Last night my dear dear friends Steph and Jim Kallemeyn welcomed their brand new baby into this world.
Holy cow I’m getting choked up just typing that.
In February of 2010, I started to get to know Steph. Jim and I worked together so I knew him a little bit but when we launched our young adults group, the Kallemeyn’s started coming and I met Steph. While Jim was in Europe, we decided to grab some dinner one Friday night, and Steph confided a deep and recent loss in her life – a miscarriage.
With tears in her eyes we sat and talked and she shared pain and frustration and confusion. That night I knew I had found a soul connection. As we got to know each other better, we allowed each other in to the deep places of our hearts. We were both walking through an unfulfilled longing.
There were days when she was okay and I was a wreck. There were days she was a wreck and I was okay. Those moments we weren’t walking the same unfulfilled longing, but we were walking the pain of an unmet desire and that’s a pain -regardless of it’s source- that one can identify with immediately.
Months went by. I started to see utter transformation in her soul and her relationship with God and I saw her open her heart to new ideas and embrace them fully. Some of my funnest memories in Colorado have happened with her. We went fishing together, travelled together several times, spent Christmas Eve together, did the Incline together. But most of all we grew closer as friends as we grew closer to the LORD. In Romans, Paul talks about being mutually encouraging in the faith. And that’s how I feel about Steph.
Fast forward to late one evening in February of 2011. I got a call from her and as I answered she frantically asked me if I was alone and sitting down. Terrified I anxiously told her I was and asked what was wrong.
“I’m pregnant.” – she said.
I was stunned.
It’s that moment where your mind leaves your body and you watch the world happen without being able to process. We talked a little more and after swearing me to secrecy, we hung up. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled for my dear friend. Literally over the moon.
But then that nagging voice set in. Look Rachel. Steph got the thing she wanted, but clearly HE doesn’t want you to be happy. He’s withholding. Why are you so bent on trusting His goodness? Fool.
And I wrestled with those lies then as I do any time things happen for friends that I want to happen for me. But then I saw Steph’s belly get a little bigger and a little bigger. I knew there was a tiny life growing inside of her and the joy at seeing God’s promise in her life started to take over the lies that were so quick to sing their chorus over me.
Over the past two days, Steph has been a ROCKSTAR in laboring with this baby. Seriously, she’s one of the strongest women I know. She is choosing what is best for her baby over her comfort, plans, and preferences. She’s been an amazing mother even before this little one came onto this planet.
Then I got another call. My heart started racing when I saw her name on the caller ID.
Levi Daniel decided to make his entry into the world on his own terms but he was here. And she said, “do you want to come down and meet him?”
And I’m pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard my YES!!!
So as I walked into that room and saw that tiny cropping of hair, I literally saw and held a fulfilled promise of the LORD. I got to tangibly see that His plan and purpose is better than our own in the flesh. What could be a more powerful testament to who God is than to cradle a tiny new life in your arms.
I want you to know you have incredible parents. I want you to know that you were prayed for by a strong, kind, powerful, gentle, sweet, generous, selfless woman, who longed to know you for years. You are a reminder of who God is to all of us.
I pray a blessing over you that as you grow you may know and love the One who draws us to Himself whatever the cost. I pray that you will be one who loves others as well as your parents do. I pray that you will be a man of honor and integrity.
But beyond all that, never, ever, ever forget that you are loved.
Levi, this is the verse I prayed with your momma many months ago in a Starbucks with tears rolling down our faces.
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became…” – Romans 4:18
Levi Daniel – you are the “and so became.”