the storm; oh no, you never let go, every high and every low; oh no, you never let go, Lord you never let go of me”. all this while he’s undergoing treatments. it was so inspiring to me to watch him sing. if HE could sing it (and it was clear by watching that he meant it), then surely i could take confidence that God would get me through whatever i was facing.

today we sang the song again, and in my prenatal state, was again moved to tears thinking about his journey through and to where we are today (last i knew Mr. Ron was doing pretty well). and so i was quite grateful that we can celebrate even the valleys we walk through. it was good to know that Mr. Ron had a God to cling to, a hope.

some folks i know are really struggling with some hard stuff. real darkness. one of those issues that takes your soul and holds it down and beats on it for a while, all the while screaming at you that you’ll never get back up. i’m not sure of what their faith in God looks like, but i think right now they’re struggling just to know that the sun will actually rise and set each day – trusting in an unseen being to get them through is quite a stretch. and so i was really sad because i don’t know that they could sing the same song as Mr. Ron with the same confidence.

and then i was sad for those of us who know of the struggle and are walking onward. i think of her mom… her mom is one of those faithful that could sing this song with complete confidence if she were facing cancer, but when it comes to one of her children, it’s hard to sing with the same gusto. it’s almost like you can trust God with your own soul, but trusting Him with one of your beloved? for some reason it’s much harder.

it’s really hard to watch someone walk through the valley. it’s harder when they don’t cling to hope. so sometimes, these songs don’t make sense. i feel like there are several people walking through this valley with them- and many of us have a hope of something better – but it just doesn’t seem to be helping. and though i know God won’t let go of me, i feel like shouting, “but what about them?! that’s who you need to hold on to!”

it’s a big thing to come through one of those trials of life and still stand. i’m currently tempted to say that it’s an even bigger thing to watch (and support) someone navigate a crisis of life and have enough faith to get you through. sometimes i wonder – while my faith is big enough for me, is it big enough to hold everyone i love?

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