Monday, December 8, 2014

Growing Up

It was a cold, snowy day (the first in 3 years!) in Austin, TX when our first son was born. He was small and frail-looking (but not actually frail), and we were terrified at what we had gotten ourselves into. Every little thing was a mountain to overcome. From changing his clothes, to changing his diaper, to feeding, to trying to get him dressed without him spitting up like the Exorcist everywhere, to getting him back to sleep at 2AM while playing video games (because hey, I might as well be doing something). Even with all the crazy and fear and frustration, we knew we were blessed, because God had seen fit to give us a beautiful child who was healthy and loved and loving.

When he was new he couldn't do anything for himself. Like I said he was cute, but that's about it. He couldn't even get himself to sleep. There was no cognition to say anything beyond "need food," "need changing," "need sleep," and all had the same sound: crying.

But he got bigger, and relationships started forming. He learned to eat, drink, and play. He learned who his mother and father were, and built love and trust with it. With that came a conscious desire to be with us and know us better. So that's what we did. 

As he grew even bigger, new desires took place. The desire to learn and do new things. Books and blocks, floors and furniture, all was his classroom, and he made use of it. He trusted and believed that what we his parents told him was true. 

After all these things he began to strike out more and more on his own. He still desired closeness with us, but we also knew he needed time to learn how to be without us. Not for long, but just bits at a time. In order to for him to grow we had to let go just a little. It was a lesson that can only be taught by letting go: that he could survive when we were not there.

Little boys grow into big boys, and big boys grow into men. What he has now become is a big boy. There is still much to teach him, but at the rate he learns there will come a day when he begins teaching us. That is still a long ways off though. For now the days are still filled with learning and struggle and figuring out, and that is a good thing. Someone told me last week "the days are long and the years are short." Looking back I can see just how true that statement really is. Some days feel like an eternity, but at the same time it is frightening to realize just how fast he is growing up.

There is one thing, however, that he (or me, or you), can never grow out of, and that is the need and love for Jesus Christ our Lord. If there is nothing else he ever learns, I desire that he learns the One Great Truth that is Christ on the Cross and Raised Again. Nothing else we can teach him matters without that Truth. More than all the toys, more than all the fun, even more than all the love and relationship between this child and his parents, we desire that he knows and follows Christ with all he has, knowing the unassailable Truth that salvation is through the Blood of the Lamb. None of what has been written or shown so far matters more than this. All the sweetness and love and light pales in comparison to the Love of the Father for us His children. Whatever emotions may have gone through you reading any of the above is nothing compared to the extraordinary love and joy that our Heavenly Father has for us, those created in His image. That is the depth and width of God's love for us.

May blessing follow in his steps wherever he goes. May God provide all his needs for as long as he follows. May he be blessed with more faith that I, my parents, or my grandparents have. May the Lord do all things, difficult or easy, to ensure that our children follow Him all the days of their lives, and may they walk with Him here on earth so that they may walk with Him in Heaven forevermore.

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