I know that you had no idea, no inclination, no worry at all when Zion came into the
world- that there might be a problem with his heart. But today you found out the truth. Today you
found out that the road ahead could get windy and rough, with lots of hills and valleys. Despite
the reality of everything seeming perfect, and Zion, outrageously adorable- He’s got Tetrology of
Fallot. Don’t feel bad about being disappointed, confused, or afraid of what might happen. You
are his father, you ARE strong, but you are also a human being and have natural instincts that
God placed in you- these feelings and fears happen when your love for someone is so deep.
Cling to your faith, cling to Jesus and seek Him. Cling to Jesus like you know you should. Zion is
YOUR son. By the grace of God, you and Amanda created this important, life changing little
human- out of a pure and steadfast love.
He’s going to grow. He’s going to be an amazing, cute, perfect little boy- regardless of any
circumstance, because that’s who God created him to be when he was knit together in
Amanda’s womb. You are so blessed to be his dad, and Amanda has become such a strong
mommy and support to you, that one day- you will be able to see that impact and love grow
Zion has had his ups and downs and some scares, but through it all- your faith and fervent
prayers are always answered as you trust and discern life together, while keeping Christ at the
center of it.
His smile and laugh are unmistakable. His support system of family and friends is incredible to
see. So many people love him and your family and you’ll really feel that soon.
Zion now has his own “song” from his first open-heart surgery that happened on Jan 8th 2017.
It’s called “Great are You Lord”. Remember when you were on that health kick? Well, you’ll start
it again, “thank God”, because you need it. You run stairs and run them like a crazy man, but
you are smart because you listen to Gods word, and you listen to Worship music. You do the
right things to keep you stable, grounded, and focused on the Lord. That’s where this song
comes in, from your workout playlist.
He sings it today and says “is that my song? That’s my song! This is Worship”
He dances, and he’s learning to worship just like you.
He asks you to pray nearly every single day, he keeps you accountable.
His personality has developed from cute baby boy- to sweet little Zion, who has this tendency to
naturally “just be sweet”. He truly is amazing, as are all of your boys- even Titus!! (whoops, you
didn’t know about that yet, but he’s incredible too and Zion loves to play with him)
This disease, this condition will make you stronger. It will make your entire family stronger. It will
bring you to your knees. Being made humble and persevering through- God’s shaping you into
a greater man because of this.
There will be a day when you look back and realize that through these deep valleys, you grew
and experienced life like most people don’t. You have a better understanding of what truly
matters. The deep things in life. The little moments in the morning when he smears peanut
butter in his hair and runs away to wipe the rest on the couch- you cherish those and smile deep
down, because you know just how fast things can change, and just how fast he’ll grow up.
You understand the urgency with love. To get out and share it. Do it. Be it to others as Jesus
calls you to. You have a greater sense of where your priorities should be and why.
I know this letter will find you well. So, keep praying. Keep looking to Jesus and embracing
every single moment you have to discover more of that love and grace, as a family. Keep
looking for new ways to be a better dad and be honest. Don’t you ever forget how sweet
Amanda is, and the rock that she’s been for your family. Support her. Pray for Her. Love her
deeply and say sorry more when you’re an idiot.
Everything will be just fine. It’s going to be ok. Zion was a child of God, before he was yours.
Zachary Svoboda is a singer/songwriter and worship/youth pastor in Bondurant, IA. Passionate about life, Jesus, wife and 4 little boys – food lover, outdoorsman, and secretly a nerd.