The Gospel according to Hadley Jo


(Caution this picture is terrible birth control)

I’m a pretty simple guy.  People that spend time with me know that I like certain things and I make it pretty clear what those things are because I talk about them a lot.  My wife, my daughter, the Warriors, the Baylor Bears, reading books, and I have an affinity for the depths and all nooks and crannies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I work in an office full of talented men who love Jesus, the Bible, and their families well and one of them continues to tell me the same thing over and over again, “You’re a one trick Gospel Pony Garrett.”  I like that, and I’ll accept that compliment in the name of Jesus, thank you.  I hope this is my only “trick” for the rest of my life.

The Gospel truly is good news for me.  It is the greatest news that I can receive and what I love about it is that it doesn’t make any sense on how life is “suppose” to work.  But this is what makes the Gospel both sweet and bitter at times, it’s hard to swallow.  But when I do see it, experience it and believe it deeper, it always unlocks or births forth two things:

Worship & Gratitude.

So, with that said this morning I got up with my daughter and walked into her room and at 6:30am as she was singing “Let it Go”, those 30-45 minutes of one on one time I had with her was a lesson and reminder of the Gospel for me.  Daughters are one of the greatest gifts to daddy’s because they expose you and make you feel things you aren’t ready to feel.  So with that said, the gospel according to Hadley Jo:

As daddy walked into my room after what felt like an eternity I was excited because that meant one thing, now I’m in charge.  This is my domain.  So after daddy changes my diaper it’s time to pick out my outfit.  Yes, that’s right…I’m two years old and I pick out my outfits because daddy has no sense of fashion and my wealth of fashion knowledge obviously trumps his.  

Now that I’m feeling good with my “birdie princess dress” and “swoosh legging”(nike) I’m feeling good and it’s time for CEREAL!  And if I want it, I get it.  So we walked down stairs, because I’m practically 17 and I don’t need help walking down the stairs, and I take a seat for breakfast.  I get my cereal and.. DANG IT! I spilt milk on my dress!!!!! 

Oh no… Daddy is bringing over my arch enemy: the bib.  Luckily I have the power of negotiation so I won’t have to wear it.  “Hadley,  can I put your bib on?” He asked.  First mistake… “NO” I proclaimed with a deep conviction. “Hadley, please talk nicely, we are going to put your bib on.” Oh…tough guy huh, well I don’t know if you know this daddy, but I am the captain of my ship here so, “NOOOOO.” Oops… my emotions got the best of me and I swiped the bib out of daddy’s hands(I must be an athlete).  And that did not end well.  It’s now survival mode as daddy is starting to talk more sternly.  Why does his voice hold so much weight?  So I panic. I scream. I flail.  Because now I am caught.  I’ve blown it and it’s time to retreat!  Daddy instructs me that I am going to “go to my room”, and now I’ve lost it.  

“You do not talk to daddy like that!” He says as we walk upstairs, and I realize it, this happened yesterday!  Why did I do this again? I knew what would happen if I didn’t listen.  I’ve ruined everything…  

My daddy is mad at me.  My daddy hates me.  He is taking me to my room and going to abandon me.  He closes the door, and I’ve realized what I have done.  I have failed him.  I deserve nothing from him.  I am alone in my room, and I am ashamed.

I’m alone.

As I cry, and stand looking at my wall, immediately I hear the door open.  What other punishment is coming next?  But it’s daddy and he is sitting down and in a soft voice he says, “Hadley.” 

Why is he talking to me?  Why is he still here?  I haven’t even apologized, but he is still coming for me….

Daddy sits down next to me and says softly but strongly, “Sweetie, you can’t scream at daddy like that.  That hurts daddy.”

“I’m sorry Daddy.” I say as I look down to the ground, ashamed to look condemnation in the eye.  

He lifts my chin up, looks at me and immediately says, “I love you.  It is okay.  Daddy loves you.”  

That’s RIGHT….How could I forget this part.  What did I fear? My daddy always loves me! I fall into his arms and hug him, and I am for the first time this morning, truly content.

After we sit in the chair and I snuggle him we walk down stairs to enjoy breakfast.  See…I can trust my daddy.  He will always love me.  He will always come in and get me.  I need to remember this tomorrow.


As a daddy, this is what I want for Hadley.  It truly isn’t that I want her to put on her bib the first time I ask(while that would be awesome).  It’s that right now Hadley repents relatively easily.  She falls into her daddy’s arms after she knows she has fallen short of my expectations.  She doesn’t retreat to try and make me something, or give me her favorite toy to replace what she has done.  She doesn’t try and buy back my love.  My hope for Hadley is that all of her life she leads out in this for me as her dad.  When she does this she is reminding me to fall into the throne of grace not only willingly, but often!  These moments of rebellion against her father are the moments that are building trust, foundation and belief in her that she is fully loved, known, and cared for by her daddy.  As Hadley grows up, I hope she can continue to quickly retreat back to her Father’s arms when she falls short of His glory.  Amongst sin, He will get glory.  Hear that again…

Even amongst sin, God will get His glory.

That’s the Gospel.  I wonder how often this is the interaction between me and God.  I wish I would remember that I don’t have to look at the ground and be ashamed because Hebrews 4:16 is clear that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence.  Because in Christ, you are righteous.  Why am I so scared of the process that will always end the same for the rest of my life:

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free[b] from sin.” – Romans 6:5-7

Do we know for certain that you are united in Christ resurrection?  Do we know that our old self was crucified.

Man…I need I remember this tomorrow.  


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