God surprised us with the news of Benjamin's coming on Christmas morning 2004. I remember crying through the afternoon into the evening after we came home from Christmas festivities. We knew God was sovereign and that children were a blessing, but I felt like a complete failure as a mother at the time, and so utterly in over my head. It was not my timing, our finances weren't like I had hoped, and my lists were too long. Thank God He knows better than me. That sweet news was the beginning of a continual stripping of my soul, my pride, my longings.
I was telling my friend Cally, whose about to have her first baby, that I really do enjoy the drugs of labor. God gave us a curse, but He also gave us some help with that curse. Well, with Benjamin, my epidural never took, and I remember every moment. For whatever reason, I feel like his entire life has been like that. I love each of them. But Caleb's years have flown, and Daniel's are a blur, but Benjamin's moments are frozen in my mind. I remember right after I had Him thinking, "He's not mine. He's yours. You've known him from the beginning of time."
Most know that on the night of his first birthday, he became sick, and within two weeks had dropped from 19 to 12 pounds. It was two of the most disgusting, and heart-wrenching weeks of my life, and it was only the start of two years of sickness, tests, and doctor visits. The cancer word was mentioned. Our first Cystic Fibrosis test came back barely positive; the second negative. And finally, he was diagnosed with "EG", a complex digestive disease.
If you know Benjamin, you know he is a fighter, and he hasn't lost one ounce of that. I'm convinced God has a purpose for the intensity and passion that's bottled up inside of him, but it's a journey of being on our knees, watching that unfold. One moments he says, "Mommy, I adore you madly," and the next he's telling me he'll find a way to escape forever. And it's usually those exact words.
Everyone says Caleb is Jamie made over, and he is, and Benjamin is me in the highest concentrated form. I see his sin, and cringe at the places I know he may one day walk, and I become giddy over the imagination I know God is developing in him.
Often, after he makes a really poor choice, he'll look at me and ask, "Do you still love me now, Mommy?" I think of myself with my Father, hiding in fear of what He'll think of the darkness of my heart. I think of our first parents, Adam and Eve, hiding in the garden, from the purest relationship they would ever know, and I fall to my knees and answer him, "More than ever."
He always replies, "I love you, too, Mommy."
I'm so blessed.