Letter to Baloo

Yesterday Nyra spent a good hour excitedly planning her wedding. She made Emily the flower girl. I’m not sure who I was but I wasn’t allowed to look at her dress and was ordered to take a nap. I know I wasn’t the groom though, because she was kind enough to introduce me to him before I gave her hand in marriage. She brought me into the bedroom (where I was to take a nap, presumably for my overworked nerves, though I suspect it was just a ploy to keep me out of the way) and announced proudly, “See, this is my husband. His name is Mr. Baloo.” She yanked an old, gray stuffed bear off the bed and said “I’m keeping him here so he doesn’t get in the way until my wedding.” It seems the groom and I were to suffer the same fate.

Gosh I love this little girl.


“Baloo”, whoever you are, you better treat her right. And I promise you I won’t be taking a nap when you stand up there with her at the altar. If I have it my way, you’ll be shaking in your furry little suit when you catch my eye over her shoulder and promise to take care of her until death. Because until you make that promise before God, she’s mine, buddy.I know you and I will meet someday. And I know you’ll be great. I know you’ll love her like your own body and soul. I know she won’t regret meeting you. Neither will I. Do you know why? Because her mom and I are praying for you even now. We’re praying that God will capture your heart and you’ll fall in love with Him first. We’re praying that your parents will raise you to value and respect women as equal to men in worth and in bearing the image of God. We’re praying that from a young age, you’ll have a burning passion for Christ and that you’ll grow up protecting your mama the way I expect you to protect my little girl.

I know you’ll fail her. I know she’ll disappoint you. I know that. It’s called being human. It’s called sin, something we’re all born with and can never “shake off”. But I also know that God reached down into all this failure, disappointment and sin. He loved you and me and Nyra and this world He created enough to enter the fray in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.

It’s only because of Jesus, the gift of salvation He purchased for you, the gift I’m praying you’ll accept, that I can look forward to meeting you someday. It’s only because of Him that I’ll be able to let my baby girl say “I do” to a real man, not an imaginary bear in her bedroom. And a real man is what I pray you’ll be when I meet you, because let me tell you something pal, this daddy ain’t letting his girl fall in love with no boy. If you’re a boy when you fall in love with her, fine. I wouldn’t blame you, I’ve been in love with her for her whole dadgum life. But when you decide you want to pursue my daughter, don’t you come after her passively like a boy. Don’t you saunter after her for just her looks, or just the feelings she gives you, or the status she gives you, or anything other than a desire to cherish her, care for her, and point her to the One who created and saved her. When you decide to get up off the couch and pursue her like a man, then you come and talk to me, understand? Oops, did that come across as intimidating? Did I make you wet your pants a little?

Good. If you aren’t scared of your crush’s daddy, you probably aren’t that serious about her heart. That fear I hope I put in your heart is what separates you from all the boys drooling over my daughter’s physical appearance, and what shows me you’re a true man willing to risk life and limb and embarrassing conversations to win my girl’s heart and my approval. You’re a man I’d not only be willing to let pursue my daughter, but a man I’ll be proud to call my son when you stand shaking in your suit at the altar. The same way I was shaking in mine when I married Nyra’s mom however many years ago it was when you finally get ahold of this letter.

Thanks for reading this, Baloo. Thanks for loving my little girl. Thanks for never letting her forget the most important things. Thanks for overlooking her shortcomings. Thanks for making her life special in a way that her mom and I can’t. Thanks for being a real man. Can’t wait to meet you, brother. Just don’t hurry too fast. I want to enjoy as many years with my little girl as I can before you show up. Praying for you.

Nyra’s Daddy

P.S. I’m not afraid to use a gun.

Year 7

In my last post I talked about the hardships of life with a brain injury. I’m writing this post from a heart full of gratitude and love for the most beautiful woman in the world on our seventh anniversary. Husbands, you’re welcome to disagree with me about who the most beautiful woman in the world is (and I hope you do for your wives’ sake), but the longer I live with Emily in this sacred bond of marriage, the more I fall in love with her.

Our premarital counseling back in 2012 was the first time I remember hearing about the fact that marriage only gets better with time. At the time, we were just two giddy kids with hearts for eyes, so the very idea that it was even possible for our love to grow deeper than it already was was almost too ludicrous for me to believe. For that reason I think I just did the polite nod and smile thing. But man alive, our counselor was right. Looking back at seven-years-younger Lane, I realize I didn’t know the first thing about love. Infatuation, yes. Butterflies inside when she made eyes with me, mhmm. How to put on a Gaston-like front to try to make her swoon, boy howdy. But loving somebody else, I mean truly loving, was something I had to learn (and am still learning) from Emily herself.

I’ve learned so much from being disabled, but I have learned far more from this woman God has blessed me with for life. If I were to start gushing here, this would be the longest post I’ve ever written. But I just wanted you all to know that today is our seven year anniversary, and I deserve her less every day. God’s grace astounds me. So does she. Until death do us part.