Not everyone likes a gushing mom so I know some of my readers will probably skip today’s post. But I just can’t help but introduce you to my son, Jesse.
Yesterday was his 30th birthday.
I won’t go into the details that only Mom, maybe a couple of patient sisters or a wife would actually care about. But I want you to know that whenever I’m discouraged and wondering if the future will be brighter than the present I often think of Jesse.
You see, Jesse came into our lives after two “easy” kids. We never said it out loud but Benny and I thought we were pretty good parents with Josh and Jaime. They were compliant, pleasant and did what they were asked without much fuss. Other than Josh giving his little sister a bath with toilet water (it was clean, thankfully), the two of them “cleaning” the living room furniture with baby powder and then “cleaning” the fireplace by making sure all the soot got onto themselves we had a pretty easy time parenting them.
Then came Jesse. Before he turned two he was throwing violent temper tantrums that left us crying (literally!) out to God for wisdom to help him. God was good to give us this little guy who fell onto the floor screaming in public to deal with any vestiges of good-parent- thinking and left us full of compassion for parents whose kids acted out in public.
One day I was in tears on the side of the road, feeling desperate and alone as a mother. I had no more solutions. No more strength. No more hope. The tantrums had been continuing for nearly two years and I was exhausted. Plus, we already had another son and had just found out I was pregnant again. Five kids in 11 years was about to become the end of me.
But hope came. WIth tears streaming down my face in the van that day I sensed the still, small voice of God’s comfort in my head assuring me that He was at work in my son’s heart and that someday I would see the fruit of all He was doing.
And I have and do.
By God’s grace, Jesse is a trophy of His faithfulness. He is a faithful husband and loving father to three adorable boys. Through family trials and wrestlings with the Lord, God grew him; protected him; gifted him; and saved him. He grew in self-control and learned to depend on God to change his heart from one of anger to gentleness. God gave him a heart to honor his parents after years of kicking, biting and resisting us. He has brought this mom joy by filling our home with music and embracing a call to preach. He works hard to support his family as an IT guy and I can depend on a warm hug whenever he sees me.
If you have children about whom you are concerned, pour out your heart to God. He hears. He answers. He is faithful. He takes the wandering heart and turns it toward Himself. He transforms anger and disrespect into tenderness and honor. He brings joy following sadness, replaces fear with faith and fulfills His promises even when it takes longer than we hoped.
Happy Birthday, son. I loved you when you bit and fought me. When you’d come into our room at night and talk about your struggles and temptations and accomplishments. When you came home and played “My Cheeseburger” on the piano at midnight. When you hit that last second shot and made Cindy and I jump up and down for joy on the bleachers. When you told me you were in love and when we shared the dance at your wedding. When you cried at The Columbia when we told you about the PC and when God brought you back to Orlando to live closeby. I love you for giving me three grandsons and for working hard to train them in godliness.
But I mostly love you for teaching me that while good parenting is important, the One who is most responsible for growing a kids heart and character is God. You’ve taught me humility both when you threw a fit in the floor at Toys R Us as a toddler and when you shared your heart with me as a teen.
I love to watch you love your wife and sons. I learn from your preaching. I value your counsel. And I’m grateful that you’re not nearly as impressed with yourself as I thought you might be. Thirty years from now I will most likely be gone. But every year I get to watch you grow, admit your flaws and failures, love your family and serve God’s people will be a joy.
I’m glad God gave you to me, son. And I pray that your life will continue to be an example to me and others that the story is still being written. God completes what He begins…always.
The Ultimate Blog Challenge: Day Nine
What are my thoughts? I think i’m gonna stop reading your posts because almost every one of them makes me cry. 😉
I’m smiling, Erin. Thanks so much for staying connected through the blog. I welcome your suggestions and thoughts…along with your tears 🙂
Ohhhh boy. Before he was even 2, huh? :gulp: Thank you for the hope…because he’s a pretty awesome dude. 🙂
What a treasure; thanks so much for ur blogs. I love you to pieces!!!
Awww, what a happy ongoing story out of a frustrating, challenging beginning! My son (only son) is about the same age as yours (31), but he hasn’t even settled down yet. How interesting that your son ended up with 3 sons of his own! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
It’s interesting how God leads different people down different paths. I’m sure He has a good plan for your son!
Yes, watching my son have sons has been such a crazy joy. God is good!
Wow, you are an amazing woman and mom, and I love hearing about how God answered your prayers. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for your kind words, Regina. God is the amazing one and I love Him for helping me along this motherhood road. Blessings!
Sheree, Thank you for writing and sharing. You have no idea how your blog posts have encouraged my heart!!!! This one especially gives me much hope. =) Our 3rd one =) has also sent us to our knees and has already in her short little life been used by God SO much to draw us closer to Him. And I LOVE her. And that is a work God has done in MY heart – because I have cried out many, many times for God to let that be. I used to cry out for Him to change her, then I started crying out for Him to change me. Now I marvel that He’s doing both!!! =) I gladly look forward to seeing, 25 years from now, what I get to write about her on her 30th bday – as I’m sure the Lord has much more to teach us both b/w now and then!! =)
I’m so glad you are encouraged by coming here, Meghann. The thing the Lord spoke to me about Jesse was that the energy he invested into his tantrums would be turned by God into a passion for God. He did it! He will use your daughter’s God-given energies for great good as she comes into relationship with Him. Keep the future before you, dear friend!