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Showing posts from 2019

What it's like for a dad five years after his infant son died.

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Where am I now?
It has been five years since the seven-day and twenty-two-minute journey of Simon’s life outside the womb.What’s it like for a dad five years later?What’s it like for me?
Since Simon, I haven’t done the amazing work of starting a support group, like Amy has.But there have been dads, here and there, that I’ve talked to and shared stories with.I’ve sought to encourage them.I’ve told them it is OK to be angry, and it is normal to be scared.I’ve told them it is OK to question their faith as long as they truly seek answers.I remind them God’s work is never done.

My emotional IQ is remarkably better than it would have been, had I never met Simon.I can see pain behind people’s eyes, almost as easily as I could see blood from a wound.This makes me a better leader and coach.It gives me comfort in being vulnerable and being open, so I can connect with those who are hurting.I lean into the mess, as this only feels right, since Simon.
Since Simon, I have recurring flashbacks of h…

#simonsgiftoftime2019

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Tonight we begin the fifth anniversary celebration of Simon’s life.  On May 14, 2014 at 9:55pm, we welcomed Simon Adam Balentine into this world.
Year after year, my mind travels effortlessly back to the moment Simon was born.  We weren’t sure if he would be alive as we decided to forgo fetal heart monitoring during labor.  We thought if he died before/during labor, it might be hard for me to continue to labor knowing his soul had been taken already.  He was alive at birth, eyes wide open, arms and legs squirming.   My OB placed Simon on my chest and all of the prayers from the previous five months had been graciously answered in that moment.  He breathed!  I shouted praises to God thanking Him for his mercy.  It wasn't long after his birth that we finally heard his voice.  It was heavenly (this video shares his sweet cries).
Following Simon’s birth, all we wanted was time with him.  It was simple.  We were doing our best in those moments of the unknown to claim joy and c…

On stewardship

“Begin with the end in mind,” is a famous notion brought on by Stephen Covey in the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Let’s fast forward to your retirement party.Or if you want to get even more serious, your funeral.At the memorial, there will be time for an open mic where dear friends, co-workers and family members will be compelled to get up and to say a few words about how you lived your life.What do you want them to say?

When I imagine other people describing me at my funeral, here are a few words that are top of mind for me that I hope they say: ServantLeaderOpenly lived his faith in ChristPut Amy and his marriage firstLoved his children deeplyEncouraged others with his wordsEntrepreneurialGave money and time generouslyDiscipled other leadersNever stopped evolving and learning
I could go on about what I hope people will say about me.Trust me, this is not necessarily what I think people actually will say.This list is much more ambitious and idealistic than it is a factual des…

A prayer for unity

I wrote the following prayer and delivered it at our church on January 20, 2019.  Nothing breaks my heart like our constant reinforcement that one life is greater than another.  We do it silently and complacently.  This prayer wasn't necessarily directed at anyone but me.  In the middle part, where I talk about how we "turn our backs" on truth, I really use examples from my own life and nobody else's. -Adam -- Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday and tomorrow we memorialize Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.Please join me in a special prayer as we reflect on these two days. God, you treasure all human life.Each and every person that has come after the first man and woman was quietly knit together, thread by thread, the exact same way in their mother’s womb.As we trace your thoughtful design of human life, we realize that we all have the same origins – the same story of our beginning.Because of you, something we all share is that we are image bearers of you.The intrinsic trut…