Thursday, August 10, 2017

Happy Birthday, Blondie

My Sweet Boy,

Today you turn eight years old and I find myself once again wondering how we made it to this point- this day on the calendar that forever changed me.  Every year, I marvel at the Lord’s graciousness in fulfilling a dream I never knew I had. You see, I wasn’t certain I wanted to be a mother, and I definitely didn’t know anything about raising a little boy. But the Lord knows the desires of our hearts, even when we don’t yet realize them ourselves.  And in His infinite wisdom, He so kindly entrusted you to me, fulfilling the longing I never knew lied within my heart. 

You are the dream that was realized the day I saw two pink lines on that pregnancy test.  You are the dream I realized the day the doctor pointed to something on the screen and said, “It’s a boy!”  You are the dream that came true the day they wheeled me out of surgery and placed a little miracle bundle of joy into my arms. You, sweet boy, are my dream come true and a testament to the Lord’s goodness to us.

You are the one who made me a Momma and forever changed me, and that is a special, special thing.

We’ve grown up together, you and me.  I was so very young when you were born, barely out of college, so while you’ve been busy reaching the milestones of infancy, toddlerhood and now boyhood the Lord has been growing me in my role as a mother.  And sometimes growth is painful.  Just as our bodies ache as they stretch to new heights, so do our spirits as the Lord matures our faith and character.  Never before has that been more true than this past year as we've both continued to grow on so many levels. That's a hard thing for a Momma's heart to process.  I've worried about you so many times, but in all of His faithfulness, the Lord has reminded me of something I had long forgotten...

When you were a toddler and preschool-aged little blonde cutie, you still didn’t sleep through the night.  And when you would call to me, I would come to you and lie in the quiet next to you as you found rest in my arms. Out of sheer exhaustion and desperation, I would cry right along with you.  In the stillness of those nights, I would pray over you uttering these words as the Lord’s presence filled the room, “Father, make him a man after your own heart.  Give him a backbone of steel and a tender merciful heart. Use Him for your kingdom.”

Night after night I would pray those words over your life, and I am seeing the Lord’s faithfulness in fulfilling them. You are becoming a young man, and I am so proud of who you are.  You’ve got the backbone of steel part down pat – let me tell you.  You are strong-willed and determined, and if I am being honest, it drives me nuts!  But, that thing that’s hard now…it’s what the Lord is going to use for His glory.  

He needs men of character and strength.  

He needs men of integrity.

He needs men who will fight for freedom and stand up for the Truth.

He needs men who will honor purity and defend those who cannot standup for themselves.

He needs men with determined spirits because standing up for Christ in this world is not for the faint of heart.  

He needs young men like you who are bold and fierce and ready for war.

He also needs men who have tender, merciful hearts.

Be the brave, bold warrior God has called you to be, but don’t lose your gentleness in the battle.  

While I’m giving advice, be merciful when others hurt you by extending grace and forgiveness.  Show generosity every chance you can because you never know when you’re going to need a helping hand.  Love unconditionally. Take time to relish in the mundane and find joy tucked into every season of life because it's always there...we just have to look for it a little harder sometimes.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

The greatest joy of my life has been watching you take your faith and make it personal.  You love the Lord.  I see it in so many ways. You ask me to read you the Bible, to pray with you and for you, to take you to church. I’ve even listened outside your door on many occasions as you have prayed out loud to Jesus, talking with him about your fears and asking him to be with you. 

Whatever you do in this life, NEVER stop going to the Lord in prayer.  This world will fail you. Not everything will happen the way it should. Sometimes the people you love the most will leave you with the deepest wounds.  But you remember your Momma’s prayer and keep marching forward with the Lord’s truth rooted deep inside your heart.  You are a man of character and strength with a backbone of steel who will become a mighty warrior for Christ.  And you are my dream come true.

I love you, Eli!

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