June 16, 2015
1 Comment

Shortly after my daughter was born, I pulled out my phone, scrolled to Pandora, and the first song that came on was “Beautiful Things” by Gungor.

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us.

The words made some sense before, but after being up all night, participating in the labor of Adalee Grace, and now seeing Erica hold her with a look of joy that only a new mother can… It was just one of those moments.

Fast forward three months. Erica, Adalee, and I are standing in the front of church preparing our hearts for baptism. I had requested that we sing “Beautiful Things”, but this time the conditions were different. Doctors and nurses had been replaced with loving family and friends vowing to raise Adalee in the covenant community of Christ and his church. The hospital room, monitors, and charts were traded for a praise team, congregation of believers, and family. Erica had spent hours making sure all of the details were just right: the house was in order, food was ready, Adalee had a beautiful dress, headband, and she was even wearing the same shoes that Erica wore with her baptism dress. It almost looked perfect. Then life set in.

I was holding Adalee and getting mildly emotional about the song when I felt it. Adalee pooped. There’s something about holding a baby with an awkwardly warm diaper. I looked over at Erica and she knew it too — I think she smelled it. I gave her dress and my white shirt a quick once-over and kept singing along — this is fatherhood, right? About the time we were singing the last verse, I felt it again. C’mon, Adalee, this is your baptism! The warmth grew warmer and the diaper heavier. Another once-over showed we were all still safe for the moment.

The song ended and we were invited on stage. Adalee was all eyes taking in every word that Pastor Verlyn had for her. It was a beautiful, covenant moment for our family.

As soon as the vows were finished, we returned to our seats and Erica took Adalee to change her. Once they returned, it wasn’t three minutes before her grand finale: the blowout. We looked at each other in horror—the dress, onesie, and tights were taken as casualties. One more exit before Erica returned with Adalee proudly sporting a second dress on her special day.

The last line of the chorus of “Beautiful Things” couldn’t have been more fitting:

Out of chaos life is being found in you.

Fatherhood has been like this so far. It was a rough start as Adalee has reflux, which the doctors later told us is also known as colic. Yes, there are beautiful family photos and when people ask how it’s going, my general response is “great.” The thing is, it IS great! It’s life-changing and has shaped my thought process in so many different ways. Sure, I’m still struggling to find a new rhythm between being a dad, husband, full-time worker, grad student, and worship leader at church. Life is a bit chaotic and there are days I’m not sure which way is up, but there are also days that are so incredibly full of life and love.

Behind every full diaper is that guilty-goofy smile from a little girl who stole my heart when I didn’t know I could give any more than I had already given to her mother. Behind every family photo that looks put-together is a family working on our rhythm, but keeping a new, dare I say, more beautiful, tempo.

Out of chaos life is being found in you.

About the Author
  • Brandon Huisman serves as Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Dordt University. He is husband to Erica and dad to Adalee, Ella, and Levi.

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