I found this on my work computer this morning. It's a quote that I read about three months before Zachary was born, and I found it strangely valuable at the time. I'm beginning to see now that God was preparing me months ago for this journey.
"Pruning means cutting, reshaping, removing what diminishes vitality. When we look at a pruned vineyard, we can hardly believe it will bear fruit. But when the harvest comes, we realize that the pruning allowed the vines to concentrate their energy and produce more grapes. Grateful people learn to celebrate even amid life's hard and harrowing memories because they know that pruning is no mere punishment, but preparation.
When our gratitude for the past is only partial, our hope for the future can likewise never be full. But our submitting to God's pruning work will not ultimately leave us sad, but hopeful for what can happen in us and through us. Harvesttime will bring its own blessings"
(Henri Nouwen, Turn My Mourning Into Dancing).