Monday, May 21, 2018

another birthday

by Alanna

Yesterday was his birthday. The son of my heart, 9 years old and I'm not sure where all those years went. Did I meet him that long ago? We celebrated someone else's birthday at our small group, with brownies and ice cream. And I ate mine in celebration of my precious little one, not so little now. I don't shed tears anymore for him, because the sorrow in me is a distant ache for what I lost. I've gained so much more. I treasured moments yesterday, because through him God taught me that time is precious and I ought to spend every day loving with all of me. I remember counting down days in South Africa, the time before I had to say goodbye. But none of us really knows how many days we get with our children. Today could be the last. And even if we're given years, they fly so fast. I am struggling these days with being a parent, with the lie that I am not enough, and the bigger lie that I have to be. Yesterday reminded me that children are given to be surrendered. Not given to be held on to or hoarded or parented perfectly right. They are given by a good God to be surrendered, back into His heart. He loves them more than I ever could. He is enough. Enough for all the times I fail them. Enough to grow them into just who He wants them to be. Enough to guide them to the place He wants them. Enough to protect them. Enough to heal them. I know from experience that He was all these things for my first son. But in the daily I forget. Oh so quickly I forget. In some ways I want to live as if my children are an ocean away. Lots more praying, because you pray a lot when praying is all you can do.  Lots more trusting Jesus instead of depending on my own efforts to save them.  Even with all the crazy, every morning when I walk into their room I am astounded at the grace I've been given. I am the lucky one, to get them out of bed in the mornings. The one they want when they call "mama" in the night. I don't deserve these beautiful gifts, not at all. Nor do I know how to steward these gifts well. But God knows each child He has given me. The one of my heart, who is loved so well now in his own family. The three I can see and touch who live in my house. And the one inside of me kicking now.  God is powerful and trustworthy to care for them all. Lord, help me to hold them only ever in open hands.