For Gideon | The Love and the Sorrow
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The Love and the Sorrow

The Love and the Sorrow

{Written by Brian}

I don’t tend to be a very emotional person. My parents have a home movie of my twin brother and me on our 6-7 year birthday, sitting in front of our presents. Randy is bouncing up and down, rocking back and forth, cheesing for the camera, unable to contain his excitement, and I’m sitting quietly, a small smile on my face. We hear my mom ask, “Brian, are you excited?” I say, “Yeah” in a soft voice, and I was.

Through this whole adoption journey, I’ve felt — detached isn’t the right word — but it hasn’t sunk in that we’re bringing a boy across the world and into our lives. It finally began to feel more real when we got to meet him, but it still hasn’t clicked in me that Gideon is our SON, and I don’t know that it will until we have him in our home.

For whatever reason, God made me with softened emotions, so it takes me a bit to get worked up. But man, this song, it’s always made me tear up. Andrew Peterson is a kind of kindred spirit of mine, singing about aches and longings, about the groans the world makes waiting for redemption and unity with its Creator. He pulls references from C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, painting pictures of misty and dreary lands longing to be reborn. But since we started our adoption, and especially since we first opened Gideon’s file and saw his face, this song has wrecked me. This song makes me feel like a father. Take a minute to listen to it, and, for those of you who have seen him, imagine Gideon’s perfect little face, that wonderful giggle. Really, stop and listen to YOU’LL FIND YOUR WAY (click to go to link).

I’m crying as I write this, because I hurt for Gideon. Not because I pity him, but because I know the pain that this life carries. This world is fallen, broken, aching, and it won’t stop being so until Christ returns. And I can’t keep Gideon from hurting, no matter how willing I am to take that hurt myself. There will be times when sitting with him through the night is all I can do. I can see the road that lies ahead, but there are many turns and switchbacks, questions we don’t have answers to yet, and while that isn’t scary to me, it’s heavy.

My heart is heavy because this new fatherhood for a child once rejected has awakened a part of me that has evidently been sleeping since my birth. I don’t know how to be a dad. I’ve never changed a diaper. I gag when I finger-paint. I don’t have answers to the simple, profound questions he’ll have when he’s four or six or twenty. We don’t know what Gideon’s life will look like, and it may look very different than the life of a “normal” child. We were told he may never walk and may never talk, and while that no longer seems to be an issue, there are still major questions marks on this boy’s life. But man do I love this kid, and by golly I’m going to love on him as best as I can.

Growing up, I always expected that becoming a father would give me a better perspective on God’s fatherhood relationship with us, and it has. This song works just as well from God’s perspective as it does from mine, except that He sees more clearly “the love and the sorrow” that will come. Fatherhood takes personal failings and weaknesses and selfishness and brings them right out into the open. I’m broken. I’m a scared boy lost in the woods, and I’ve lost track of the ancient paths myself, so how am I supposed to help Gideon walk those paths with his tottering little steps?

“When I look at you boy, I can see the road that lies ahead, I can see the love and the sorrow. Bright fields of joy, dark nights awake in a stormy bed — I want to go with you, but I can’t follow. So keep to the old roads, keep to the old roads, and you’ll find your way.”

Gideon, I know you barely know me, but man, do I love you. My heart aches today to have you home, but it aches even more knowing the sorrow you’ll go through mourning the change and the loss. My heart is heavy with the pain of that grief already, and for the dark nights you’ll have in a month, in a year, in ten years. I’ll warn you now, I don’t know how I’ll do being your dad. Your mom is a champ, but all I can do is to promise you that I will love both of you with all that I am. You’ll have questions I won’t know how to answer, you’ll have hurts I won’t know how to heal; but I’ll show you the one who can do those things. Keep to the old roads and you’ll find your way.

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Jeremiah 6:16

  • Aunt Connie
    Posted at 17:25h, 26 March Reply

    Brian, you are going to be one amazing dad! God didn’t give you a quiet spirit for nothing. I’m sure in my heart he was preparing you for Gideon from the time you were born. You are exactly what he needs. Gideon is blessed to have you for a dad!
    I love you and I’m so happy for you, Callie, and Gideon. ❤️

  • Nana and papaw
    Posted at 17:31h, 26 March Reply

    Beautiful Brian . You will be a wonderful dad. God will guide you one day at a time as you lean in Him. So excited to have this g grandson home soon. We too love him so much already

  • Dad
    Posted at 18:03h, 26 March Reply

    Love you Brian, humbled to be your Dad. Gideon is in for a treat having you as his Dad.

    Your Dad (who didn’t know how to do it either)

  • Dad Troyer
    Posted at 18:04h, 26 March Reply

    Love you Brian, humbled to be your Dad. Gideon is in for a treat having you as his Dad.

    Your Dad (who didn’t know how to do it either)

  • Aunt Deb 💞
    Posted at 00:25h, 27 March Reply

    Brian your words are so loving and endearing…bringing mixed emotions and tears to my eyes as I’m reading this. I’m sensing a different side of you than I’ve ever seen before. I see a gentle spirit, kind hearted man who is taking on a role of a dad…not knowing the slightest about how to do that. But with who you are, who you are becoming in your journey of life, the man God has raised you up to become (and your wonderful parents who raised you…also not knowing how to be a dad and mom) and many many influences and prayers for you over the years…you Brian Troyer will be the best dad who God has planned for Gideon! I’m writing this I’m crying! 😥 But sweet tears for this precious “love” story and family! Blessings, hugs and prayers to both you and Callie as Dad and Mom to a very special and blessed child! Love you all!💓😘

  • Aunt D
    Posted at 08:04h, 28 March Reply

    This reminds me of a sweet conversation I was having with one of my kiddos yesterday. I was confessing and apologizing for my unkind behavior the night before. I had lost hours of sleep feeling so much guilt about the way I spoke to her. She couldn’t even remember my behavior. (I praised God at that moment) All she could see was a mom she loved. All I could see was a child I was so blessed by. Brian, you will be such a wonderful daddy! The amount of love that can fill a heart is remarkable and it makes my heart want to explode when I think of His love for all of us.

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