Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy 13th B-day, Buckshot!


As I read through Sawyer’s past birthday posts for his 12th birthday, his 11th birthday, and his 10th birthday (I encourage you to go read each prior post), I was reminded of how much Sawyer has changed over the past four years. 

It’s inevitable that our children will grow up, mature, change, become more and more independent, and eventually become less like children and more like adults.  As a mom, it’s both a time of rejoicing and a time of grieving—grieving the loss of childhood, yet rejoicing in the joy of God’s plan for life.


As I read through Sawyer’s previous birthday posts, I felt the pain in Sawyer’s life over the past few years.  The loss of his sister, his dyslexia, his severe ADHD, his lifelong severe food allergies and colitis, and this past year, his diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.

iPhone Jan thru Sept 2012 1777

While my brain wanted to get bogged down in the pain and grief, God wanted me to boss my heart into His Truth, rejoicing in His plan, His sovereignty, even in His suffering and trials and tribulations, for it is in these times that we become more like Him.


“And not only that, be we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5


Our flesh wants to protect our children, our families, our loved ones, even ourselves from pain, suffering, trials, and tribulations, yet it is in these very things that our character is built, that we begin to really know and understand hope in a personal way.  And hope does not disappoint.

So, today I choose to rejoice in the things God has allowed Sawyer to endure.  While, if I had my way, I would choose for him to not have dyslexia, to not have severe food allergies, to not have ADHD, to not have Crohn’s disease, to not have had to go through losing his beloved baby sister.  I would choose to protect him from struggles, from hurts, from trials, from tribulations, from suffering. 


But, in my desire for everything “good” for my child, he would miss out on the real goodness planned for Him by our Father.  The real goodness that feels like pain in our flesh.  The real goodness that requires perseverance, the real goodness that builds character, the real goodness that produces hopes.


Yep, real goodness doesn’t always feel or look the way we want it to.  Real goodness is authored by the One who knows what is best for our lives.  Real goodness is following God no matter what circumstances He leads us to because He will always lead us through them, and this is all part of His plan in creating us to become more like Him, shaping us to become who He designed us to be.  We cannot shield ourselves from His plan, for then we miss out on His plan for our character, His real goodness for our lives.  If we choose to not walk His path, we become our own ruler, our own lord, our own savior, and then we have no need for His hope through Jesus Christ.

iPhone Jan thru Sept 2012 3002

Love is a verb.  Loving God and loving people looks like something, which often times looks different than what we expect or desire.  Love is a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking.


“To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.  Wrap it up carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.  Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  To love is to be vulnerable.”  --CS Lewis


So, Sawyer, on your 13th birthday, I want to thank you for loving well.  You have chosen to risk, to persevere, to allow God to build your character, even if the path to it feels and looks different than what we all desire.  You know hope in a personal way that not everyone has the privilege of experiencing.  You choose to risk, to allow your heart to be wrung and broken, and you live this well, with a heart like His.  A heart that is willing to live through the pain, the trials, the tribulations, because you’d rather live and love vulnerably than to lock your heart in a casket and become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.


Thank you, Buckshot, for being you!  We love you deeply, and we thank God for sharing you with us.  Thank you for bossing your heart through your trials and tribulations, and for being an example to all of us in perseverance, character, and hope.  Happy 13th birthday, son.


"But one of the purest forms of worship is praising God even when you don't feel like it, because it proves that your worship isn't circumstantial. Worship is forgetting what is wrong with you and remembering what's right with God…The more you're willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you're willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can't do in you and through you."  --Mark Batterson

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