Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Thoughts About My Four Children

Today is the day that my youngest son turns eighteen. He is so very excited as he races to meet this next year in his life. He is looking forward to all the advantages of being an adult. His dreams and hopes for the future are forming in his mind and all he sees are the windmills – dreams spinning, cool breezes. From this perspective he is able to see the future as it gently tumbles in front of him. His thoughts are full of the next glorious adventure in his life.

Today, I look at this young man, and remember. I remember the day that God placed this precious gift into our home. After Christi and Bobby were kidnapped, I thought that surely God had forgotten us until my Father surprised us with a little son with black hair and black eyes. Amazingly, the verses from Isaiah 49 became a reality in my life – in our lives.

8 This is what the LORD says:
"In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,

9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
"They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.

10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.

11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highways will be raised up.

12 See, they will come from afar—
some from the north, some from the west,
some from the region of Aswan. [a] "

13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me."

15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!

16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.

17 Your sons hasten back,
and those who laid you waste depart from you.

18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your sons gather and come to you.
As surely as I live," declares the LORD,
"you will wear them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.

19 "Though you were ruined and made desolate
and your land laid waste,
now you will be too small for your people,
and those who devoured you will be far away.

20 The children born during your bereavement
will yet say in your hearing,
'This place is too small for us;
give us more space to live in.'

21 Then you will say in your heart,
'Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
I was exiled and rejected.
Who brought these up?
I was left all alone,
but these—where have they come from?' "

22 This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I will beckon to the Gentiles,
I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.

23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed."

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,
or captives rescued from the fierce?

25 But this is what the LORD says:
"Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
and your children I will save.

26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
that I, the LORD, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." (NIV)

Today, I rejoice because through this son, I received confirmation of my Father’s divine and perfect care. As I was reading that passage, again, probably for the millionth time since Christi and Bobby were stolen, I recognize that I have only seen a partial fulfillment of that scripture in my live. Our precious Paul was a down payment and assurance that God had not forgotten my family and that He will restore all of our children.

Today, Mark and I prayed for Paul – for his life, for his future, for his joy. But, we also thanked God for Michael, Bobby and Christi. Our hearts are always full with the love we have for all of our children. We prayed God’s blessings in their lives.

For twenty-seven years, I have been part of Michael’s life. That child saw his mother fall apart and then watched as God picked up the pieces of her life and gave them beauty and meaning. I will forever praise my Father for not allowing my parents to steal him, too. For eighteen years, I have been privileged to raise Paul. I remember all of Michael and Paul’s firsts. Those memories are forever embedded in my heart and mind.

And, now I look to a future – much like that of Paul’s windmill. I can see the beauty and restoration of God’s providence. I know that while my visions of the future may not unfold as I think that they should that I can trust God’s vision for my future and for my children – all four of them.

Today is a celebration. A celebration of the gift of Paul and the beauty and joy he brought to our family. Today, my baby turns eighteen.


No comments: