An open letter to Alan Jackson.
Dear Alan Jackson,
Thank you for creating precious memories for my family. I grew up on your music. You know, way down yonder on the Chattahoochee, livin' on love, chasin' that neon rainbow and can't forget about gone country. The good stuff. I've always been a fan of your music, but honestly I didn't know all that much about you. I guess I assumed you were just a good ole' down home country boy. Little did I know, you would be a source of encouragement, hope and God's truth for me during one of the hardest seasons of my life.
You see, my husband and I tried for four years to have babies. We went through countless tests, a failed IVF cycle, a roller coaster of emotions and many days that we never thought we'd hold a baby we could call our own. But that all changed in December of 2016 when we found out we were pregnant with our miracle boys. Yep, that's right. Fraternal twin boys from our second round of IVF. Buy one, get one free right? ha! We were beyond excited and extremely naive about what our lives were about to look like.
On August 8, 2017, our lives were flipped upside down in the best sort of way. Our miracle boys were born and so began this thing we call twin life. I'm pretty good with babies. The whole motherhood thing came very naturally to me. But nothing could possibly have prepared me for having two completely different babies at the same time. So what does this have to do with you? I'm glad you asked.
My dad. The boys were about a week old and we were all taking turns in the night so that we could get a little bit of sleep. It was one of my shifts to sleep and when my alarm went off for feeding time, I walked into a scene I will never forget. My dad had both boys swaddled up like bean burritos, one stacked on top of the other, rocking them to the sounds of your Precious Memories album. Yep, I melted into a puddle of tears. My boys, being loved on by the greatest man I've ever known, listening to songs about Jesus. But it doesn't end there.
I have to tell you about one of my boys, Stisher. It's a family name. Anyways, we call him Mr. Difficult because he has been a challenge since he came out of the womb. He is the highest of highs and lowest of lows. When he's happy, he's the sweetest baby in the whole world and will make you laugh out loud. And then in a split second, he will be screaming his head off and it's so hard to get him to calm down. He's made me question my worth as a mother so many times because I just didn't know what was wrong or how to fix it. We've all had our moments with Stisher, rocking him, trying to feed him, holding him tight. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. In those moments, my dad steps in and offers to take a turn. And his go to move is holding him tight and turning on your Precious Memories album. Since Stisher was born, dad has been playing this album for him. So that is what I started to do. In the middle of the night, when he wakes up screaming and won't go back to sleep. When we are trying to get him down for a nap. When he just decides to pitch a fit for what seems like no reason. There you are. In those moments when I feel so unequipped. When I don't know what else to try. Speaking God's promises over my heart and reminding me that God's got this.
It's been the sweetest gift to look back over the past 8 months and see how the boys have started to recognize these hymns. I will never forget my most recent road trip. I was traveling by myself with the boys from Waco to Houston after visiting my sister. We were about an hour away from Houston and Stisher started screaming. I knew he wasn't hungry so I tried singing, talking to him, everything I could think of. It didn't work. So I got out my phone and pressed play. "Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine...." Silence. The second the music started playing, Stisher calmed down and didn't make another peep till we got home. It was the sweetest moment. These songs have become a source of comfort for him and I love that we are filling his heart with God's truth.
So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for recording this album. I always thought highly of you, but I didn't know that you love Jesus. And I certainly didn't expect for you to be such a huge part of my motherhood journey. It hasn't been an easy one, but because of you (and Jesus of course), we have made it through. I will cherish these precious memories for the rest of my life.
God bless you,